‘Open The Gates’: Erdoğan’s Infamous Foreign Policy

REPORT AT A GLANCE

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They say, ‘Do not open the gates.’ I told them months ago that ‘if you do not share this burden with us, we will open the gates’”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated on March 2, 2020.[1] While Erdoğan has in previous years announced similar warnings, however, on February 28, 2020, he ordered the opening of the borders to Greece, allowing a vast number of refugees and asylum-seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq to leave Turkey and cross the border to Greece.

 

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

>  The 2016 migration deal has weakened the EU’s position and has made it susceptible to Erdoğan’s threats. It has also appointed Erdoğan to the powerful role of Europe’s gatekeeper.

 

>  President Erdoğan is using his position and strategic timing to weaponize refugees and use them as a bargaining chip to promote his agenda.

 

>  The EU is holding on to the migration deal, however, so far, Europe’s foreign ministers reject Erdoğan’s demands for further financial aid.

 

>  The EU shares responsibility and should uphold the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, protected under international law.