19. Oktober 2015 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Battle for Aleppo threatens to create fresh refugee exodus, says Turkish PM“ · Kategorien: Deutschland, Syrien, Türkei

Quelle: The Guardian

Germany prepared to accelerate Turkey’s EU membership process in exchange for help as Slovenia cuts refugee intake, creating bottlenecks along route

The battle for Aleppo, compounded by Russian airstrikes on the city, threatens to create a new refugee exodus from Syria, Turkey’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, has warned.

Speaking after talks with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, Davutoğlu called for action to prevent a new wave of refugees from moving north across the Turkish border. Aleppo is under assault both from Isis and from forces backing the Syrian government, including Iranian fighters and Russian aircraft.

As the influx of refugees into Europe continued, Hungary closed its border with Croatia at the weekend, forcing thousands of migrants to find a new route to through Slovenia and into Austria. On Sunday, Slovenia said it would restrict its intake to 2,500 arrivals a day to ease pressure on both its own and Austria’s borders. The decision caused delays further down the migrant trail, raising fears of human bottlenecks.

Davutoğlu said on Sunday: “It is our priority that steps will be taken to prevent an increase of refugees from Aleppo due to the offensive [there] by Iranian militia, Isis and Russian attacks.”

“Aleppo is Syria’s second-biggest city. The [Russian] airstrikes in and around Aleppo as well as the Isis attack on the city worry us. They could cause another wave of refugees.”

Merkel said Germany was prepared to accelerate accession process for Turkey’s membership of EU in exchange for Turkish help to secure European borders and to make sure that fewer refugees reach Europe.

“How can we organise the accession process more dynamically?” Merkel asked at the press conference in Istanbul. “Germany is ready to open chapter 17 this year, and to make preparations for [chapters] 23 and 24. We can talk about the details,” she added, referring to EU accession procedures.

Faced with a record influx of refugees this year, Germany is keen for countries on the migration frontline – particularly Turkey and Greece – to deal with the problem there rather than export it north.

The onward passage of refugees through the Balkans towards central Europe in recent weeks has placed huge pressure on transit countries.

Human rights groups have condemned the European plan for ignoring the rights of refugees.

“Talks between the EU and Turkey on ‘migration management’ risk putting the rights of refugees a distant second behind border control measures designed to prevent refugees from reaching the EU,” Andrew Gardner, Turkey researcher for Amnesty International said on Saturday.

Davutoğlu said Turkey was prepared to cooperate with Germany and the EU to prevent illegal migration, but underlined that the refugee crisis could not be solved without finding a solution to the war in Syria.

Pointing out that Turkey has more than two million Syrian refugees and has spent approximately $7.5bn (£5bn) since the refugee crisis began, he said the international community needed to show more support.

The government in Ljubljana said it had refused on Sunday to allow in a train carrying 1,800 migrants from Croatia, after more than 3,000 people surged into the tiny EU member state the day before.

German police union chief Rainer Wendt told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper Germany should build a fence along its border with Austria.

“If we close our borders this way, Austria will also close its border with Slovenia, and that’s exactly the effect we need,” he said.

Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

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