March 6, 2020 – Turkey has released a map of route options for migrants hoping to reach France and Germany, and Croatia has been bypassed. Greek media outlets recently reported Turkey’s geographical map with “routes” running from Turkey into Western Europe.
They claim that it is further evidence that Ankara has officially participated in the developing crisis by encouraging migrants and refugees to enter the EU illegally. The map, along with instructions in Arabic, was published by the official Turkish state television TRT Arabic and posted on their Twitter page and Facebook page on February 28, 2020.
Turkey Migrant Map Shows Five Routes to France, Germany
According to the map, migrants and refugees are directed to five route options through Turkey to five “entry points” to Greece: four on its islands, and one via the land border, across the Evros river, where the Greek army was recently deployed, and where conflicts across the border line are now almost continuous.
Upon arrival in Greece, migrants and refugees would, according to the map, cross through Italy on their way to France, which is shown as a major destination.
TRT Arabic Map Bypasses All Former Yugoslav Countries
The other route from Turkey heads Northwest, bypassing all the countries of the former Yugoslavia, then passes through Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria, where the road branches in two directions: one towards Germany and on towards France, writes Dnevnik.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened European Union countries with a new migrant crisis if they do not support his efforts in the Syrian civil war and provide Turkey with additional aid for housing migrants.
EU governments have refused to increase financial aid to Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey under the terms of their €6 billion migration deal, insisting Europe would not bow to threats from Ankara over opening its border with Greece, according to the Financial Times on March 6, 2020.
Following an emergency meeting in Zagreb on Friday, EU27 foreign ministers held firm on their criticism of Mr Erdogan for using migrants for “political purposes” after a build-up of refugees on the Greek-Turkish border. Mr Erdogan had vowed to open the country’s frontier with Europe over the weekend, sparking the prospect of a new refugee crisis.
Germany has been pushing for more financial support for Mr Erdogan to stave off any repeat of Europe’s 2015 migration crisis. Before the events of this week, member states had discussed the possibility of freeing up about €1 billion from the EU’s current budget for the Turkey facility. But ministers on Friday said they would not ramp up aid in response to pressures on the Greek border.
Turkey Demands More EU Aid to House Migrants
Turkey has demanded more financial help to integrate the nearly four million refugees in the country. The EU has been paying out cash to projects to help the integration process since 2016 but key programmes are due to run out of money soon. Ankara has complained that the cash disbursements are too slow and accused the EU of failing to live up to its promises to liberalise visas for Turks as agreed under the deal.
European governments have disagreed over how to engage with Turkey after Mr. Erdogan’s comment prompted thousands of refugees to head to the border with Greece, sparking violent clashes. Athens has pushed for a tough condemnation of Mr. Erdogan’s actions but has met resistance from Berlin and The Hague, which want to keep diplomatic ties open with Ankara.
EU diplomats monitoring the border developments said the flow of migrants towards Greece had stopped in recent days and Mr Erdogan was back in compliance with the terms of the 2016 deal.