Ankara would never bargain over refugees, a senior minister said Monday following German media reports that Turkey asked for 5 billion euros ($5.45 billion) to tackle the refugee crisis.
“Turkey has not opened its doors to the Syrian refugees who were fleeing the savagery in Syria… in a calculation of any aid from anyone,” Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters in Ankara following a Cabinet meeting.
He reiterated that Turkey had spent more than $8 billion on hosting Syrian refugees.
“We would never bargain on refugees with the EU or anybody else,” Kurtulmus said.
German reports at the weekend said Turkey was asking for 5 billion euros to cope with Syrian refugees instead of the 3 billion euros agreed earlier with the EU.
Deutsche Welle, Germany’s state-run broadcaster, cited newspaper Die Welt as quoting a high-ranking EU diplomat as saying: “Ankara now wants 5 billion euros but we are prepared only to give the promised 3 billion euros.”
The financial package to support Turkey in hosting 2.5 million refugees and to stem the flow of migrants to the EU was agreed in November but has been blocked by Italy. The deal is strongly supported by Germany.