EU-Turkey summit today: opportunity vs. coherence

The European Union hopes a summit with Turkey on Monday can start putting an end to the chaotic arrivals of migrants in Greece and halt their treks through the Balkans toward Germany, diplomats said on Sunday to AFP.

Rarely has the EU needed Turkey so badly. And rarely has Turkey looked like such an unattractive partner, comments Financial Times.

Just hours after European Council President Donald Tusk was closing in on a deal with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on cooperation Friday, Turkish riot police stormed the offices of Zaman, the country’s biggest opposition newspaper, and installed trustees who’ll soon shut it down. (Politico Europe)

There’s no need for Chancellor Angela Merkel to change course. Other EU member states have done it already, moving around her. Now that the Balkan route has been closed, fewer refugees are arriving in Germany, taking the pressure off the chancellor, writes Deutsche Welle.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras heads to Monday’s crucial summit in Brussels between the European Union and Turkey determined to push for the “equitable sharing of the burden among member-states” as thousands of refugees continue to pile up at the closed border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). (Ekathimerini)

“EU leaders are in a panic to stop refugee flows before spring, and they seem willing to throw human rights overboard in the process,” said Judith Sunderland, acting deputy director for the Europe and Central Asia division of Human Rights Watch. “It is naked self-interest and wishful thinking to say Turkey is a safe country of asylum – it is not, and this deal could cause much more harm than good.” (Human Rights Watch)

EU Ignores Turkey’s Butchering of Kurds if Erdogan Mops Up Migrants. (Russia’s Sputnik News)

Find out what Turkish President Erdogan said to Juncker and Tusk at the last summit.