Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has severely criticized a group of Western diplomats who attended the trial of Cumhuriyet’s Can Dündar and Erdem Gül on March 25
Can Dundar, editor in chief of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, and Erdem Gul, Cumhuriyet’s Ankara bureau chief, asserted their innocence before facing a trial over espionage charges.
Trial of Turkish journalists adjourned

The trial of two prominent Turkish journalists, charged with revealing state secrets, has been adjourned until 1 April.
Prominent columnist Cengiz Çandar faces four years in jail for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in seven opinion pieces published on the Radikal news website
A prominent figure in the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc said on Sunday (20 March) that a deal between the European Union and Turkey to halt illegal immigration to Europe could lead to Kurds heading to Germany en masse.
Flimsy boats packed with refugees continued to land in Greece from Turkey yesterday (20 March), despite the start of a landmark deal between the European Union and Ankara to stem the massive influx.
At a meeting of Europe’s centre-left leaders on Saturday (12 March), François Hollande called for more effective controls on the EU’s external borders in order to protect the freedom of movement within the bloc. EurActiv France reports.

UNICEF: New EU-Turkey Deal Could Leave Children At Risk

According to UNICEF warning that “the new agreement could push children and families to take other more dangerous routes including the central Mediterranean Sea”, the deal “does not address the pressing humanitarian needs of 19,000 refugee and migrant children stranded in Greece”.

Humanitarian crisis growing in Athens port, charity warns

Border closures have led to about 5,000 refugees trapped in Piraeus amid ‘appalling conditions’, says Human Rights Watch

Aid agencies in Greece are warning that “appalling” conditions for thousands of stranded refugees are becoming increasingly explosive.

 

Leaked: Tusk’s draft EU-Turkey deal

Tusk, right, arrives in Nicosia for meetings with the Cypriot president earlier this week

At a meeting of all 28 ambassadors to the EU late yesterday, aides to Donald Tusk, the European Council president, circulated a new three-page draft of a migration deal with Turkey that will serve as the basis of two days of summit talks aimed at securing an agreement with Ankara by Friday.

March 22, 2016 | #BrusselsAttack: It Is Time The World Holds Saudi Arabia, Turkey To Account
Osun Defender
In a 2009 memo revealed by WikiLeaks, then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused Saudi Arabia of being a main source of funding for militant groups including Al-Qaida, Taliban and LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan]. There was no serious effort ..

Europe knows what needs to be done. But fragmentation across the continent is making it harder to do

Just in the last two months, over 100,000 people have fled to Europe. That’s already three times more than during the same period last year. Winter temperatures in the Mediterranean have not slowed the exodus, nor have measures taken by some EU member states aimed at discouraging arrivals, such as confiscating money from refugees or raising barbed wire. The greatest push factor is the Syrian war, recently heightened with the assault on Aleppo, which stubbornly grinds on. Thousands of families continue to find it preferable to attempt deadly crossings across Aegean waters, rather than to struggle in Turkey or be exposed to relentless air raids and sieges. Whatever small hopes may rest on the “cessation of hostilities” deadline in Syria – set for this Saturday – it is unlikely to stem the migration flows in the near future. Against this backdrop, the pressing need in Europe is for unity. But in meeting the challenge, every pressure seems to be pushing the other way.

 

Refugee crisis: key aid agencies refuse any role in ‘mass expulsion’

UNHCR and Médecins Sans Frontières say they will not be involved with EU-Turkey deal to send people back from Greece

A triple blow has been dealt to the EU-Turkey migration deal after five leading aid groups refused to work with Brussels on its implementation, a Turkish diplomat ruled out changing Turkish legislation to make the deal more palatable to rights campaigners, and a senior Greek official said nobody knew how the agreement was supposed to work.

Extend-and-pretend comes to the refugee crisis

Erdogan is not doing this just for the money. Turkey is legitimately concerned about its security situation and needs European and American help to resolve it.

An alliance of civilisations, Vienna global forum, 2013. An alliance of civilisations, Vienna global forum, 2013. Wikicommons/Bundesministerium für Europa. Some rights reserved.When politicos start using the word “game-changing” to refer to a negotiation, you can be sure that something truly heinous is going to come out of it, usually in the fine print. This is true of the Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic trade pacts being negotiated, and it is equally true of the deal brokered in Ankara yesterday.

Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said March 17 that a compromise was possible on an EU-Turkey deal on the migration crisis at a summit in Brussels, days after threatening to block the accord over his country’s tense relations with Turkey

Migration crisis: major questions remain over EU-Turkey deal

The ‘one-in, one-out’ plan being discussed in Brussels is far from a done deal and will inspire little optimism among refugees

When is a blanket not a blanket? This is a question at the heart of the three-way wrangle between EU politicians, the Turkish government and refugee rights campaigners.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has asked that the plan to return migrants arriving in Greece to Turkey, also applies to his country, the press in Sofia reports ahead of the EU summit beginning today (17 March).

EU-Turkey deal: Decisive or divisive?

If European Union leaders were expecting Turkish PrimeMminister Ahmet Davutoğlu to meekly accede to their expectations and demands at the migration summit last week, they were clearly mistaken, write Mehmet Öğütçü and Stephen Jones.
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German woman welcomes refugees.

Philip Oltermann when covering Germany’s state parliament elections this week, found himself struggling with a bit of journalese:

Turkey’s ruling party has voiced its displeasure with European Parliament Rapporteur for Turkey Kati Piri, who they said lost her “neutrality” during a recent visit to southeastern Diyarbakır

Syria and the Refugee Iceberg

If the only refugee crisis that the world faced today was in Syria, it would be challenging and heartbreaking enough. But the tragic truth is that many other refugee crises around the world never make it into the international headlines.

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