Erdogan warns Turkey cannot prevent refugees from heading to Europe

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Wednesday that Turkey cannot force migrants and refugees to stay in the country, amid wrangling with Europe over a deal to stem migration.

"They have no chance to keep this flow under control," Erdogan said about Western nations, noting that Turkey has "no say" regarding those who wish to have a future in Europe.

The EU is offering 3 billion euros (3.4 billion dollars) for Syrian refugees in Turkey in return for stepped-up efforts to stop illegal migration to Europe, which last year saw more than 1 million people arrive on its shores.

"It is no longer about money and finances," Erdogan said. Turkish officials say the promised money has not yet arrived, though there appears to be a dispute over how the cash should be spent, holding up delivery.

Meanwhile, Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, warned that anyway the promised aid would be insufficient to deal with the refugee crisis in Europe.

"None of us can think that giving 3 billion euros to the Turkish government could be enough to solve the problem," Renzi said.

Turkey itself hosts more than 2 million refugees, mostly from Syria, with just over 10 per cent living in camps.

Last update: Wed, 17/02/2016 - 18:40

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