Angela Merkel in Turkey for talks on reducing migrant influx

ANKARA, Turkey - German Chancellor Angela Merkel held talks in Ankara Monday on how to reduce the influx of people into Europe as reports emerged that another 33 people died off Turkey's coast attempting to reach Greece.

See Full Article

Turkey's coast guard said 22 migrants died after their boat capsized in the Bay of Edremit, while four people were rescued. Further south, another 11 people died in a separate boat accident, according to the private Dogan news agency.

The coast guard has launched a search-and-rescue mission, including helicopters, to try to find 14 migrants who are reported to be missing.

The International Organization for Migration says 374 refugees and other migrants have died so far this year while trying to reach Greece. Turkey, a key country on their route to Europe, is central to Merkel's diplomatic efforts to reduce the flow. Germany saw an unprecedented 1.1 million asylum seekers arrive last year, many of them fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In her weekly video message on Saturday, Merkel said European Union countries agree that the bloc needs to protect its external borders better, and that that is why she is seeking a solution with Turkey. She added that, if Europe wants to prevent smuggling, "we must be prepared to take in quotas of refugees legally and bear our part of the task."

"I don't think Europe can keep itself completely out of this," Merkel said.

Her talks in Ankara come as Turkey faces pressure from the EU to open its border to up to 35,000 Syrians who have massed along the frontier in the past few days fleeing an onslaught by government forces.

Turkey, home 2.5 million Syrian refugees, says it has reached its capacity to absorb refugees but has indicated that it will continue to provide refuge.

Turkey agreed in November to fight smuggling networks and help curb irregular migration. In return, the EU has pledged 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) to help improve the condition of refugees, and to grant political concessions to Turkey, including an easing of visa restrictions and the fast-tracking of its EU membership process.

Turkey has since started to require Syrians arriving from third countries to apply for visas, in a bid to exclude those who aim to continue on to Greece.

Turkey has agreed to grant work permits to Syrians as an incentive for them to stay in Turkey. Ankara has also announced plans to increase coast guards' capabilities and designate human smuggling as a form of organized crime - which would bring stiffer punishments.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • UN to vote on 30-day extension of expert body on Syria

    World News CTV News
    The UN Security Council has scheduled a vote Friday evening on a resolution that would extend for 30 days the mandate of the expert body charged with determining responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Source
  • Police allege Toronto man, 32, placed online ad seeking sex with young girls

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Police say a 32-year-old Toronto man is facing charges in a child luring investigation. Investigators allege the accused posted an online classified ad, using the email address mikailusmaximus?åògmail.com, looking to have sex with young girls. Source
  • Italy buries 26 drowned Nigerian migrant women

    World News CTV News
    SALERNO, Italy -- More than two dozen young Nigerian women who drowned during a migrant crossing from Libya were honoured Friday with an interfaith funeral, closing out a gruesome new chapter in the years-long tragedy of desperate migrants trying to reach Europe and dying along the way. Source
  • Wife of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore says he won't quit

    World News CTV News
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The wife of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore said Friday her husband won't quit the race in the face of allegations that he sexually assaulted young women years ago. Standing on the white marble steps of the state capitol, Kayla Moore was joined by several dozen women at a rally supporting Moore as she spoke in defence of her husband. Source
  • Dozens killed in bombings in Damascus, eastern Syria

    World News CBC News
    At least five children and two rescue workers were killed Friday in a Damascus suburb during a government bombing campaign amid escalating violence in and around the capital despite a truce, activists reported. State media said that rebels shelled government-controlled neighbourhoods of Damascus, killing at least three civilians. Source
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson discloses Parkinson's disease diagnosis

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson disclosed publicly Friday that he has been seeking outpatient care for two years for Parkinson's disease and plans to "dedicate" himself to physical therapy. In a Friday letter to supporters, the 76-year-old civil rights icon said family and friends noticed a change in him about three years ago and he could no longer ignore symptoms of the chronic neurological disorder that causes movement difficulties. Source
  • Psychiatrist says terror suspect Mohamed Harkat poses low risk of violence

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A psychiatrist who has treated terror suspect Mohamed Harkat for the last eight years says the refugee from Algeria is unlikely to commit violent acts. Dr. Colin Cameron has told a Federal Court of Canada hearing on Harkat's release conditions that his patient supports democracy and expresses revulsion about terrorist attacks. Source
  • Toronto man gets 5 years in prison for claiming nearly $1M in tax refunds

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A Toronto man has been sentenced to five years in prison for claiming nearly $1 million in Goods and Services Tax and Harmonized Sales Tax refunds to which he wasn't entitled. The Canada Revenue Agency says Alexander Wiafe -- who was convicted of fraud over $5,000 -- also was fined $96,000 and faces an additional 18 months in custody if the fine isn't paid within five years of his release. Source
  • Smoke, crackling sound coming from incinerator in 2012, Smich's ex tells Babcock trial

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The ex-girlfriend of one of two men accused of murdering a young Toronto woman and burning her remains in a massive animal incinerator says she once saw the large piece of equipment in action. Source
  • Documentary retraces Edmonton fur trader's past journeys in Canadian Arctic

    Canada News CBC News
    Reels of 8-mm film, long forgotten in a dusty attic, inspired Hugh Kroetsch to retrace his steps through Canada's High Arctic in a father-and-son expedition nearly seven decades in the making. Hugh Kroetsch, 85, and his filmmaker son Frederick travelled north last summer, visiting communities the elder Kroetsch had first seen as a fur trader in the 1950s. Source