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

  • Trump signals Mexico wall funding may wait several months for more pressing concerns

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump indicated an openness on Monday to delaying his push to secure funds for his promised border wall with Mexico, potentially eliminating a sticking point as lawmakers worked to avoid a looming shutdown of the federal government. Source
  • Converting coal would help China's smog at climate's expense

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- China's conversion of coal into natural gas could prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths each year. But there's a catch: As the country shifts its use of vast coal reserves to send less smog-inducing chemicals into the air, the move threatens to undermine efforts to rein in greenhouse gas emissions, researchers said Tuesday. Source
  • Hollywood's writers vote overwhelmingly to authorize strike next week

    World News CBC News
    More than 96% of the voting members of the Writers Guild of America have authorized a strike against production companies. The WGA released the results Monday, a day ahead of the resumption of contract negotiations on a master contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Source
  • Ivanka Trump heads to Berlin for women's conference

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Ivanka Trump's advocacy for women and girls will take her to a conference in Berlin Tuesday, an attention-getting first international outing aimed at building support for investment in women's economic empowerment programs. Back home, the first daughter's plan to push for policies that benefit working mothers is getting less of the spotlight. Source
  • Aviation officer says man dragged off United flight was 'flailing and fighting'

    World News Toronto Sun
    CHICAGO — The physician who was dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago this month was verbally and physically abusive, and flailing his arms before he lost his balance and struck his mouth on an armrest, according to the aviation officer who pulled the man out of his seat. Source
  • North Korea quiet amid talk of missile follow-up

    World News CTV News
    PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of - A U.S. guided-missile submarine arrived in South Korea on Tuesday and envoys from the U.S., Japan and South Korea met in Tokyo, as North Korea prepared to mark the anniversary of the founding of its military. Source
  • Bill O’Reilly speaks out about Fox firing, says 'the truth will come out'

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Five days after being fired from his top-rated Fox News Channel perch, Bill O’Reilly used a podcast to express his dismay and vowed that “the truth will come out.” “I am sad that I’m not on television anymore,” he said in an episode Monday of his personal website’s “No Spin News” podcast, available only to subscribers after this week’s free window. Source
  • U.S. judge lifts stay that blocked second Arkansas execution

    World News Toronto Sun
    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Two condemned Arkansas killers who admit they’re guilty but fear their poor health could lead to extreme pain during lethal injections set for Monday might become the first inmates put to death in a double execution in the U.S. Source
  • Trudeau says his dad got his brother help in dealing with pot charge

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his younger brother, Michel, was able to avoid a criminal record after he was caught with marijuana because of his father’s connections. Trudeau revealed the little-known fact about his brother, who died in a B.C. Source
  • New Orleans takes down white supremacist monument

    World News CTV News
    NEW ORLEANS -- A monument to a deadly white-supremacist uprising in 1874 was removed under cover of darkness by workers in masks and bulletproof vests Monday as New Orleans joined the movement to take down symbols of the Confederacy and the Jim Crow South. Source