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

  • Ex-train engineer apologizes for his role in Lac-Megantic tragedy

    Canada News CTV News
    SHERBROOKE, Que. - One of the three men acquitted of criminal negligence in the Lac-Megantic railway disaster is apologizing publicly for his role in the tragedy that killed 47 people. Tom Harding spoke to reporters today for the first time since he and two former railway colleagues were found not guilty last week. Source
  • Assailant shoots man and then bites him on nose in Windsor, Ont.: police

    Canada News CTV News
    WINDSOR, Ont. -- A man is facing charges after allegedly forcing his way into a Windsor, Ont., home, shooting a man and then biting him on the nose. Windsor police say officers went to the home early Saturday to investigate a report of a shooting and were told by family members that two men were fighting inside. Source
  • 'It took us by surprise': Court to admit 96 victim impact statements in teen murder case

    Canada News CTV News
    A Winnipeg court will admit 96 victim impact statements at the sentencing of the man who pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of 17-year-old Cooper Nemeth, despite concern the large number will have a disproportionate impact on the outcome of the proceedings. Source
  • Man grabbed boy by throat in Kingston, Ont. road rage incident: police

    Canada News CTV News
    KINGSTON, Ont. -- A 46-year-old man is facing charges after allegedly attacking a child in a road rage incident in eastern Ontario. Police say the accused was the passenger in a car that had been driving through a Kingston, Ont. Source
  • Toronto police partner with Ryerson University for training program

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto police have announced a new partnership with Ryerson University that will see the school offer courses to city cops. Police say the university has designed a new course on diversity and "bias avoidance" specifically for officers, and members of the force will also be able to enrol in existing courses at the school. Source
  • Russian court orders shutdown of opposition figure Navalny's foundation

    World News CBC News
    A Moscow district court has ordered the closure of the foundation crucial to the election campaign of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's most formidable foe, had been leading a grass-roots campaign for a year ahead of the 2018 presidential vote, before election officials in December formally barred him from running. Source
  • Kingston, Ont., woman, 42, charged after being found naked in stranger's bathtub

    Canada News CTV News
    KINGSTON, Ont. - Police say a woman is facing charges after she was found lounging naked in a stranger's bathtub in Kingston, Ont. They say that when the complainant arrived home on Sunday evening, she found the nude woman in the unfilled tub. Source
  • Saskatchewan ends ban on Alberta plates at its job sites

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON - The licence plate fight between Saskatchewan and Alberta is over. An Alberta government spokesman says Saskatchewan informed them by letter today it is rescinding its ban on vehicles with Alberta licence plates on Saskatchewan government project sites. Source
  • Any steak specials? RCMP dashcam catches cougar in front of Banff grocery store

    Canada News CTV News
    BANFF, Alta. -- An RCMP officer on a traffic stop in Banff caught more than he expected on his car's dash camera. The video, which shows the constable talking to a motorist, captured a cougar dashing by a couple of metres away -- in front of a grocery store. Source
  • 'Unnecessary risks' to blame for record high snowmobile deaths in Ontario: OPP

    Canada News CTV News
    The winter of 2016-2017 had the highest number of snowmobile-related fatalities in Ontario on record, provincial police say. During the season, Ontario Provincial Police responded to 27 snowmobile deaths, marking a record high in snowmobile-related fatalities since the winter of 2003-2004. Source