Following an EU-Turkey summit aimed at curbing the flow of migrants to Europe, the European Union chief Donald Tusk said on Tuesday “the days of irregular migration to Europe are over”.
“Prime Minister (Ahmet Davutoglu) confirmed Turkey’s commitment to accept the rapid return of all migrants coming from Turkey to Greece that are not in need of international protection,” Tusk told a press conference.
“All the above mentioned decisions send a very clear message that the days of irregular migration to Europe are over,” Tusk, the European Council president, said.
Davutoglu echoed Tusk’s remarks at a joint press conference that also included Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the EU executive.
“We made a bold decision through accepting all irregular illegal migrants going from Turkey to Greece, irrespective of their origins,” Davutoglu said.
“We will be accepting them based on the assumption that for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from the Greek islands, another Syrian will be resettled by Europe,” the Turkish leader said.
He said “this gamechanging decision” aimed to discourage illegal migration to Europe, save lives and smash the smuggling business.
Juncker also called the development a “gamechanger” because it would establish legal routes of migration to Europe.