Merkel ready to cave to Turkish pressure on visas – The Telegraph
Germany fears Erdogan “opens the floodgates” for migrants to Europe.
Angela Merkel is ready to cave in to Turkish “blackmail” and grant visa-free access to the Schengen zone for 75 million people, despite President Erdogan refusing to meet key EU conditions, the Telegraph wrote with a reference to a leaked cable from Britain’s ambassador in Berlin.
The leaked diplomatic telegrams say that Merkel's government is ready to strike a compromise regarding the anti-terrorism laws in Turkey that have been used to prosecute academics and journalists. That sweeping law has caused Europe to backtrack on visa-free travel for Turkey.
“Despite the tough public line, there are straws in the wind to suggest that in extremis the Germans would compromise further to preserve the EU-Turkey deal," Britain’s ambassador in Berlin has reportedly said.
“Merkel has begun to paint the deal in humanitarian terms, (pointing out that since it came into force, only 9 people have drowned), to pre-empt human rights opposition. Officials here have shown some interest, behind the scenes, about possible compromise formulations on the anti-terror law." Sir Sebastian Wood wrote
In Wood's words, Merkel has begun to paint the deal in humanitarian terms, (pointing out that since it came into force, only 9 people have drowned), to pre-empt human rights opposition.
The diplomat believes that Berlin thinks it can “keep Erdogan at the table” with a “carefully fudged delay on both sides" until October.
In the meantime, Richard Moore, the British ambassador to Turkey, is more pessimistic: “If visa liberalisation doesn’t happen, an impetuous and riled Erdogan could carry through his threat to ‘open the flood gates’ to Europe for migrants.”
In a joint statement, the Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary said it was “completely untrue” that the “UK is considering granting visa liberalisation to some Turkish citizens and that Diplomatic Telegrams "are reports from our diplomatic posts, not statements of British Government policy.”