Skip to main content

Did EU meddle with Turkish elections?

The leaked minutes of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with top EU officials contain embarrassing gaffes by both sides.
A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Istanbul, Turkey November 1, 2015. Turks began voting on Sunday amid worsening security and economic worries in a snap parliamentary election that could profoundly impact the divided country's trajectory and that of President Tayyip Erdogan. The parliamentary poll is the second in five months, after the ruling AK Party founded by Erdogan failed to retain its single-party majority in June.  REUTERS/Murad Sezer - RTX1U7P0

ANKARA, Turkey — The Turkish president’s patience was running out. His EU interlocutors were offering him 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) for stemming the flow of Syrian refugees to Europe.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reminded Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU Commission president, and Donald Tusk, the head of the EU Council, that a few months before they had given Greece 400 billion euros ($445 billion) to keep it afloat. According to the minutes of the meeting, Tusk replied that that money was not just for Greece but to support the entire eurozone. Erdogan said that a deal to constrain the refugees would support the Schengen visa-free travel agreement, another pan-European project.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.