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Is Turkey ready to become Europe’s border guard?

Opposition says the deal aims to reduce Europe’s discomfort and poses a threat to Turkey.
Refugees and migrants board Turkish Coast Guard Search and Rescue ship Umut-703 after a failed attempt of crossing to the Greek island of Chios off the shores of Izmir, Turkey, February 28,  2016. Picture taken February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RTS8JJY

There was much fanfare among government circles in Ankara after Turkey and the European Union concluded on March 18 what Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu calls a “historic agreement” aimed at stemming the uncontrolled flow of refugees to Europe. Not everyone in Turkey is convinced, however, that Ankara emerged from the bargain as a winner, as the government claims. Many also question the morality of using refugees to barter for gains that have nothing to do with the plight of desperate people.

The agreement foresees sending back, beginning April 4, all refugees who cross or have crossed illegally into EU territory via Turkey after March 20. In return for each refugee sent back, a refugee will be sent to Europe from Turkey through legal channels.

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