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3/6/16

Refugee Crises: Turkey needs more than the EU′s money

In a deal that Human Rights Watch has labeled as "a flawed and potentially dangerous policy response" to the influx of refugees, the European Union promised Turkey 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) back in November to go toward efforts that would keep refugees and other migrants in Turkey.

Although the conditions are still vague, Turkey has said it would allocate the money in such a way that would both prevent refugees and migrants from taking illegal means to reach Europe as well as provide incentives to stay in Turkey.

While Syrian refugees who are registered with the Turkish government have legal access to health care and education, only half of all Syrian kids in Turkey are going to Turkish schools. Turkey has promised to step up the integration of children in its school

Until recently, refugees in Turkey had no legal right to work. A few weeks ago the government passed new conditions for Syrian refugees to obtain legal work permits, under certain circumstances.
However, Zeynep Alemdar, professor of political science and international relations at Okan University in Istanbul, said that job regulations are too rigid. Only 3 percent of refugees, she told DW, could actually get jobs - there just wasn't access, "or where they're located, there aren't jobs."

Even if some of the terms are still unclear, Turkish officials have concrete ideas where the money could flow.
"[The money] will help with infrastructure - like water sanitation and sewage - in those areas very populated with Syrians, like [the southern border town of] Kilis, where more than half the population is Syrian," said a Turkish government official close to the issue, who spoke with DW on condition of anonymity.

But the money, said Alemdar, is not what this deal is really about. "The real deal for Turkey would be the visa liberalization," Alemdar told DW - the promise of visa-free entry into the Schengen zone for Turkish citizens.
In fact, talks on the EU-Turkey refugee deal are hinging on simultaneous conversations that could jump-start a better "harmonization" of relations between the EU and Turkey.

Read more: Turkey needs more than the EU′s money | Europe | DW.COM | 06.03.2016

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