Merkel Says EU Must Take in Refugees Directly From Turkey

  • German chancellor speaks ahead of talks with Turkish leaders
  • Merkel renews warning that open travel in Europe is at risk
German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe will have to take in groups of Middle East asylum seekers directly from Turkey as part of an agreement to resolve the region’s refugee crisis by controlling the influx of migrants.

QuickTake Turkey's Continental Divide

In return for demanding that Turkey halt the flow of people across the Aegean Sea to Greece, the European Union will have to be willing to accept quotas of migrants to share the burden of sheltering refugees with Turkey, Merkel said Saturday in her weekly podcast from Berlin. Merkel will travel to Ankara on Monday for talks with the Turkish government.

“We need to be prepared, if we want to stop illegal migration or human trafficking, to take on legal allotments of refugees and to take up our end of the bargain,” Merkel said on her website. “Europe can’t completely keep out of this.”

Merkel said an agreement with Turkey is crucial to preserve the so-called Schengen zone of 26 countries allowing passport-free travel.

"We need to protect our external border because we want to keep Schengen,” Merkel said. “And if we can’t protect it, then this huge region of free movement, our internal market, which is the foundation of our prosperity, will be in danger, and we need to prevent that.”

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