The deal comes after a day-and-a-half of negotiations between the Turkish government and leaders from across the European Union. A mixture of economic malaise and war have caused massive numbers of migrants to flee Syria, Iraq, and other countries, with most of them heading to Europe
According to the deal, all refugees who reach Greece from Turkey will be sent back to Turkey. The Aegean Sea is one of the most commonly used routes for refugees attempting to reach Europe. The deal will take effect on March 20.
Turkey will be getting some $6.6 billion in exchange, and under a conditional promise, its citizens will be granted visa-free travel in Europe. Talks regarding Turkey’s potential European Union membership will also be jump-started, though the viability of Turkey’s acceptance into the EU is being questioned by some owing to the country’s deteriorating human rights record.
At first, Germany, Sweden, and a few other countries largely welcomed the refugees, extending generous social services and in some cases attempting to integrate them into society. This initial generosity, however, may have encouraged even more migrants and refugees to flee to Europe.
At the same time, many countries were less enthusiastic about welcoming refugees into their borders. Most of the Balkans countries, for example, have moved in recent months to lock down their borders and prevent migrants from entering, even if these migrants are trying to transit to Germany or other countries.