Wednesday, 23 November 2016
I appreciate the Minister's response, but is he, on behalf of the Government and the people, happy to continue supporting the EU-Turkey migration deal in the light of the recent events in Turkey? He has stated there are negative trends in Turkey. They have been evident for some time if one considers the actions of the Turkish army in northern Syria and the crackdown on the opposition and the free press. Representatives of the National Union of Journalists have appeared before the foreign affairs committee, on which Deputy Seán Crowe and I sit. This is a serious matter. The idea of Turkey even aspiring at this time to accede to membership of the European Union is ridiculous. The best message the Government can send is that it should extricate itself from the EU-Turkey migration deal. These third country arrangements are not good because they undermine the rights of refugees and migrants. Turkey is not providing a safe haven for people in need.