Representatives from Turkey and the European Union met on Sunday to strike a deal which Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called “a new beginning” between the two entities. In the deal, Turkey committed to helping to stem the flow of migrants into Europe in exchange for cash, visas and renewed talks on joining the EU.
A huge part of the deal is $3 billion from the E.U. meant specifically to go to improving the living conditions of Syrian refugees currently in Turkey. The thinking is that the money is meant to persuade refugees who are not in Europe to stay where they are, rather than attempt the perilous trip across the Mediterranean into Europe.
“As Turkey is making an effort to take in refugees — who will not come to Europe — it’s reasonable that Turkey receive help from Europe to accommodate those refugees,” French Prime Minister Francois Hollande told reporters.
Turkey will be responsible for a large part of the refugee/migrant issue, patrolling naval stations and conducting border checks.
“Today is a historic day in our accession process to the EU,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the press upon his arrival. “I am grateful to all European leaders for this new beginning.”