Turkey Current Affairs

EU, Turkey Agreement to tackle migrant crisis comes into effect

The agreement between the European Union (EU) and Turkey to tackle the migrant crisis has formally come into effect.

Under this agreement, migrants arriving in Greece will be sent back to Turkey if their asylum claim is rejected.

Key features of agreement

  • All irregular migrants into Greece crossing from Turkey from 20 March 2016 will be sent back. Henceforth migrants’ arrival will be individually assessed by the Greek authorities.
  • The EU will resettle Syrian migrant for each Syrian returned to Turkey. In this case priority will be given to those who have not tried to illegally enter the EU.
  • By June 2016, it will be mandatory for Turkish nationals to have access to the Schengen passport-free zone. It will not be applicable to non-Schengen countries like Britain.
  • The EU is to speed up the allocation of €3 billion ($3.3 billion) in aid to Turkey to help migrants’ crisis.
  • Both signatory sides have agreed to re-energise Turkey’s bid to join the European Union (EU) bloc. In this regard formal talks will begin in July, 2016.

Since January 2015, millions of migrants and refugees have entered the EU by boat from Turkey to Greece via Mediterranean Sea route. Thousands are stuck in Greece as their route north has been blocked. This deal ensures Turkey, which houses nearly 3 million Syrian refugees to get financial aid.

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Russia imposes economic sanctions against Turkey

Russia has imposed economic sanctions against Turkey, a NATO member over the issue of downing of a Russian Sukhoi 24 warplane on the Syrian border.

In this regard, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree adopting a series of retaliatory economic measures against Turkey with an effect from 1st January 2016.

Russian economic sanctions covers

  • Ban on imports from Turkey, work of Turkish companies in Russia and any Turkish nationals working for Russian companies.
  • End to charter flights between the countries and urges Russian tour operators to refrain from selling tourist packages to Turkey.

Background

  • NATO member Turkey on 24th November 2015 had shot down Russian Sukhoi 24  (Su-24) warplane escalating crisis in bilateral relations of both countries.
  • Turkey has claimed that the Russian jet was shot down after it had crossed into its airspace and ignored several warnings to change course.
  • However, Russia has furiously denied the claims and demanded an apology and economic compensation from Turkey.

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G-20 to combat terrorism, tackle uneven global economic growth unitedly

G-20 leaders have decided to tackle global uneven economic growth and reaffirmed their commitment to fight terrorism unitedly.

In this regard, G-20 leaders have released a communiqué at the end of the two-day 2015 G-20 summit held at Antalya in Turkey.

Key highlights of 2015 G-20 Antalya Summit

  • Economic growth: G-20 leaders noticed the risks and uncertainties in financial markets and observed that geopolitical challenges are increasingly becoming a global problem.
  • They have reaffirmed its earlier goal of achieving 2 percent additional GDP growth by 2018.
  • Black Money and Corruption: G-20 has developed a package under the “Base Erosion and Profit System” project to tackle the problem of transferring profits to tax havens.
  • The project urges the automatic exchange of tax-related information system and will come into force by 2018.
  • G-20 leaders also called for intolerance to corruption and collectively deny safe havens to illegally acquired wealth.
  • Climate Change: G-20 leaders reiterated from their commitment to limit global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above current levels as mentioned in the Lima Call for Action.
  • They fair and balanced outcome in the Conference of Parties (CoP)-21 meet to be held in Paris on the issue.
  • WTO: G-20 leaders reinstated their faith on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the backbone of the multilateral trading system.
  • They have urged WTO to fully implement the Bali Package that aims at lowering global trade barriers.
  • G-20 leaders endorse global food security measures.
  • Refugee crisis: It is a global concern and seeks to encourage global contribution in managing the crisis.
  • IMF Reforms: G-20 leaders seek to early implementation of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) governance reforms.
  • Remittance front: G-20 leaders seek to reduce the charges for people to send money back home to 5 percent.
  • Terrorism: G20 leaders condemned terrorism and have collectively resolved to choke terror funding and also share information and take action for better border management.

2015 G-20 Antalya Summit and India

  • The 2015 G-20 Antalya Summit accommodates several concerns India which were raised in various multilateral forums.
  • Being the largest recipient of remittances, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had insisted to lower the charges and it has been included in G-20 agenda which is considered a positive development.
  • The passage of collective movement under the “Base Erosion and Profit Shifting” project on for tax evasion is also considered a positive development in India’s fight to tackle menace of Black Money.
  • The summit also took note of India’s viewpoints on various issues including trade, labour, infrastructure and corruption.

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