Turkey Threatens to Open Migrant ‘Land Passage’ to Europe After Row With Dutch

Migrants stand behind a fence at the Nizip refugee camp in Gaziantep province, southeastern Turkey, Saturday, April 23, 2016. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and top European Union officials, under pressure to reassess a migrant deportation deal with Turkey, are traveling close to Turkey's border with Syria on Saturday in a …
AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

(AP) – Turkey’s minister in charge of European Union affairs says his country should consider reviewing its migration deal with the EU and relax controls on people reaching Europe over land.

Omer Celik’s comments, reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency, came amid tensions with the Netherlands and other European countries over Turkish ministers traveling abroad to court Turkish citizens’ votes in an upcoming referendum.

Turkey agreed last year to work to keep migrants from crossing into the EU in return for funds to help it deal with some 3 million refugees.

Anadolu quoted Celik as saying the EU had not kept its side of the bargain.

He added: “In my opinion, the issue of the land passages should be reviewed.”

However, Celik said Turkey should maintain controls to prevent sea crossings that claimed hundreds of lives.

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