The disbursement of 32 million euros to Turkey for aid in efforts to deter refugee traffickers was being decided on Wednesday by the German parliament’s budget committee, The National Herald reported, citing German media.
The money is intended “to support Turkey in restoring the operational capability of its coast guard,” while a Feb. 23 report of the German interior ministry to the budget committee noted that this capability is currently “not guaranteed at all, due to ongoing rescue operations for refugees and migrants who are in danger and also due to efforts to prevent illegal migration.” The same document mentions that the expenditure is “unavoidable” as it would otherwise “seriously impair state interests of a political nature.”
According to a report by private television station N-TV, the interior ministry stressed that “saving lives and improving the humanitarian situation in the Mediterranean is also in Germany’s interest, as is preventing an uncontrolled migration flow heading towards Germany.”
In a letter from the interior ministry to the Bundestag cited by BILD newspaper, Chancellor Angela Merkel herself personally pledged to provide this assistance to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Turkey has requested, at the highest political level, the intensification of bilateral support to the Turkish Coast Guard,” the letter said, adding that “the need for this support was unforeseen” and that “time is pressing,” especially in view of the weather improving in spring, which would encourage migration flows arriving to Europe by sea.