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Merkel ‘ready to give in to Turkish blackmail’ on visa free-travel – leaked UK diplomatic cables

UK diplomats believe German Chancellor Angela Merkel is ready to give in to Turkish President Erdogan’s “blackmail” and grant Turkish citizens visa-free access to Europe even if Ankara fails to fulfill all the EU’s demands, leaked diplomatic cables say.

While EU leaders have been publicly insisting that visa-free travel to the Schengen zone is impossible until Ankara meets several conditions, including amending its anti-terror laws that are used to persecute dissidents and media, a new report suggests that the stance is changing behind the stage.

The Telegraph cited a leaked diplomatic telegram from Britain’s ambassador in Berlin, Sir Sebastian Wood, as saying that German officials close to Merkel are ready to strike a “compromise formulation”with Turkey on the terrorism law.

“Despite the tough public line, there are straws in the wind to suggest that in extremis the Germans would compromise further to preserve the EU-Turkey deal,”the document obtained by Vote Leave organization, which is pushing for Britain’s exit from the EU, said.

“Merkel has begun to paint the deal in humanitarian terms, (pointing out that since it came into force, only 9 people have drowned), to pre-empt human rights opposition. Officials here have shown some interest, behind the scenes, about possible compromise formulations on the anti-terror law,”the ambassador reportedly wrote.


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