Turkey’s geographical position makes it a first reception and transit country for many refugees and migrants. As the result of an unprecedented influx of people seeking refuge, the country currently hosts more than 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees and is making commendable efforts to provide them with humanitarian aid and support. The EU is committed to assist Turkey in dealing with this challenge.
As part of a wider programme of country visits to 11 EU countries and to Turkey, an EESC delegation undertook a three-day mission to Ankara and Izmir to meet authorities and civil society organisations active in the migration field from 9 to 11 March 2016. In the report from this fact-finding mission, a significant number of important issues have been raised about the country's role – as a gateway to the EU – in the refugee crisis.