Exclusive Turkish Prime Minister Backs Merkel's Open-Door Refugee Policy

Under political fire in Germany for her open-door refugee policy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday received a measure of welcome support from Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. Mr. Davutoğlu, who is in Berlin to consult on the refugee crisis, said Ms. Merkel’s decision to not close Germany’s borders and limit the number of asylum seekers will be remembered as a positive, humanitarian step 20 to 30 years from now. “Ms. Merkel took a historic step for the conscience of humanity,” the Turkish prime minister said at a press conference following the meeting in Berlin. “Neither Ms. Merkel nor Germany are alone on this issue,” Mr. Davutoğlu said. “This humanitarian stance and leadership strength by Ms. Merkel must be acknowledged.” The Turkish leader’s endorsement came as Ms. Merkel said she had obtained an agreement from E.U. countries to pay Turkey €3 billion to help house and support refugees within its own borders, to lessen the flow into Europe. “I obtained the approval for this today,” Ms. Merkel said at the press conference with Mr. Davutoğlu, according to German news agency DPA. She did not provide details. The participation of 28 E.U. countries, which have largely ignored Ms. Merkel’s request to help house the refugees, had not been certain. At the conference, Ms. Merkel said she was “convinced that we can solve the migration question only if we work together. Singular solutions, every state on its own – that’s not going to help us.” “I know that many people are wondering how things will develop in Germany,” Ms. Merkel said. Her political coalition has come under fire since the New Year’s Eve attacks on German women by a group of refugees and migrants. Hundreds of women told police they were groped and robbed, and two said they were raped. Some members of her own Christian Democrat-led coalition, including her Bavarian Christian Social allies, have called on her to reverse course and close Germany’s borders to refugees, which she has refused to do. Ms. Merkel said the events on New Year’s Eve had created a feeling of “insecurity” among many Germans.