In 1959, Turkey was one of the first countries to work closely with the young European Economic Community (ECE). This cooperation was concluded as part of an “association agreement” signed on 12 September 1963. An important element of the plan was the creation of a “customs union” so that Turkey could negotiate goods and agricultural products with EEC countries without restriction. The main objective of the Ankara agreement was to “continuously improve living conditions in Turkey and the European Economic Community through the acceleration of economic progress and the harmonious intensification of trade and to continuously improve the differences between the Turkish economy and… Community.” Amnesty International found that under the agreement, “the Greek government has introduced changes to its asylum procedure and that asylum applications have been rejected at first instance as part of an expedited procedure… Many of them have been rejected without judging their merits, considering that Turkey is a safe country for asylum seekers and refugees. The 1996 eu-Turkey customs union is, in the view of both sides, necessary to be revalued to take account of developments since its conclusion; However, from 2017, technical negotiations aimed at revaluing the customs union agreement will be made difficult by the continuing tensions between Ankara and Brussels, to the benefit of both sides.  On 26 June 2018, the EU General Affairs Council stated, in response to the Turkish parliamentary elections two days earlier, that “the Council notes that Turkey has distanced itself further from the European Union” and that there are therefore “no further plans to modernise the EU-Turkey customs union”.  When Merkel met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara in January, she thanked him for welcoming millions of Syrian refugees and praised the work of the Turkish government. It also promised additional financial assistance – the initial agreement in March 2016 was linked to the promise that the EU would pay 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) to Turkey over several years to help Ankara deal with Syrian refugees. The 2016 migration agreement went well long before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan resumed his long-standing threat to open borders.