Turkey refugee crisis
Internally displaced people, covered with mud, wait as they are stuck in the town of Khirbet Al-Joz in Latakia countryside, waiting to get permission to cross into Turkey near the Syrian-Turkish borderAmmar Abdullah/Reuters

Germany and Turkey have pledged to boost cooperation over the handling of the refugee crisis during Chancellor Angela Merkel's Ankara visit. Both the countries pledged to secure Nato's involvement in dealing with the growing influx of refugees in Europe.

Speaking at a joint press conference with the German chancellor, Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said: "Together, as Turkey and Germany, we will propose Nato's engagement concerning all results of the refugee flow from Syria as an agenda item to Nato."

He added: "We will especially exert joint efforts for the effective use of Nato's observation and surveillance mechanisms on the border and in the Aegean," referring to the upcoming meeting of Nato defence ministers on 10 and 11 February.

Merkel's day-long visit on 8 February (Monday) has come within weeks of an EU-Turkey deal, which is likely to culminate with Ankara receiving up to €3bn (£2.3bn, $3.3bn) in aid. The fund is to go towards taking care of nearly 2.7 million refugees, who are currently in Turkey after fleeing Syrian warzones.

"It's important to see quick, visible improvements for refugees in Turkey," said the German chancellor. Both the leaders also condemned Russia's ongoing air strikes in the northern parts of Syria's Aleppo province.

"The aggression has to cease as quickly as possible," Merkel said, adding she is "appalled and horrified" by the repercussions of the air strikes in Syria.

"We will use the Nato defence ministers' meeting to talk about the situation in Syria as well as whether and to what extent Nato can help in monitoring the situation at sea and lend support to Frontex and Turkish Coast Guards," said Merkel.

Turkish media

Ankara is facing increasing pressure from the EU to admit 30,000 people who have amassed at the Turkish border. Without putting a timeline on the efforts, the Turkish premier said Ankara would admit the fresh influx of refugees "when necessary".

However local media in Turkey have been scathing in their attacks against the EU for putting pressure on the government to take in more refugees. The opposition daily Cumhuriyet said: "While the EU is increasing security measures and closing borders to immigrants, it is asking Turkey to let them in."

The pro-government Yeni Safak media described the EU leaders' calls as hypocrisy, referring to the treatment of immigrants in Europe, which it said was inhumane. Fatih Cekirge, a columnist in the centre-right paper Hurriyet, noted that despite the different agendas of world powers on Syria, there is one message: "Don't come to Europe as a refugee, but die far from us."