• Wednesday, May 27, 2020
  • Last Update : 08:54 am

Erdogan vows to keep border open for refugees until EU meets all demands

  • Published at 07:26 pm March 11th, 2020
Erdogan keeps border open for refugees
Migrants stand on a street by the Turkish flag with a portrait of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on March 10, 2020 Reuters

Erdogan said he opened the gates in order to pressure Europe into providing greater assistance with the Syrian conflict

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday he would keep Turkey's border open for refugees until the EU had met all his demands, while comparing Greece's response to the crisis to the Nazis. 

"Until all Turkey's expectations, including free movement, ... updating of the customs union and financial assistance, are tangibly met, we will continue the practice on our borders," he said in a televised speech.

Turkey's decision at the end of February to re-open its border for refugees sparked a row with Brussels, as well as harsh exchanges with Greece.

Greece has tear-gassed thousands of migrants trying to break through and been accused of beating and stripping migrants of their belongings if they made it across the border.

"There is no difference between what the Nazis did and those images from the Greek border," Erdogan said. 

Greece has denied using violence and accused Turkey of pushing desperate people into dangerous attempts to enter Europe.

Erdogan said he opened the gates in order to pressure Europe into providing greater assistance with the Syrian conflict, where Turkey has fought to push back a regime offensive on the last rebel stronghold of Idlib.

"With the warming of the weather in the spring, the influx of irregular migrants heading to Europe will not be limited to Greece but spread all over the Mediterranean," he warned. 

But he reiterated that Turkey hopes for a fresh agreement with Brussels ahead of the next EU leaders' summit on March 26. 

Turkey already hosts some four million refugees -- most of them Syria -- and fears another mass influx as the regime, backed by Russia and Iran, pushes to retake Idlib. 

Although Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed a ceasefire for the province last week, previous deals have proved temporary and the Turkish president said Wednesday that minor violations have already been reported. 

Turkey agreed to stop migrant departures under a 2016 deal with Brussels, but says it has not received all of the €6 billion promised, nor have several other demands been met, including enhanced trade and visa arrangements. 

51
50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail