Ankara: “The European nations have money and their economy is robust. Even so, when 100 or 200 migrants enter Greece, it raises an alarm in Europe and they shirk off the responsibility completely. When we say we will open the gates, they are up in arms. Don’t be up in arms, the gates will be opened when the time comes,” warned the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The European nations have fired a barrage of criticism over the Turkish invasion on Syria to create ‘Safe Zones‘ for the refugees. The Turkish President’s fresh threat of opening the gates to Europe for the refugees comes in response to Europe’s criticism.
In an interview with a news channel, Turkish President Erdogan lambasted the European nations. If the European nations criticize Turkey’s offensive against Syria, we will release the migrant influx into Europe, said Erdogan as he reiterated the threat. Also, he added that “When Turkey declared releasing the refugees into Europe, they were up in arms. Don’t be up in arms, the gates will be opened for hundreds of thousands of migrants when the time comes”.
Erdogan said, “You have money, you are strong but when 100, 200 people go to Greece by sea, you rush to the phone. Turkey currently hosts over 3.6 million refugees. We will soon watch how you deal with the responsibility for millions of refugees,” as he threatened the European nations which had criticized Turkey.
In a landmark deal inked with the European Union (EU) in 2016 on migration, Turkey was entrusted the responsibility of stopping short the flow of refugees before they reached Europe. The EU had provided Turkey with financial as well as trade incentives in return for it. Given the circumstances, Turkey’s military action in Syria would increasingly lead to its destabilization causing the migrants to arrive at the European borders through other channels in larger numbers. The EU had thus sternly opposed the Turkish offensive in Syria in response to its move.
In the recently held EU summit, Turkey received criticism for the attacks on Syria. The EU accused Turkey’s attacks to be in violation of the international laws that had threatened the regional stability and security. Moreover, some EU member states demanded sanctions as also severing trade ties with Turkey, which was in violation of human rights.