Erdogan warns EU: We'll open the floodgates

The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the EU of breaking their promise of refugee aid and has said that "neither me nor my people will be affected by these dry threats"

Erdogan warns EU: We'll open the floodgates

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey's president strongly criticized the EU on Friday, accusing it of breaking promises on refugees.

Speaking in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was Turkey which was feeding over three million refugees.

Addressing the EU, he added: “You did not keep your word. When 50,000 refugees were at the Kapikule [Turkey-Bulgaria] border, you cried out.

 “You started to say: 'What will we do if Turkey opens border gates?'” 

 “If you go too far, the border gates will be opened", he said.

Erdogan's statement followed the European Parliament's approval on Thursday of a non-binding motion to freeze EU-membership talks with Turkey.

Membership negotiations between Turkey and the EU began in October 2005. 

On March 18, Ankara and Brussels forged a deal for Turkey to halt the flow of refugees to Europe -- an accord that has largely been successful in reducing numbers crossing the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece.

Turkey agreed to step up maritime and land border controls in exchange for incentives on its long-stalled membership bid, including visa-free travel for its citizens and an acceleration of accession talks.

However with an October target passing and no progress on the visa issue and accession talks stalled, Ankara has stepped up accusations that Brussels was not keeping its side of the bargain.

The latest setback was the vote on Thursday by the European Parliament to freeze membership talks, a move prompted by alarm over Turkey's crackdown after an attempted putsch.

But the resolution is non-binding and has not been backed by the European Commission or almost any member states.

"You began to ask us 'what will we do if Turkey opens its borders'?" he asked.

Around one million refugees from poverty-stricken countries and  wars crossed into Europe in 2015, raising fears of a social crisis in the EU and strengthening the hand of right-wing nationalist parties.

aa/afp

 

 

Last Mod: 25 Kasım 2016, 13:28
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