Turkey repeats threat to flood Europe with refugees

Orient Net - Agencies 2016-05-12 05:42:00

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An adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened that if the European Parliament votes against lifting the visa requirement for Turkish citizens, his country would send refugees on its territory to the European Union, Eur Activ reported.

On February 10 The Daily Wire reported Erdogan as saying "We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses … so how will you deal with refugees if you don’t get a deal? Kill the refugees?"

“The European Parliament will discuss the report that will open Europe visa-free for Turkish citizens. If the wrong decision is taken, we will send the refugees,” Burhan Kuzu, an adviser to Erdoğan, wrote on Twitter.

The threat is not new, but this time it’s addressed to the European Parliament which made it clear that Turkey should not expect a visa waiver if it has not fulfilled all the requirements for the visa liberalisation deal.

The visa deal depends on the ratification by the European Parliament, and of some national parliaments, who would also like to have their say.

The refugee deal is facing “a very dangerous moment” as the two sides wrangle over Ankara’s fulfilment of its terms, a Turkish minister warned yesterday (11 May).

“All the agreements we have achieved until now, built on confidence, goodwill, taking responsibilities, and also taking political risks, is facing a very dangerous moment,” Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Volkan Bozkır said at a news conference with European Parliament President Martin Schulz.

Bozkır said Turkey had basically fulfilled the terms of the deal, even though Brussels is insisting Ankara meet five more benchmarks before Turkish nationals can enjoy visa-free travel to Europe.

Bozkır reiterated Erdoğan’s opposition to changing Turkey’s anti-terror legislation, which the EU says is one of the five outstanding benchmarks left from a list of 72.

Most of the 1.25 million Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans who have entered the bloc since last year travelled from Turkey to Greece on rickety boats, across the Aegean, Eur Activ reported.