Migration crisis: Erdogan accuses Greece of ingratitude

ISTANBUL (dpa-AFX) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sharply rejected allegations by Greece of complicity in the refugee crisis. Such accusations against Turkey, which has taken in millions of refugees, are ungrateful, Erdogan said in Ankara on Thursday. “I don’t know what Greece would do if we opened the gates,” he warned the neighboring country. Erdogan made a statement at a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Erdogan also accused Greece of deliberately destroying boats carrying migrants in the Aegean Sea, thereby causing them to sink. Turkey has evidence of this, he said. The reaction from Athens followed promptly: Greece is a constitutional state, protect its borders and those of the EU and save lives at sea, said government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou. The latest developments on the border between Belarus and the EU in Poland and the Baltic states once again underlined that Europe does not tolerate the instrumentalisation of refugees.

Turkey and Greece repeatedly reproach each other on the migration issue. Athens accuses Ankara of often not stopping refugee boats and sometimes even escorting them to the Greek maritime border.

Turkey has taken in around 3.7 million refugees from Syria and hundreds of thousands of other migrants. Ankara on Thursday also denied allegations related to the migration crisis in the Polish-Belarusian border area and denied reports that Turkey was targeting migrants to Belarus./jam/DP/he

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