Refugee crisis: ‘The era of unilateral casualties is over’ Erdogan said
ANKARA, (BM) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov met in Ankara on Monday night, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing the Bulgarian edition of Radio Free Europe.
They discussed a new wave of migrants along Turkey’s borders with Bulgaria and Greece, followed by rising tensions in the Syrian province of Idlib.
“I want to tell my friend Boyko Borisov that the refugee situation is the result of everything the EU has failed to do,” Erdogan said during a joint statement after the meeting.
The Turkish president commented that the situation was even worse after Greek authorities killed two refugees and severely injured third. Thousands of migrants have been trying to enter Greece in recent days. On Monday, Turkish authorities released information that 18,000 migrants had already crossed into European territory. A day earlier, Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soilou announced that 100,000 migrants had already crossed the EU’s borders, but this news was described as “misinformation” by the Greek foreign ministry.
“Nearly 1.5 million people have left their homes in Idlib and are close to the Turkish border. Unfortunately, EU countries cannot understand the burden that Turkey has been carrying for 9 years,” Erdogan said.
The 2016 EU-Turkey agreement stipulates that refugees who enter the EU illegally be returned to Turkey. In return, Ankara will receive two tranches of 3 billion euros to create conditions for asylum seekers.
“Turkey has fulfilled all its obligations under the agreement unconditionally, but expecting this burden to be shared has found no answer. The EU has failed to fulfill its obligations and continues to apply a double standard,” Erdogan said.
The Turkish president also asked where the fair burden sharing was.
“We spent over 40 billion euros. The promised 6 billion euros – they did not release. Now they say they will allocate 1 billion. Who are you lying to? We do not want this money anymore. We will find this money. No one is entitled to mock Turkey’s dignity,” Erdogan continued.
“We voted this money for Turkey. I cannot understand why they were not given,” asked Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
He thanked Turkey for complying with the EU border agreement.
“This also enables Bulgarian citizens to sleep soundly.”
Borisov had earlier invited Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis to a tripartite meeting in Sofia. However, the Turkish president refused at the last moment. Borisov explained this with Mitsotakis’ posts on social networks.
“Some of my colleagues are reluctant to post their opinions on the network. My colleague Erdogan was ready to hold a tripartite meeting on Friday in Sofia, but now he does not agree to sit at a table with his colleague Mitsotakis.”
Earlier, Greece accused Turkey of organized human trafficking.
“I would like to express my satisfaction with the common sense position of Bulgaria, chaired by my friend Boyko Borisov,” the Turkish president said.
Earlier on Monday, Erdogan attended a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party. He told his party members that Turkey could no longer carry the burden of refugees on its shoulders.
“The era of unilateral casualties is over,” Erdogan said.
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