PARIS – Anadolu Agency
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on Nov. 25 said Europe should refrain from giving lesson to Turkey on the issue migration, a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan defiantly criticized a major suggestion came from the European side to suspend the country’s accession talks.
Speaking to “Global Conversation” program of the Euronews channel, Juncker recalled that Turkey opened its doors for more than three million refugees and has done, along with Jordan and Lebanon, more than what the EU did, thus called on the members of the community to be reasonable with their criticisms.
“Turkey is a crucial ally, and this is not only because of the refugee crisis. Of course there is an obvious fact that Turkey has hosted more than three million refugees which Europe could not do. Therefore I demand Europe to refrain from giving lessons to Turkey on this matter. Turkey has done more than Europe, along with border countries of Jordan and Lebanon. Thus when talking about this issue, one should be modest,” said Juncker.
Upon a question on Turkey’s accession talks with the EU, Juncker said “the real question that should be posed is: does Turkey want to abide by all criteria needed to become an EU member? I do not think Turkey asks this question to itself. As this question is not asked, there is no answer to it either,” said Juncker.
On Nov. 25 Erdoğan harshly criticized the voting at the European parliament that suggested the community to halt talks with Turkey concerning its accession, a decades-long aspiration of the country. The European Parliament argued that Turkey’s state of emergency, introduced after the July 15 coup attempt in the country, brought “disproportionate repressive measures.”
“Some 30-40 votes for ‘no’ and 400-500 votes for ‘yes.’ What would happen if all of you voted ‘yes?’ You never treated humanity honestly and you did not look after people fairly. You did not pick up babies when they washed ashore on the Mediterranean. We are the ones who are feeding around 3.5 million refugees in this country,” Erdoğan said.
“You did not keep your promises. When 50,000 refugees turned up at the Kapıkule [border gate] you cried out and began to say ‘What will we do when Turkey opens the border gates?’ Look, if you go further, those border gates will be opened. You should know that,” he added.