Both EU, Greece responsible for refugee pushback in Aegean: Turkish FM
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on May 5 acknowledged European Parliament’s decision to reject Frontex’s spending and blamed both Greece and the European Union over pushbacks against the asylum seekers.
“We were also asked for additional information and documents on this subject. The EP launched an investigation. The EP did not approve Fronex’s 2022 budget yesterday, on May 4. Some of this budget was used to push migrants back,” Çavuşoğlu said, speaking at a joint press conference with Liberian Foreign Minister Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah.
“Frontex participated in inhumane practices. Failure to approve the budget does not acquit Frontex. Deaths occurred after these pushbacks,” the minister added.
There were also deaths in the sea because the boats were skewered in the middle of the sea, he said, adding that Greece is also responsible for these incidents.
“Greece is also responsible for the deaths. Since the incidents occurred in front of their eyes, Frontex, and therefore, the EU is also responsible. Those responsible must be held accountable,” he stated.
Çavuşoğlu was elaborating on the resignation of the head of the EU border agency Frontex after being investigated by the union’s anti-fraud agency. Fabrice Leggeri was criticized by the EP for failure to protect the human rights of people seeking asylum in the EU.
The minister also informed that 40-year-old Erhan Seçkal, who served as the first captain of the ship owned by the U.K.-based company, was found at sea two and a half days after he fell down the ship. The sailor was found by a fisherman off the coast of Bali, he said.