Erdoğan refuses to meet with Greek PM after refugees die
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has refused to attend a meeting with the Greek prime minister in Sofia on March 6 upon the initiative of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov after reports that the Greek police killed two Syrian refugees on the Turkish-Greek border.
Borisov on March 2 said that he suggested to host a trilateral summit in Sofia with the participation of Turkey and Greece, yet President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan turned down his offer after Greek police killed two refugees on the border.
Erdoğan and Borisov met on March 2 with the recent migration crisis on their agenda, as well as bilateral relations and cooperation.
Speaking at a joint news conference, Borisov said that no one is able to see “the huge humanitarian crisis at the door” and called on the EU to abide by the deals.
“I cannot understand why Turkey is not given resources [for the care of migrants]. One of the main principles of the EU is sharing the burden,” he said.
In the meantime, Erdoğan once again criticized the EU, accusing it of not fulfilling its commitments under the 2016 deal for migrants. He said that Turkey’s call for “fair burden and responsibility sharing” was left without a response.
“The EU is applying a double standard today as well. Look, some prominent EU member countries apply such a double standard to say that Turkey is doing wrong, regarding the migrants,” he said.
Underlining that Turkey has spent at least $40 billion for the care of Syrian migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, Erdoğan said that the EU also did not provide any financial help, as it pledged to, for the migrants.
“We do not want this money anymore. Turkey, which spent $40 billion, will find, produce and spend this money. No one has the right to play with Turkey’s honor,” he said.
The president also slammed Greece, saying the fact that Greek police killed two migrants and heavily injured one has “negatively affected this process.”
“They do not have respect for international migration law. Maybe they are saying, ‘Turkey has been taking care of the refugees for the past nine years, maybe it will do so for the next 19 years as well.’ I’m sorry, but there is no such a process right now,” Erdoğan said.
The asylum seekers and migrants have the right and freedom to leave the country they currently reside in and pick their next destination point, Erdoğan said.
“These people are leaving our country on their own will. According to international law, it is not possible for these people to forcibly hold in a country,” he added.
A child died after being pulled from the sea when a boat capsized on March 2 off the Greek island of Lesbos and media have reported that a Syrian man was reportedly shot dead by police on the border.