Erdoğan slams EU for policy against Turkey
“The end of the European Union will come because of its hypocrisy. When we say ‘we will open the borders,’ they panic. Do not panic. When the time comes, the gates will open. I dare you to host hundreds of thousands [of refugees],” he said.
The president’s remarks came during a speech at a ceremony for district governors in the capital Ankara.
“You call us when 100 people cross to Greece via sea. There are 4 million [Syrian refugees] here, and you stay silent,” Erdoğan said, addressing European countries.
Since the beginning of the Syrian war, Turkey has been in a bid to protect its borders while “receiving the innocents with open arms,” Erdoğan said. The president added that he conveyed his plans, including the planned safe zone, which will yield solutions, at the G20 summit in 2015.
“No one even paid attention to this offer when blood was being shed in streams. Now, when Turkey cleared [the area] of terrorists, these topics come up,” he said.
Erdoğan underlined that active terrorist organizations in Syria directly targeted Turkey.
“Iraq to Syria, in any place there was terror attacks directed at Turkey, we took critical steps,” he said.
Thanks to the “relatively” stable situation Turkey has established in Idlib, with the support of Russia and Iran, millions of people have been saved, the president said.
Erdoğan reiterated that Turkey has no malicious intention toward Syrian territories.
“We do not have a problem with our Kurdish brothers and sisters, neither in Syria nor in Turkey,” he added.
Turkey’s problem is with the terrorist organizations, he said, adding that some circles in the West have been “distorting” the topic by bringing up the Kurds in the issue.
“When you say this, without giving the name for the terrorist organizations, you categorize our Kurdish brothers and sisters as terrorists,” he said.
“This is wrong, we need to find a solution to this,” he added.
Turkey approached the military path as the “last resort,” he said.
Erdoğan also conveyed that Turkey informed the United States, Russia, Iran and the United Nations before every step it took.
“They were reportedly very disturbed that we informed them rather than asking for permission. We do not need permission from anyone,” he said.
Turkey’s approach still same on the voluntary return of Syrian refugees
The president also underlined that Turkey is still determined to provide the safe and voluntary return of nearly 2 million Syrian refugees to the secured regions.
“But we know that the real solution passes through the formation of the new constitution, with the participation of all involving parties,” he said.
Protecting the territorial integrity of Syria can only be accomplished via the constitution, he added.
“No one can deny our sincerity regarding this,” Erdoğan said.
“We will expose anyone who will try to sabotage the process by using the regime of the terrorist organization to the world,” he added.
Turkey is the one paying the “highest price,” he said.