Turkey calls on EU to be sensitive toward migrant burden-sharing

Turkey calls on EU to be sensitive toward migrant burden-sharing

Turkey calls on EU to be sensitive toward migrant burden-sharing

The refugee problem should not be seen solely as a matter Turkey has to resolve, the defense minister has said, calling on the European Union to display sensitivity in sharing the migrant burden.

“We expect everyone, especially the EU, to take responsibility for this issue. We tried our best, and we continue to do so. We have made and are making all kinds of sacrifices, financial and moral,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said during an inspection on the Turkish-Greek border on Aug. 29. He was accompanied by Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler and other top commanders.

Turkey is hosting nearly 5 million refugees of which 3.6 million are Syrians and is now concerned about a new refugee influx from Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover of the control in the war-torn country.

Akar asked the neighboring countries and the EU to show sensitivity in handling the situation, stressing that the problem should not be seen as only Turkey’s issue. Slamming the Greek policies concerning the refugees, the minister described the push back of migrants by the Greek naval guards as unacceptable.

“While we are making great sacrifices to ensure the safety and humanitarian needs of 5 million refugees in northern Syria and 4 million in our country, it is not really possible to accept the inhumane measures taken by Greece against the arrival of 3-5 people,” Akar said.

“This is against the law and humanity,” he stressed, calling on Greece to review the measures it took against the migrants.

HH Expansionist policies of Greece

Turkey is seeking to resolve its differences with Greece over Aegean through peaceful means and dialogue but is becoming a subject of constant provocations and aggressive acts and rhetoric by Greek politicians, Akar said.

“They are acting as if they are the sole owner of Aegean and arming all the islands,” the minister said, repeating that Greek demands were far from reality and sincerity.

“There are Lausanne and Paris treaties which stipulate certain things. Some islands should not be armed; they should be disarmed. Although these are openly cited in these treaties, our Greek neighbors are doing all the efforts to violate them and destabilize [the situation],” he stated.

Greek ambitious policy that aims to decrease the size of international waters from 48 percent to 20 percent and claim more than 70 percent of the Aegean Sea is greedy and very dangerous, Akar warned.

“History has shown that they can’t achieve anything this way. They should better see this. We want them to know that we will never allow them to violate our rights,” the minister added.

Akar also urged Greece to quit efforts to turn the bilateral problems into a Turkey-EU and Turkey-U.S. matter. “This is wrong. We want them to correct this wrongful move. Greece should see that it cannot achieve anything through these expansionist policies and provocative moves,” Akar said, calling on Greek politicians to stop running after empty dreams.