Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the Greek authorities to let in migrants gathered at the border of the two countries. They will not stay in Greece, but will go to other European countries, the Turkish leader said in Istanbul on Sunday, March 8.
Erdogan expressed bewilderment at the concern of the Greek authorities. “Open the gate, that’s all,” he added. At the same time, the Turkish President a day earlier ordered the coast guard to stop attempts by refugees and migrants to cross the Aegean Sea to reach the Greek Islands and thus enter the EU.
In addition, Ankara accused the Greek security forces of illegally expelling migrants who managed to enter the territory of the Republic. Athens also claims to take measures to protect the external borders of the European Union from the flow of illegal immigrants.
Erdogan said on February 29 that the Turkish authorities have opened borders for refugees from Syria to the EU. Since then, thousands of migrants have been trying to enter the European Union. This led to clashes with the Greek police. According to the UN, Turkey has accepted about 3.6 million refugees from Syria.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in light of Erdogan’s remarks, announced the death of the agreement on refugees between the EU and Turkey, concluded in 2016. In turn, the Turkish leader believes that the EU does not fulfill its obligations under the agreements. By them, Brussels pledged to allocate 6 billion euros to Ankara to help refugees. In response, Turkey promised to stop migrants from illegally crossing the border with the EU.
Erdogan will meet with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel in Brussels on March 9. The parties will discuss migration issues and the situation in Northern Syria.