Turkish President Erdogan repeats threats of letting in refugees to EU in Reuters interview

15 September 2019
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Turkey will be forced to let Syrian refugees on its territory flee to Europe if the West does not offer more assistance to the country and support in its plan to create a safe haven for refugees, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Reuters in an interview, doubling down on his threats against Europe.

“If you cannot accept this plan, then we will open the gates. We will let them go where they want,” the Turkish president said.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that “at any given moment anything can happen”, answering a question about whether there is a potential for energy cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean with Western countries, while accusing the Greek Cypriot side of not recognising its rights and law and that it threatened international peace.”

Commenting on the Cyprus issue he said that there are three guarantor powers, Turkey, Greece and Britain. And the EU looks like a guest guarantor, too.

“Many current leaders did not participate in the processes that I participated in. What is that; The meeting in Buergenstock. Who did we do it with? With Kofi Annan. We met with him in Buergenstock. Then we sat down with the Greek Prime Minister (Kostas Karamanlis) as a guarantor force and we as the guarantor force and talked. So did Verheugen who represented the EU. We had these meetings. First they wanted to leave the table then Kofi Annan told them ‘I gave my word before this job is over we can’t get up’, he noted.

“Then they had to sign. So what; We went to the referendums and the northern Cyprus side voted yes with 65%. Southern Cyprus said no to 75%. Although it said no, the EU accepted Cyprus but did not accept northern Cyprus. Do you see how far this issue goes back to,” the Turkish president said.

Tayyip Erdogan said that “the approach has been unfair since then. An approach that does not recognise rights and law, threatening world peace.”

“There are areas around Cyprus that have been designated where Turkey can do research, and there are also areas where southern Cyprus can do research. But what does international law say about this? “Whatever product comes out of here, whether it’s fish or oil, the populations share in equally,” he said.

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