Turkiye

Top Turkish diplomat slams Greek counterpart's remarks

Mevlut Cavusoglu blames counterpart for 'spreading fake news'; urges Greece to treat asylum seekers as human beings

Jeyhun Aliyev   | 05.03.2020
Top Turkish diplomat slams Greek counterpart's remarks

ANKARA

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday slammed his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias for claims that asylum seekers are "being used to achieve the political objectives."

"@NikosDendias do you think it is acceptable to throw tear gas bombs at innocent refugees? Is it acceptable to shoot and kill them? Instead of spreading fake news about us #Greece should treat refugees as human beings, just like #Turkey. #GreeceAttacksRefugees," Cavusoglu said on Twitter.

Turkey announced last week it would no longer try to stop asylum seekers from reaching Europe.

Thousands of asylum seekers have since flocked to Edirne, along the borders with Greece and Bulgaria, to make their way to Europe.

The Greek reaction to refugees has been harsh, with many battered, attacked, tear-gassed and several killed by Greek forces.

Turkey's decision to open the border came after 34 Turkish soldiers were martyred by Assad regime forces in Idlib, northwestern Syria last week. The Turkish soldiers were stationed there to protect local civilians under a 2018 deal with Russia under which acts of aggression are prohibited in the region.

Turkey, which already hosts nearly 4 million Syrian migrants, more than any country in the world, says it cannot absorb another refugee wave.

Ankara has repeatedly complained that Europe has failed to keep its promises under the 2016 EU-Turkey refugee deal to help migrants and stem further migrant waves.

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