Turkey Threatens to Flood Europe with Millions of Migrants
Turkish President Recep Erdogan issues threat over criticisms of Syria invasion
Turkey's leader has threatened to flood Europe with millions of migrants following criticisms from other European countries about the Turkish invasion of Syria.
Turkish President Recep Erdogan issued a threat to send all 3.6 million migrants living in Turkey into any European countries that refer to the Turkish invasion of Syria as an “occupation.”
This is the second time Erdogan has threatened to weaponize Turkey's migrant population after making a similar threat last month.
Erdogan renewed his threats during a speech to lawmakers from his AK Party on Thursday.
“We will open the gates and send 3.6 million refugees your way,” Erdogan warned, according to the Reuters.
Erdogan’s words come in response to a statement released by the European Union this week which called on “Turkey to put an end to unilateral military action” in northeastern Syria.
Aside from the calls to end military action, Erdogan was also likely angered by the EU’s harsh criticism of Turkish plans to create a so-called migrant "safe zone" in the territory that the Turks plan to take.
The bloc has repeatedly said that forcibly resettling refugees and migrants wouldn’t “satisfy international criteria for refugee return as laid down by UNHCR.”
The EU is also voicing concerns that Turkey, the EU's largest Mulsim-majority country, may seek to ensure that no more Kurds live in the area near its border with northeastern Syria.
“Any attempt at demographic change would be unacceptable,” the statement added.
"The EU will not provide stabilization or development assistance in areas where the rights of the local population are being ignored"
International criticism over the Turkish invasion has extended outside of EU member states.
Aside from European countries, others like India, Egypt, Israel, UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia have also issued condemnations of the Turkish invasion.
This isn’t the first time the Erdogan has threatened to flood Europe with millions upon millions of migrants.
Last month, Erdogan threatened to “open the gates” to allow Syrian migrants to leave Turkey for European countries unless a “safe zone” inside war-torn Syria is established very soon.
Weeks before, Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said, “We are facing the biggest wave of migration in history.
"If we open the floodgates, no European government will be able to survive for more than six months.
"We advise them not to try our patience.”