Turkey on Monday accused Austria of violating human rights after Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in an interview with Kathimerini that Ankara blackmails the European Union with asylum seekers.
“This country, which closes its borders first and foremost to the asylum seekers and even proposes to build a wall to the border, violates the common values of the EU and humanity, the basic human rights treaties and the 1951 Geneva Convention,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement Monday.
“Austria's attitude towards asylum seekers,” he said, “is no different from that of Greece,” for which the UN Refugee Agency expressed concern over alleged multiple reports of pushbacks by Greek authorities at the country's sea and land borders, possibly returning migrants and asylum seekers to Turkey, he added.
Speaking to Kathimerini, Kurz said, “we must not allow Turkey to blackmail us! We cannot allow Turkey to use migrants to blackmail the EU, as it has repeatedly tried. This is precisely the reason we sent aid to Evros last March.”