A top government official has reacted angrily to European Union pressure on Turkey to open its doors to tens of thousands of Syrians who have massed at the frontier fleeing a government onslaught.
Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan accused the EU on Monday of giving Turkey lessons in morality and pushing the refugee burden on the country, without taking any responsibility itself.
Akdogan said: "On the one hand they say 'open your borders, take everyone in' on the other hand they say 'close your border don't let anyone through."
"Without even providing money, they say 'taking these people is conscience necessity,'" Akdogan said. "Is it just us that must to act with conscience? … Why don't you take them in?"
He was referring to the 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) the EU has pledged to help Syrian refugees in Turkey.
Numan Kurtulmus, another deputy prime minister, said Sunday that Turkey had reached the end of its capacity to absorb refugees but would continue to accept Syrians escaping the conflict. He says the country is home to 3 million refugees, including 2.5 million Syrians. [AP]