Ankara rejects EU claim of increasing migration from Turkey to Greece


Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu has refuted recent claims by EU officials that there has been an increasing migrant flow from Turkey to Greece, the country’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported Wednesday.

The Greek government recently announced emergency measures to tackle the arrival of “huge waves of refugees” on its islands, who it claimed to have come from Turkey. The EU has voiced “deep concern” over recent developments.

During a joint news conference ahead of a bilateral meeting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, Soylu said a total of 30,842 migrants crossed to Greece during an eight-month period last year, while the figures were 29,025 for the same period in 2019, representing a decline of 6 percent.

“We regret the recent statement from the EU,” Soylu said. “If the EU was concerned about Turkey as much as Greece, we would solve issues and problems better,” he said.

Turkey, the biggest host country of refugees worldwide, is home to over 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees, according to the UNHCR. [Xinhua]