Erdogan threatens Europe with refugee flood again over Syria ‘safe zone’


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated threats on Saturday to “open the gates” to Europe to millions of refugees if European countries did not support his plans to clear Kurdish YPG soldiers from a part of the Turkish-Syrian border.

Erdogan says it will go ahead with its plan to create a “safe zone” in northeastern Syria where he could resettle refugees currently residing in Turkey if Russia does not implement its side of a deal made last week between Moscow and Ankara.

Turkey hosts an estimated 3.6 million refugees and wants to send over half back to Syria, despite protests from human rights group saying they would be forcibly returned to war.

Erdogan earlier this month threatened Europe that he would send all 3.6 million “your way” in response to criticism for his military operation in Syria, a threat that has also been made by other high-ranking Turkish officials.