Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday accused Greece of breaching its obligations deriving from international and European law, while calling for the support of the European Union for dealing with the conflict in Syria and the refugee issue.
“Greece, a member of the European Union, has suspended international and EU law,” Cavusoglu told Germany’s Bild newspaper while claiming that Greek forces were “shooting at refugees” moving toward the EU border.
Greece has suspended asylum applications for a month saying it was invoking an emergency EU clause to do so.
“[Greece] is treating [asylum-seekers] in an inhumane manner, sinking their boats attacking them with tear gas,” Cavusolu told Bild, reiterating Ankara’s claim that Greek forces have killed three people near the border. Athens denies the claim.
Cavusoglu rejected as “undignified” accusations that Ankara has been using migrants as a pawn to blackmail the EU, telling Bild that “our country can no longer alone shoulder the burden it has undertaken.”
He also demanded EU help for Turkey’s mission in Syria.
“Together we must prevent Assad’s military solution and revitalize the political process. We must all work to ensure that the Syrians are able to return and settle in areas liberated by terrorists by Turkey,” he said.
The Turkish minister claimed that the EU had only disbursed half of the 6 billion euros promised to Turkey adding that Turkey had so far paid at least 40 billion dollars to house refugees.