Amid continuing tensions at the Greek-Turkish land border over a fresh migration crisis, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday added fuel to the fire, saying that he did not want to meet with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and telling German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the migration deal between Turkey and the European Union needs to be revised.
Speaking on a return flight from Moscow, Erdogan said of Mitsotakis, “I don’t want to be in the same place or in the same photograph as him.” Erdogan claimed that Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov tried to convince him to arrange a trilateral summit, but he refused, accusing the Greek government of “chasing” refugees.
On Friday Erdogan reiterated accusations of Greek border guards ostensibly shooting migrants at the border and also accused the Greek coast guard of “sinking boats.”
The Greek government has repeatedly rebuffed claims by Erdogan and other Turkish officials as fake news aimed at furthering Turkey’s propaganda.
Faced with increasing Turkish aggression, and as part of Greek efforts to drum up international support, Mitsotakis is to meet with Merkel in Berlin on Monday. He is expected to focus on the common European asylum policy currently in the making and press for a fairer distribution of the burden across EU member states.