Calling the West’s contribution to the refugee crisis “shameful”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told his parliament in an angry address that he was prepared to “open the gates” and allow hundreds of thousands of refugees currently on its soil to enter Europe.
In a combative, sometimes insulting speech, he lambasted European Union leaders for not delivering on promises to send €3 billion that was promised to his country and said that the Turkish government was being taken for “idiots” by Brussels and insisted he was “proud” of leaked minutes of a high-level meeting with EU leaders last November, in which he had threatened to flood Europe with refugees.
“We do not have the word ‘idiot’ written on our foreheads. We will be patient but we will do what we have to. Don’t think that the planes and the buses are there for nothing,” Erdoğan said.
“I am proud of what I said. We have defended the rights of Turkey and the refugees. And we told them [the Europeans]: ‘Sorry, we will open the doors and say goodbye to the migrants’,” Erdoğan said in his speech on Thursday.
Meanwhile, with tens of thousands of refugees amassed on Turkey’s border with Syria stemming from the bombing of Aleppo, Erdogan criticized the United Nations for its suggestion that Turkey should open the border.
“Shame on you! Shame on you!” said Erdoğan to the United Nations for implying it should open its border and take in more refugees. “It is hypocritical to remind Turkey of its international responsibilities,” Erdogan said, rebuffing criticism from the UN.