Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to send millions of “refugees” to Europe unless the Europeans pay him billions of euros—and stop the Russians bombing terrorists in Syria.
Making the threat in a speech in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Thursday, Erdogan said that he had threatened EU leaders at a summit meeting in November that Turkey could easily say “goodbye” to the “refugees” and send them on their way.
“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,” Erdogan said.
Greek news site Euro2Day earlier this week reported that at the G20 summit in Antalya in November, Erdogan had threatened European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker that Turkey could send the refugees to Europe.
The website quoted Erdogan as telling Juncker: “We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and put the refugees on buses.”
In his speech on Thursday, Erdogan said he was “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’.”
Turkey already has around three million “refugees,” and Erdogan said that his country had already spent some $9 billion (€8 billion) on hosting them. Last year, the EU agreed to give Turkey €3 billion, but the funds have yet to be transferred.
The Turkish president also claimed it was “Russian airstrikes” which have “forced Syrians to flee to Turkey”—ignoring the fact that most genuine Syrian refugees had fled long before the Russian strikes started.
Contrary to Erdogan’s assertion, the biggest driver behind the “refugee” influx was the announcement by Angela Merkel that they all could come to Germany, no questions asked.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), by February 7, 2016, another 70,365 invaders had arrived by sea in Greece from Turkey this year, an average of 2,000 a day.
The numbers are still so large that the Greek government is now “considering” sending invaders picked up in the Aegean Sea back to Turkey, a government spokesman told AFP.
The Greeks were, AFP reported, “mulling whether to declare Turkey a ‘safe third country’ which would allow it to return any asylum seekers picked up in the waters.”