As tension between Turkey and European countries continues over bans on Turkish ministers waging referendum campaigns on the continent, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu threatened the European Union, saying it would be shocked if Ankara were to send 15,000 refugees to it every month, Cumhuriyet reported on Thursday.
“If you want [them] so badly, there is a readmission agreement. If you want, every month we can allow 15,000 refugees who we have in Turkey [to go to the EU]. See how shocked you would be,” said Soylu during a campaign rally in Ankara for the April referendum, claiming that European countries which were behind the Gezi Park protests, the Dec. 17 and 25 corruption investigations, the events of Oct. 6 and 7 and the July 15 coup attempt are now directly taking action to prevent constitutional amendments being passed by the people in order to prevent Turkey from becoming stronger.
In a related statement on Thursday, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey is planning to re-evaluate a refugee deal that was signed with the European Union last year and may cancel a readmission agreement that allows irregular migrants in Greece to be returned to Turkey in exchange for Syrian refugees hosted in Anatolia.
Speaking during an interview with Kanal 24 on Wednesday, Çavuşoğlu said: “We may cancel the readmission agreement. The EU has been wasting our time on the visa liberalization issue. We are not applying the readmission agreement at the moment, and we are evaluating the refugee deal,” Reuters reported.