Iran accuses Turkish gov’t of abusing humanitarian issues for politics

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Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Ghasemi has slammed recent remarks by a Turkish government official suggesting that 3 million refugees are getting ready to enter Turkey illegally from Iran as he accused the Turkish government of abusing humanitarian issues for politics.

“Unfortunately, the meddling, trouble-making and baseless remarks by Turkish officials about their neighboring countries continues, and they try to justify their interfering and expansionist policies by blaming others and repeating their fictitious claims,” Ghasemi said on Sunday.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak claimed earlier on Sunday on a live TV show that 3 million mostly Afghan refugees are getting ready to enter Turkey from Iran illegally.

“Based on our intelligence, there are 3 million mostly Afghan refugees in Iran who are moving towards Turkey,” Kaynak said, adding that in 2016 alone 30,000 refugees made it to Turkey through the eastern provinces of Ağrı and Iğdır.

Ghasemi described the minister’s claims as “very strange” and advised Turkish officials to “learn lessons from Iranians, who have given a home to millions of foreign refuges for more than three decades and have never abused humane and humanitarian affairs to reach political purposes plotted against any country. It’s been more than 30 years that Iran has been hosting millions of refugees from neighboring countries.”

In the meantime, Deputy Prime Minister Kaynak on Monday claimed his remarks about possible a refugee flow to Turkey from Iran had been mistranslated and taken out of context.

“I think my words were mistranslated [into Farsi], and they were taken out of context. I did not say 3 million refugees would come from Iran, I said there was such a potential and that it [the refugee flow] was successfully prevented by us.”

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