Site icon Turkish Minute

Turkey warns EU over fears of Afghan refugee wave

Afghan migrants rest while waiting for transport by smugglers after crossing the Iran-Turkish border on August 15, 2021 in Tatvan, on the western shores of Lake Van, eastern Turkey. - The latest chaos in Afghanistan sparked by the recent gains of territory by the Taliban including the takeover of the capital Kabul has raised fresh alarm over an influx of migrants into Turkey through the Iranian border. Turkey, which shares a 534 kilometre (331 miles) border with Iran, has beefed up its frontier and started building a 243 kilometre wall in a bid to prevent any passage of illegal migrants.  (Photo by Ozan KOSE / AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday told the European Union to stick to past deals on migrants and refugees and aid neighboring countries as fears of a new exodus from Afghanistan mount, Agence France-Presse reported.

Rising numbers of Afghan migrants could present “a serious challenge for everyone”, Erdoğan said in a phone conversation with Kyriakos Mitsotakis, prime minister of neighboring Greece.

Athens has already said it may send Afghans arriving on its shores back to Turkey, which it regards as a “safe” country for migrants.

Referring to a 2016 deal under which “irregular” migrants landing in the EU can be sent back to Turkey in exchange for aid, Erdoğan urged his neighbors to “sincerely live up to their commitments”.

Ankara has repeatedly accused EU capitals of failing to hold up their end of the bargain.

Now that it fears increased Afghan arrivals, Brussels should aid neighboring countries such as Iran to deal with any new mass movements of people, Erdogan said.

“A new wave of migration is inevitable if the necessary measures are not taken in Afghanistan and in Iran,” he told Mitsotakis.

Turkey had already spoken to Iran and was toughening up border security, Erdoğan added.

The Greek government said in a statement that “the two leaders discussed the necessity of supporting (Afghanistan’s) immediate neighbors so Afghans stay as close to home as possible”.

Faced with the dramatic Taliban takeover in Kabul, a number of European leaders have called for moves to prevent a repeat of the large numbers of people seeking refuge from Middle East conflicts who reached the EU via Turkey in 2015.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Exit mobile version