AFP reports: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened to send the millions of refugees in Turkey to EU member states, as Nato agreed to deploy ships to the Aegean Sea to ease the migrant crisis.
In a speech in Ankara on Thursday, Erdoğan stepped up his denunciations of western policy in the refugee crisis, confirming he had threatened EU leaders at a summit meeting in November that Turkey could say “goodbye” to the refugees.
But in a separate move, Nato agreed to send a naval group “without delay” to the Aegean to crack down on the people smugglers who have helped hundreds of thousands of migrants cross to EU territory in the last year.
Alarm is growing in EU capitals that thousands of refugees are still crossing the Aegean daily from Turkey after over a million made the perilous journey last year.
But Turkey, already home to some 3 million refugees, is also under EU and UN pressure to take in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing regime advances in the Aleppo region.
Erdoğan sought to turn the tables on the EU by saying Turkey had every right to send the refugees out of the country if it so wished. [Continue reading…]