The Guardian reports: Turkey’s president has threatened to tear up a landmark deal to stem the flow of refugees into Europe a day after the European parliament urged governments to freeze EU accession talks with Ankara.
The threat underlines how far relations between Turkey and the European bloc have deteriorated in recent months, particularly after a coup attempt in July.
“You clamoured when 50,000 refugees came to Kapikule, and started wondering what would happen if the border gates were opened,” Erdogan said in a speech on Friday at a women’s rights conference, referring to a Bulgarian border checkpoint where refugees massed last year.
“If you go any further, these border gates will be opened. Neither I nor my people will be affected by these empty threats,” he said. “Do not forget, the west needs Turkey.”
Erdoğan’s statements, the most direct warning yet that Turkey could abandon the agreement, came in response to a symbolic, non-binding vote in the European parliament on Thursday that demanded an end to the decade-long accession negotiations. [Continue reading…]