ANKARA – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has opened his country’s borders to let refugees and migrants get out, blasted Greece for suspending asylum applications for scores of those of people penned up in detention centers and camps.
With his country having one of the worst human rights records in the world and jailing journalists by the dozens, he called on Greece to comply with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations he doesn’t technically recognize.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the temporary suspension, invoking an emergency clause of the European Union’s treaty “to ensure full European support.” He said Greece is guarding the EU borders too by sending army units and riot police to the area along the Evros River to keep out thousands more refugees and migrants.
“We call on, notably, Greece and all EU countries to respectfully treat the refugees, which came to their territories, in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Erdogan was quoted by Turkish media as telling a meeting of his party’s parliamentary group.
The reports said he showed a photo allegedly depicting Greek refugees that fled the Nazi occupation to Syria during World War II. “One of the Greek boys or girls in this photo is maybe the grandfather or grandmother of Mitsotakis,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.
“Do not forget that one day (Greeks) may find themselves in a situation where they will have to seek compassion,” he reportedly said as his country has also stepped up other provocations with Greece.
That has included repeated violations of Greek airspace and waters by Turkish fighter jets and warships and making a deal with Libya dividing the seas between them, Erdogan saying he would send energy ships to drill off Crete and also claiming waters near Rhodes.