Turkish President threatens to open migrant gates

  • 25/11/2016
Tayyip Erdogan (Retuers)
Tayyip Erdogan (Retuers)

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has warned the European Union that if it continues threatening his country he will open the border gates and allow hundreds-of-thousands of migrants to flood into EU countries.

In a speech on Friday, Mr reacted furiously to a non-binding resolution approved the previous day by the European Parliament demanding that the bloc freeze membership negotiations with Turkey over the government's heavy-handed crackdown following a failed coup in July.

"We are the ones who feed 3-3.5 million refugees in this country. You have betrayed your promises," Mr Erdogan told the EU.

"If you go any further, these border gates will be opened. Neither me nor my people will be affected by these dry threats. It wouldn't matter if all of you approved the [European parliament] vote."

Mr Erdogan's threat comes after his prime minister, Binali Yildirim, made a similar warning on Thursday, adding: "I accept that cutting off ties with Europe would harm Turkey, but it would damage Europe 5-to-6 times more."

The EU struck a deal earlier this year to return migrants to Turkey in return for a package including aid for the refugees and accelerated membership talks.