In an op-ed he wrote for the Financial Times, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the block's "inaction on Syrian refugees is a stain on human conscience.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a joint news conference, January 13, 2020.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks during a joint news conference, January 13, 2020. (Reuters)

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said the European Union would no longer stand as a beacon for human rights and international law if it continues to stand by Greece's side as the country continues its harsh treatment of asylum seekers at its border and refuse the share the burden of the refugee crisis.

In an article he wrote for the Financial Times, Cavusoglu said Turkey has long called for the EU to address the conflict in Syria where millions are being displaced. He also pointed out to the rising extremism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the block.

EU and the UK have abandoned its commitments of the 2016 refugee deal and chose to be complacent with such conflicts despite Turkey's offer for help in resolving them, he said, adding that "if we cannot prevent these calamities at source, everyone will suffer." 

Turkey, which hosts 3.6 million Syrians in its border and helps 5.5 million inside Syria cannot continue to protect the borders of NATO and Europe alone, he wrote, pointing out to the ongoing Syrian conflict that leads to a continued outpour into the country. 

That’s why Turkey declared last month that it could not absorb any more refugees and it will no longer stop those in the country from leaving, he said.

Last month, Turkey opened its borders for asylum seekers seeking a way to Europe, accusing the EU of failing to keep promises under a 2016 migrant deal.

"What followed is a disgrace to the EU and a stain on human conscience," Cavusoglu said, adding the EU and its parliamentarians did little more than watch on as Greek forces sprayed tear gas and fired on people at their border. 

An estimated 2,000 migrants are still camped out on the Greek-Turkish border in order to cross into Europe to seek asylum. 

Greek security forces have left at least four people dead as they used disproportionate force on asylum seekers, with tear gas, pressurised water and live ammunition.

Source: TRT World