European Commission should launch an investigation into human rights violations at Greek border, says Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy.

Refugees in no man's land between Greece and Turkey near Edirne show marks on their backs which they report sustaining in beatings by Greek border officials. March 4-5, 2020.
Refugees in no man's land between Greece and Turkey near Edirne show marks on their backs which they report sustaining in beatings by Greek border officials. March 4-5, 2020. (Belal Khaled / TRT ARABI)

Turkey on Wednesday slammed a statement by Margaritis Schinas, European Commission Vice President for 'Promoting the European Way of Life', about the country and migration, saying it was more like the political discourses of members of the Greek government than of a European Union official.

In a statement, foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the commission, which should be the protector of the founding agreements of the European Union, has not launched a serious investigation into violations right at the European Union's borders.

Aksoy said Schinas must first investigate the violations committed by Greek officials, such as the homicide of Pakistani Muhammad Gulzar, the push-back incidents that continue under the eyes of the EU agencies in the Aegean Sea and Evros River.

He said the EU official must also probe the rejection of asylum applications of refugees and migrants, national practices contrary to international treaties and the EU asylum directive, and violence against human rights defenders.

Fair share of burdens 

Aksoy stressed that Turkey is not the EU’s refugee camp or border guardian.

"Our country, which suffers from the irregular migration phenomenon, only wants the fair sharing of burdens and responsibilities," he said.

Aksoy said protection of the EU's external borders by ignoring human rights and the rights of asylum seekers will mean denying the founding agreements of the EU.

Seeing the external borders of Europe as only including Greece means historical and geographical facts are not understood, he added.

Turkey rescues 24 asylum seekers

Meanwhile, the Turkish Coast Guard rescued 24 asylum seekers early on Thursday who were adrift on a boat in the Aegean Sea.

The asylum seekers were on board a rubber boat that was forced into Turkish territorial waters by the Greek Coast Guard.

The asylum seekers, including women and children, were rescued off the coast of Seferihisar in Izmir province.

Turkey has been one of the main routes for asylum seekers wanting to reach Europe, especially since Syria's civil war started in 2011.

Turkey hosts nearly four million Syrians refugees, more than any other country in the world.

Source: AA