Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Zeman says Erdogan's words show Turkey has no place in EU

ČTK |
23 March 2017

Prostejov, South Moravia, March 22 (CTK) - With his rhetoric about the EU, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shows that Turkey should not be in the EU, Czech President Milos Zeman said on Wednesday.

Erdogan is trying to blackmail the EU with the threats that he will let refugees in the EU, but he does not have any other card in his hands, Zeman said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Erdogan said "that Europeans across the world would not be able to walk safely on the streets if they kept up their current attitude."

He said on Tuesday that Europe was as fascist and cruel as before World War Two.

Erdogan is criticising the EU in connection with German and Dutch authorities having banned Turkish ministers from campaigning in the two countries before the Turkish referendum on increased presidential powers.

Zeman said he saw recently a cartoon in which the whole of Europe was covered by the captions saying "here are Nazis."

When it comes to its content, this is nonsense, but the cartoon well describes Erdogan's approach, Zeman said.

"I think that this kind of communication is rather unfortunate, confirming the truthfulness of my view that Turkey should not be in the EU," Zeman said.

"Though perhaps cynical, my view is based on Erdogan having a single card in his hard with which he can play towards the EU," he added.

"The card is called three million migrants and the opening of the Balkan route with all the possible consequences," Zeman said.

"However, as soon as he lets the card from his hand, he will have nothing to play with," he added.

"He will be unable to blackmail the EU either with financial claims or the visa-free contact," Zeman said.

At present, there are roughly three million refugees from the war in Syria in Turkey.

Last year, the EU agreed with Turkey on returning the refugees from Greek islands back to Turkey and on sponsoring the refugee camps in Turkey.

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