For a second day, an alleged American member of the Islamic State has been stranded on the border between Greece and Turkey after Ankara tried to send him to Greece, who refused him entry.
This is “not our problem”, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said, warning Greece and all European nations on Tuesday that Turkey could release all the Islamic State group prisoners it holds and send them to Europe, in response to EU sanctions over Cyprus.
The stranded man, named by the Turkish news agency Demiroren as Muhammed Darwis B, is reported to be an American citizen of Jordanian descent. He was deported on Monday as part of Turkey’s controversial new policy to deport foreign ISIS members in its custody.
A Turkish official told AFP that he had refused to be returned to the US and instead asked to be sent to Greece. Athens made a statement that he was refused entry when he tried to cross the border and enter the Greek town of Kastanies.
On Tuesday, Erdogan said, “Whether the deported Isis fighters are stuck there at the border it doesn’t concern us. We will continue to send them. Whether they take them or not, it is not our concern.”
“You should revise your stance towards Turkey, which at the moment holds so many Isis members in prison and at the same time controls those in Syria.”
He added, “These gates will open and these IS members who have started to be sent to you will continue to be sent. Then you can take care of your own problem.”