A Member of the European Parliament revealed that Turkish challenges in the Aegean is not only tolerated by some in the European Union, but actually funded by the European Corvette, ProtoThema reported.
Unbelievable revelations in Brussels about the Turkish challenges in the Aegean, which are proving to be not only tolerated by some in the European Union, but indirectly funded by upgrading Turkish patrol boats.
Responding to a question from Greek MEP Nikos Androulakis, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, confirmed that a 2019 EU-funded program saw the purchase of four Turkish Coast Guard boats, despite Turkey's challenges against Greece on a nearly daily basis in the Aegean Sea.
The Hungarian Commissioner replied that these purchases were made in the framework of the EU-Turkey Joint Declaration on the Refugee Crisis. As the Commission characteristically points out, the Commission "provides support to Turkey to ensure proper border management - with the aim of securing and protecting refugees, the local population and, ultimately, Turks and European citizens."
A ridiculous statement to make considering only days ago Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the borders are open for illegal immigrants to enter Greece, as reported by Greek City Times. Turkey has no interest in ensuring "proper border management," Várhelyi claims.
He confirmed that in addition to the four vessels, the Commission has co-financed "flying border surveillance equipment and surveillance radars and thermal cameras" noting that "most of this equipment has already delivered."
Regarding the Commission's control over the use of these means, the Commissioner stated that the EU Delegation to Ankara is in frequent contact with the stakeholders and assures that "the Commission will continue to monitor the situation to ensure all the commitments."
On the occasion of the Commission's response, MEP Nikos Androulakis made the following statement:
"While it is unacceptable for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to use refugees and migrants as a means to blackmail Europe, the Commission should continue to fund the purchase of mediums by the Turkish Armed Forces and security forces. Especially after the events in Evros, where the entire European leadership visited the Greek border and saw the magnitude of the threat to European security from Turkish moves, the Hungarian Commissioner cannot be indifferent and continue such programs normally. Turkey must stop receiving money from the Pre-Accession Assistance Fund, especially for projects related to the purchase of equipment for the Turkish security forces. Immediate explanations are needed from the European Commission for this policy."