Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu fired new shots and non-existent accusations against Greece during a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto, who visted Turkey earlier this week.
Çavuşoğlu repeated the latest fake news in Ankara about the death of 19 illegal immigrants in Ipsala, near the Greek-Turkish border in Evros, who – according to Turkish allegations – tried to cross into Greek territory and were then repatriated.
“Greece continues its policy of repulsion in violation of international law and in violation of human rights,” the Turkish Foreign Minister said, adding: “Greece is responsible for the deaths of 19 innocent people who were left in the cold.”
Taking the floor, the Finnish Foreign Minister tried to defend Greece and Italy, which are the first countries hosting refugees.
“I must defend Europe and Frontex and the whole border protection system,” Haavisto said.
“As far as Greece and Italy are concerned, it should be noted that taking into account the number of refugees and immigrants arriving in these countries, they are under great pressure,” Haavisto said.
“We have to carry the burden (of the refugee) together,” he added.
At the same time, the Finnish head of diplomacyemphasised how important it is to work collectively on this issue, before saying “We know how much Turkey has helped the Syrian refugees and what kind of financial burden it has suffered.”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and visiting #Finland counterpart @Haavisto square off in a joint press event before cameras as #Turkey's top diplomat compares Greeks to #Taliban in #Afghanistan, accuses the EU of being silent on rights violations in #Greece. pic.twitter.com/DMCsycHGfL
— Abdullah Bozkurt (@abdbozkurt) February 8, 2022
— Yeni Şafak (@yenisafak) February 8, 2022
Çavuşoğlu’s statements are taking place as the Turkish government continues to allow human smuggling networks on the coasts of Asia Minor and Evros to work undisturbed and without interference.
It is now clear that the Turkish authorities are weaponising illegal immigration flows in order to put pressure on Greece and the EU.
Lately, Turkey has been making an issue of the alleged “repatriation” of illegal immigrants from the Aegean, despite making no effort to prevent them from moving from the Turkish coast to the Greek islands.
Of course, in relation to the dozens of illegal immigrants who try to cross into Greece, and are not prevented by the Turkish authorities, Turkish fugitives are arrested daily by the Army and Coast Guard.
They are arrested on charges of being members of the so-called FETÖ organisation of the self-exiled Imam Fethullah Gülen.
Recently, and reacting to the Turkish fake news, the Greek government spoke of “Turkish propaganda”, with a government spokesman talking about “a comprehensive propaganda plan on the part of Turkey.”