Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan threatened in November to send buses full of refugees to Greece if European Union leaders did not offer Turkey a better deal to help manage the Middle East refugee crisis, the Greek-based online news portal euro2day.gr said on Monday.
The greek website published a statement supposed to be part of what it was said during the meeting joined by Erdogan, President of the European Council Donald Tusk and European Commission Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker placed in Antalya last 16 November.
The transcript reveals that Erdogan asked for €3 billion per year for assistance in resolving the migrants issue instead of €3 billion in two years, amount proposed by the European Union.
Such proposal was denied by Erdogan saying that Turkey did not need EU’s fund anyway.
“We [Turkey] can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria any time, and we can put the refugees on buses,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying.
“We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses (…) So how will you deal with refugees if you don’t get a deal? Kill the refugees?”, Turkish President seems to have said.
Following the confidential document, a member of the European Parliament from the Greek centrist party To Potami Miltos Kyros asked the European Commission to confirm the talks, Reuters agency reported.
“If the relevant dialogues between the EU officials and the Turkish President are true, it seems that there are aspects of the deal between Ankara and the EU which were concealed on purpose,” Miltos Kyrkos said in the question he submitted to the Commission.
Then, he added: “We want immediately an answer on whether these revelations are true and where the Commission’s legitimacy to negotiate, using Turkey’s accession course as a trump card, is coming from.”
That remains to be seen. EU’s top officials declined to confirm or deny the authenticity of the document, and Erdogan’s office in Ankara had no comment.