TOUGH TALK

Turkey’s Erdogan Threatens to Unleash Migrants on EU

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to open the country’s border gates and unleash migrants on Europe if the EU continues to pressure Ankara. “If you go any further, these border gates will be opened,” he said at a press conference in Istanbul on Friday. “Neither me nor my people will be affected by these dry threats. It wouldn’t matter if all of you approved the [European Parliament] vote,” he said, referring to the European Parliament’s vote on Turkey’s EU membership. In March, the EU and Turkey reached an agreement whereby the EU would provide billions of euros and visa-free travel in exchange for Turkey sheltering migrants trying to reach Europe. Now, however, as the EU ramps up criticism of Ankara over the government’s crackdown following a failed coup, Erdogan has accused EU leadership of “betraying” its promises. “We are the ones who feed 3-3.5 million refugees in this country,” Erdogan said. Erdogan’s threat comes after the European Parliament voted to freeze talks over Turkey’s accession to the 28-nation bloc, negotiations that have been going on for 11 years now.