Europe responsible for refugees drowning in the sea – Erdogan

2015-07-31 14:33
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AP)

Recep Tayyip Erdogan (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jakarta - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Europe on Friday of not doing enough to help refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq, suggesting it was responsible for people "drowning in the sea".

Turkey, which has taken in some 1.8 million Syrian refugees since the conflict started in 2011, has repeatedly said that it has been left to shoulder a disproportionate burden as Western states stand by.

Erdogan has championed an "open-door" policy toward Syrian refugees, despite their increasing presence in major Turkish cities stoking tensions with locals.

The president complained again Friday that Turkey had "welcomed" two million refugees from war-torn Syria and Iraq while Europe had struggled to accept a tenth of that number.

"This is the type of country that we are," Erdogan, through a translator, told an audience at a military think tank in Jakarta at the start of a two-day visit to Indonesia.

"But when you look at the whole of Europe, what you find is that they have not been able to welcome a mere 200,000 refugees in their countries.

"What's more, when there are those who tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea to get into Europe, the attitude they have or the groundwork they lay is such that these people end up drowning in the sea," he added.

The outspoken president has not been alone in criticising the West on refugees, with the UN's refugee chief urging countries to follow Turkey's lead and open up their borders.

Erdogan said this week the formation of a safe zone inside war-torn Syria, free from the Islamic State group, would help 1.7 million refugees return home.

Read more on:    recep tayyip erdogan  |  turkey  |  migrants

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.