Erdogan: “Turkey could release ISIS militants, send them to Europe”
November 12, 2019
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Europeans that “Turkey could release all the ISIS prisoners and send them to Europe, together with millions of refugees and migrants.” Erdogan’s threats are Turkey’s response to the EU sanctions over Cyprus.
Speaking to reporters before his visit to the United States, Erdogan also said Turkey would continue repatriating foreign ISIS militants to their home countries, even if those countries decline to take them back.
Ankara began deportations of ISIS militants captured during the Syria operation on Monday.
Erdogan’s comments were in response to the European Union’s sanctions against companies and individuals involved in the illegal Turkish drilling in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus in the East Mediterranean Sea.
“You should revise your stance toward Turkey, which holds so many ISIS members in prison and controls them in Syria,” the Turkish president warned the EU member-states.
Regarding the ISIS militant of US citizenship stuck in the buffer zone
between Greece and Turkey, Erdogan said the case is not of “our concern, we will continue sending the jihadists away.”
Most likely Erdogan is using this man just to set an example.
EU ministers said in a statement that Monday’s decision “will make it possible to sanction individuals or entities responsible for or involved in unauthorized drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
An angry statement was issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry in which Ankara said:
“It is a vain expectation for those who think that Turkey will bow to threats and back down on its rights in the Eastern Mediterranean. No one should doubt that we will continue our exploration and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Ankara claimed further that “Cyprus and the EU can neither perceive the facts, nor take decisions in accordance with international law and the principle of equity in this process.”
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