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Turkish president to EU on migrant deal: Border gates will be opened if you go too far

Turkey's president strongly criticized the EU on Friday, accusing it of breaking promises on refugees.

Speaking at a meeting of the Women and Democracy Association in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was Turkey which was feeding over three million refugees.

Addressing the EU, he added: “You did not keep your word. When 50,000 refugees were at the Kapikule [Turkey-Bulgaria] border, you cried out.

“You started to say: 'What will we do if Turkey opens border gates?'”

“If you go too far, the border gates will be opened", he said.

Referring to the famous case of Syrian refugee toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose body was washed ashore in Turkey in 2015, Erdogan said: "Now in the world there are millions of Aylan Kurdis waiting for a response, compassion and mercy. Are there any steps taken for them? No.

“There are millions of babies, women, all from 7 to 70 in Africa waiting for a solution. And there are no steps taken.

Addressing the EU, Erdogan said: "You have never treated humanity honestly. You did not take 'Aylan toddlers' when they washed ashore in the Mediterranean or 'Omran babies'.

“It is us, who are feeding the 3-3.5 million refugees in Turkey. You [the EU] broke your promises", the Turkish president added.

"Neither I, nor the Turkish people will buy these bluffs," Erdogan added.

Omran Daqneesh is the five-year-old Syrian child photographed in August with his face covered in dust and blood. The image went on to become an icon of civilian suffering in the war-torn nation.

Erdogan's criticism on Friday followed the European Parliament's approval on Thursday of a non-binding motion to freeze EU-membership talks with Turkey.

Membership negotiations between Turkey and the EU began in October 2005.

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