Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued to spread fake news about the border-refugee crisis with Greece, claiming Greek security forces had killed at least 5 refugees.
Speaking to reporters on the return flight from Moscow, where he talked with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the developments in Syria, Erdogan said … “Greece is persecuting refugees. Our doors are not closed and we will not discuss this matter anymore. The Greeks have killed at least five people at the border, based on what I know so far. In addition, they are sinking boats and their approach is violent. The refugees will go as far as they can, we are not forcing them to leave our country.”
Moreover, the Turkish president made it clear that he did not want to meet with Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis because of Greece’s inhumane stance. “Our borders will not close. Bulgarian Prime Minister Borissov has asked to meet with him in Sofia and invite Kyriakos Mitsotakis. On the day he proposed it, there were two deaths at the border. I don’t want to be in the same place and in the same photo as him [Mitsotakis].”
He also blasted the European Union’s attitude towards Greece, saying that the West treats Turkey differently. “They immediately pledged to Greece 700 million euros. They said they would send them 350 million now and another 350 later. Chancellor Merkel promised us about 25 million and we haven’t seen anything yet. Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen made some promises. They also held meetings with our ministers, we will see the result.”
Turkey has recently unleashed a full-fledged propaganda campaign against Greece related to the refugee crisis on the Greek-Turkish borders, making a series of unsubstantiated claims about deaths of refugees by Greek security forces. In an effort to mitigate his failed Syrian military incursion, which resulted in the deaths of many Turkish soldiers, and divert domestic public opinion from his policy, Erdogan is attempting to export his problems by portraying Greece on the international stage as an inhumane actor in the region, while simultaneously using the refugees and migrants as pawns to blackmail the EU and NATO to support him financially and militarily in his plans.