The Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of what he describes as his country’s “impatience” towards the Syrian crisis and stressed that Turkey “may be forced to act” in light of war mechanisms approaching its borders. Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara yesterday that “the word “stupid” is not written on our foreheads. We will be patient but we will do what we have to. Don’t think that the planes and the buses are there for nothing”.
Erdogan threatened to open his country’s borders to let refugees cross to Europe and added “In the past we have stopped people at the gates to Europe, in Edirne we stopped their buses. This happens once or twice, and then we’ll open the gates and wish them a safe journey” he said on Thursday.
Ankara is hosting some 3 million Syrian refugees and said that it has spent $10 billion on hosting them. It says that it has not received anything from the United Nations except for $400 million in aid for refugees.
In a speech broadcast live on Turkish television, Erdogan reiterated his old demand for the establishment of a safe zone and said that “there is no solution to the immigrant crisis except for the establishment of a safe zone in Syria to shelter them”. He continued by saying that “if you do not establish a zone free from bombing, you are not solving the root of the problem. If you do not establish a terror free zone in northern Syria, you are not solving the root of the problem. If we find ourselves under threat, we will take appropriate steps in the correct manner”.
Erdogan launched a strong attack on Tehran and said that Iranian-backed forces in Syria are carrying out “fierce massacres”. He also said that the United Nations should make greater efforts to prevent “ethnic cleansing” in the country.