World News

Turkey PM warns Europe: Cutting off ties would bring 'flood' of migrants

Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, November 8, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Thursday warned Europe that without Ankara’s help it could be “flooded” by waves of migrants and said cutting off talks with the bloc would be far more damaging to Europe than Turkey.

“We are one of the factors protecting Europe. If refugees go through, they will flood into Europe and take it over, and Turkey prevents this,” Yildirim said in comments broadcast live on television.

“I accept that cutting off ties with Europe would harm Turkey, but it would damage Europe 5-to-6 times more.”

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Toby Chopra