November 7, 2019 / 3:58 PM / 6 days ago

Erdogan says Turkey will let refugees into Europe if EU does not support it

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends a news conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (not pictured) in Budapest, Hungary November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will have to open the doors to Europe for Syrian refugees unless the European Union provides Ankara with enough support, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, adding that Turkey could not carry that burden alone.

Turkey aims to establish a “safe zone” in northeast Syria, where it says up to 2 million Syrian refugees can settle once the region is cleared of the Kurdish YPG militia. Ankara has repeatedly urged the EU to help Turkey in hosting more than 3.5 million refugees.

“Whether we receive support or not, we will continue to aid the guests we are hosting. But, if this doesn’t work out, then we will have to open the doors,” Erdogan told a news conference alongside Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Budapest.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay

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