Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a visit to EU member Hungary repeated his threat Thursday to “open the gates” for millions of refugees eager to flee to Europe unless more international support was provided.
Erdogan held talks with Hungarian nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban — a rare EU ally — in Budapest where several hundred people demonstrated over Ankara’s deadly military offensive in Syria, with placards calling the Turkish leader a “genocidal dictator”.
Ankara launched the military operation last month to push Syrian Kurdish forces back from its border and create a “safe zone” to take in some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey.
Erdogan has called on EU countries to provide more financial support for his plan to create the “safe zone”.
“Whether or not support comes, we will continue to host our guests, but only up to a point,” Erdogan said at a news conference alongside Orban.
“If we see that this does not work, just like I said before, we will have no option left but to open the gates. If we open the gates, it is obvious where they will go,” Erdogan added.