05:18 GMT21 September 2020
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    Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu stated that Ankara has an opportunity to send 15,000 refugees to Europe each month amid an ongoing diplomatic row between Turkey and the Netherlands and Germany.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu threatened to send 15,000 refugees to Europe each month amid an ongoing diplomatic row between Ankara and Amsterdam and Berlin, adding that Germany and the Netherlands were trying to play games against Turkey.

    Earlier in March, authorities in several German cities banned Turkish officials’ campaign rallies ahead of a vote on the constitutional reform bolstering the president's powers in Turkey, while the Dutch authorities refused landing for Turkey's foreign minister, who was to meet with Turkish expats in the Netherlands. The relations between the states significantly worsened, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan comparing German and Dutch authorities' behavior to Nazism.

    "We have a readmission deal. I’m telling you, Europe, do you have that courage? If you want, we’ll send the 15,000 refugees to you that we don’t send each month and blow your mind. You have to keep in mind that you can’t design a game in this region in spite of Turkey," Soylu said late Thursday, according to the Hurriyet Daily newspaper.

    He said that other countries were trying to prevent Turkey from "becoming strong in the future" by interfering in its internal affairs and not approving its membership of the European Union.

    Ankara and Brussels agreed on a deal in March 2016, under which Turkey pledged to take back all undocumented migrants who arrive in the European Union through its territory in exchange for Syrian refugees accommodated in Turkey, on a one-for-one basis. In return, the bloc pledged to accelerate the Turkish EU accession bid and introduce a visa-free regime, as well as provide financial aid to Turkey to cover the costs of migrant reception.

    The referendum on constitutional changes in Turkey is slated for April 16.


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    refugees, European Union, Suleyman Soylu, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey
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