08:40 GMT25 November 2020
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    Athens has repeatedly accused Ankara of breaching the EU-Turkish deal on migration under which Ankara is supposed to limit the flow of migrants to the EU from the Middle East and North Africa.

    Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has responded to a Greek MP tearing up a Turkish flag by accusing the lawmaker of racism.

    “These racists know best how we can wring the hands of those who dare to encroach on our glorious flag. May those spoiled children of Europe know their place. Europe must say ‘no’ to Islamophobia and racism”, Cavusoglu tweeted on Thursday.

    The remark followed Greek lawmaker Ioannis Lagos ripping apart a Turkish national flag during a recent meeting of the European Parliament to discuss the migrant situation on Greek islands.  

    "We do not hear anybody talking about the status of Greek citizens there. Everyone talks about migrants, but what about the rights of Greek citizens?”  Lagos said.

    Athens Blames Ankara for Breaching Migrant Deal

    He spoke as media reports on Wednesday said that Athens plans to install a floating barrier to prevent migrants from reaching the Greek islands from Turkey following an influx of arrivals in the past year.

    ABC News cited unnamed sources as saying that the Greek Defence Ministry had urged private contractors to bid on supplying the 2.7-kilometre-long (1.7 mile) barrier within three months.

    Earlier this week, the Greek government said that Greece has started sending back around 30 rejected asylum seekers a day to Turkey, which “was accepting them”.

    Athens has repeatedly accused Ankara of breaching the 2016 EU-Turkish migration deal which specifically stipulates that migrants entering Greek islands would be returned to Turkey unless they received asylum in Greece.

    Turkish-Greek Relations

    The flag-tearing incident may worsen the already tense ties between Turkey and Greece which remain at odds over the lack of an peace settlement on Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded the northern part of the island nation in response to a Greek-backed coup.

    Adding fuel to the fire is Athens’ refusal to extradite eight Turkish soldiers accused by Ankara of being involved in a 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. The soldiers were held in custody in Greece for months before being released in June.

    Another bone of contention is Ankara’s reluctance to recognise Athens’ exclusive economic zones in the eastern Mediterranean.

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    flag, lawmaker, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey, Greece
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