No: 68, 6 March 2020, Press Release Regarding The Eu Foreign Affairs Council’s Statement Of 6 March

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 06.03.2020

The Statement adopted by the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs at the extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council meeting held today (6 March), confirms that the EU has still not been able to comprehend the extraordinary burden stemming from migration and security challenges that Turkey has been encountering, as well as the efforts we have made.

Accusing a country, which is hosting the largest number of refugees in the world in the best way possible, of using the migration issue for political purposes is a recent indication of the hypocritical approach we have been facing for years. The EU actually has itself politicized the migration issue by this Statement.

It is unfortunate and noteworthy that the EU is acting in contradiction with its own principles and values, by backing up Greece, who is violating international law and human rights, and deeming all sorts of maltreatment acceptable for innocent people reaching at their borders.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council even refrains from describing people, arriving at EU borders as other safe countries, and demanding international protection, as “refugees” but instead insistently uses the term “immigrant” for these individuals. It is not possible to ignore the 1951 Geneva Convention and the EU acquis by playing with words.

EU members, including Greece, have an obligation to comply with international obligations and take asylum applications of migrants/refugees. Yet, Greece, backed by the EU, has declared the suspension of the asylum applications ignoring the international as well as the relevant EU law. The EU, with its last Statement, has put European values aside and turned a blind eye to the violation of international law and the EU acquis.

Greece’s unlawful treatments towards refugees have also been announced by several international and non-governmental organizations, including the UN and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. We do call on the EU and the EU institutions to respect the European common values and to comply with the Founding Treaty of the EU and the EU acquis.

Instead of calling on Turkey, it is primarily the EU that should be implementing the 18th March Statement in its entirety.

Murat Ahmet Yörük Ambassador
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