Turkey calls Greece “shameless” and “liar”
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu blamed Greece of being a shameless country, following Athens’ accusations against Ankara for forcing out 92 migrants to Greek territory, stripped off their clothes.
"It is necessary to be really shameless and reckless to try to be seen right even when one is acting unjustly, like Greece," Cavusoglu told reporters in Istanbul on Monday.
“Trying to slander Turkey is a very natural act for a country like Greece who has a very high scorecard over international law violations,” Cavusoğlu said, also accusing European Union to complicit with Athens over the ill-treatment of the migrants, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Slamming Greece of being a “liar”, “But a liar's candle only enlightens till the nightfall,” he said.
Greek authorities on Saturday said 92 naked migrants were found along the border with Turkey, forced out by Turkish authorities into Greek territory on boats via the river of Evros (Meric), some of them with injuries.
Greek Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi who posted a photo of the migrants on social media on the same day, said that “Turkey's behavior towards 92 migrants whom we rescued at the border today, is a shame for civilisation.”
While Mitarachi urged Ankara to investigate the incident and protect its borders with the EU, Turkey denied the claims, blaming Athens for the plight of the 92 migrants.
Greece treats migrants inhumanely with the support of Frontex [European Border and Coast Guard Agency], Cavusoglu said.
"Frontex is complicit. They think, 'We can do everything and put the blame on Turkey. But the facts are there, and we will continue to present them,” Cavusoglu said.
“Last week, the bodies of four immigrants were exhumed from the Aegean. This had happened when Greece skewered their boats and left them to die in the middle of the sea,” he said.
“When Greece pushes them back, it confiscates everything they have, so that they do not come back. Not only they confiscate their identity cards and other documents, they even confiscate their clothes,” Turkish foreign minister said.
Cavusoglu also blamed European Union countries for encouraging Greek acts by accepting everything it says.
Greece and Turkey are embroiled in disputes over a string of issues, including migration. Ankara frequently accuses Greece of violent and unlawful migrant pushbacks, describing the act as a crime against humanity. Athens on the other hand, blames Ankara of deliberately encouraging migrants to cross border, despite being obliged to stop them entering Greece, under a 2016 deal signed with the European Union.