EU failure to reprimand Greece on refugees ‘stain on human conscience’, Turkey says

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sunday the European Union had betrayed its own core values by not criticising Greece's treatment of refugees trying to cross to Europe from Turkey.

Turkey opened its side of the border with Greece in February in an attempt to drum up more EU aid for the roughly four million refugees inside Turkey, and to win European support for Turkey’s military campaign in Idlib, Syria.

"What followed is a disgrace to the EU and a stain on human conscience. The EU and its parliamentarians did little more than watch on as Greek forces sprayed tear gas and fired on people at their border," Çavuşoğlu said in an article for the Financial Times.

"The UN was critical; the EU not. People died, scores were wounded and European prestige was damaged globally."

Greek authorities rebuffed thousands of migrants attempting to enter Europe and were criticised regularly by Ankara for deploying violence against refugees trying to cross.

"All this because the EU has consistently failed to develop a policy that projects peace, prosperity and dignity to its near-abroad, and has not worked earnestly with Turkey to achieve that," he said.