Western media outlets have distorted the words expressed by the Turkish president Erdogan on wednesday, saying he threatened Europeans. Erdogan, on the contrary, warned for escalation in a speech and called for restraint. One of the media outlets who distorted his speech, was the Dutch state run NOS.
— NOS (@NOS) 22 maart 2017
Erdogan said in a speech: “Turkey is not a country which you can push around, whose ministers can be turned away at doors and whose citizens cannot be dragged along the ground. These events are followed closely all over the world. If you continue to act in this way, tomorrow no European or westerner will be able to walk around safely and peacefully. If you continue on this dangerous path, you will be the ones who suffer the biggest damage. Therefor we as Turkey, invite Europe to respect democracy, human rights and freedoms“.
Erdogan did not threaten European countries or its citizens, but rather warned for escalation and called for restraint. Dutch media distorted these words and published that he openly threatened Europeans.
Turkey feels fooled by European nations, because they did not keep to their end of the refugee deal. Turkey, hosting nearly 3 million Syrian refugees, signed the refugee deal with the EU on March 2016. EU was to pay an aid package worth 6 billion dollars, but has so far paid only 716 million dollars. Part of the agreement was also the acceleration of Turkey’s EU membership bid and visa-free travel. Not one of the terms of the deal were honored by the EU.
After the coup attempt in Turkey and the cold responses from the west, relations deteriorated even further. Turkish opinion polls suggest that a large part of the Turkish population doesn’t want to join the EU. 86,7% of the Turks believe the EU is not sincere in handling the refugee crisis. 44% of Turks think suspension of the EU accession talks would be a positive development, while 86,6% support the Russian-Turkish rapprochement.