Turkey will not become a buffer zone for refugees, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.
“Turkey will not be a buffer zone for refugees. As long as there is a continued flow of illegal migrants, our country will be a transit country for them,” Cavusoglu said in an interview with Turkey’s FOX TV.
The agreement between Ankara and the European Union to admit undocumented migrants in exchange for recognized refugees on a one-for-one basis entered into force on March 20. In return, Brussels agreed to accelerate EU membership accession and visa liberalization talks.
“As agreed with the EU, we will send legal Syrian refugees to Europe. We will accept illegal migrants and third country nationals in Turkey to later send them to their home countries or distribute them among our refugee camps,” Cavusoglu stressed.
The diplomat specified that any migrant in Greece or other EU states has the right to apply for refugee status and will be returned if their applications are rejected.