Turkey’s invasion into Syria is a “big mistake,” Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias declared late on Wednesday in an interview with public broadcasting network ERT1.
Dendias added that Turkey has repeatedly made such mistakes over the last several years.
He stressed that Turkey’s attempt to create a kind of buffer zone by moving refugees from Syria and relocating them there as a bulwark against the Kurds is illegal, pointing out that the movement of migrants must be subject to some basic principles.
The movement of peoples, according to Dendias, must be both be voluntary and accomplished in a decent manner.
“This is not the case now. Therefore, what Turkey is doing is contrary to the human rights of the refugees on the Turkish territory,” Dendias asserted.
At the same time, the Foreign Minister said that Turkey “is opening a front” which does not actually help the country in any way. “The Turks have made a very big mistake,” Dendias underscored.
Meanwhile, European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker called on Turkey to immediately stop its military operations in Syria. “If Turkey’s plan is to create a so-called ‘safe zone’ don’t expect the EU to pay for any of it,” he warned sternly.
“Turkey has security concerns at its border with Syria, that we must understand. However, I call on Turkey, as well as other actors, to act with restraint,” he told an assembly of members of the European Parliament.