Turkey is threatening to "open the gates" to Europe, potentially unleashing a torrent of migrants who have been kept inside its borders in exchange for massive payoffs.
President Tayyip Erdogan has called upon Western nations to fund the repatriation of one million Syrian refugees he plans resettle in a "safe zone" in their home country, Reuters reports.
"Our goal is for at least one million of our Syrian brothers to return to the safe zone we will form along our 450 km border," Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara on Thursday. “Give us logistical support and we can go build housing at 30 km (20 miles) depth in northern Syria. This way, we can provide them with humanitarian living conditions.”
“This either happens or otherwise we will have to open the gates,” Erdogan warned. “Either you will provide support, or excuse us, but we are not going to carry this weight alone. We have not been able to get help from the international community, namely the European Union.”
Turkey is reportedly holding roughly 3.6 million 'refugees,' many of whom arrived since the 2016 migrant crisis.
Ankara has received billions of euros in aid from the EU in exchange for preventing many migrants from continuing on to Europe.
However, cracks in the arrangement seem to be growing wider in recent months, as thousands of migrants have been pouring into Greece again, including over 600 who landed on the island of Lesbos during a single day last week.
Greece's foreign minister recently summoned the Turkish ambassador to "express Greece's deep discontent" about the growing waves of migrants coming from Turkey.
A huge Chinese cargo ship has unloaded troops and vehicles into Hong Kong amidst rumors of a military crackdown on protesters.
(PHOTO: ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst