TURKEY

Turkey may open door of Europe for refugees 'not bluff'

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Turkey's warning on opening gates of Europe for the refugees was "neither a threat nor a bluff," Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Friday.

"The statement of our president is neither a threat nor a bluff. This is a reality. There is a crisis in Syria. Turkey has opened its doors completely," Oktay told Turkish reporters on the sidelines of the Ambrosetti Forum in Cernobbio, Italy.

His remarks came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Turkey could "open its doors" to let the Syrian refugees to cross to Europe if Ankara does not get expected support.

Oktay said the thinking that Turkey will bear a new migrant flow is "wrong".

"Turkey is not any other country's guardian, nor their migrant center. It is not the country that will pay the bill for the crises that [the other countries] create," he added.

Turkey currently hosts more than four million refugees, including 3.6 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world. Erdoğan previously said that Ankara has spent over $37 billion for the Syrians alone.

"Yes we did our duty for the refugees, we are still doing and we will continue to do so," he added.

Oktay said if the crisis in Syria's northwestern Idlib province continues, and if a new migration crisis starts, then Europe has "no chance" to escape from this reality.

"It will have to face the crises with this," he added.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

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