When reporting yesterday on the abrupt deterioration in European-Turkish relations, in which the European Parliament voted Thursday in an overhwleming majority to impose a temporary, non-binding freeze on talks for Turkey's accession into the EU, we said that it "remains unclear if Turkey will proceed with releasing the nearly three million Syrian refugees allegedly contained within its borders as a result of the European Parliament vote."
Today we have an answer: as the FT reports, Turkish president Erdogan warned Brussels on Friday he would allow 3 million refugees to cross over to Europe unless the EU softened its criticism of Ankara.
The furious Turkish leader lashed out a day after the European Parliament called for a pause in Turkey's EU accession talks in protest at Ankara's "repressive" and "disproportionate" response to a violent coup attempt earlier this year.
"We are the ones who feed 3m-3.5m refugees in this country," he said. "You have betrayed your promises. If you go any further those border gates will be opened."