Migrant issue in Europe creates test for humanity, EU Minister Çelik says

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 11.08.2017 23:23

Turkey's Minister for European Union Affairs, Ömer Celik, urged Europe to lend more support to migrants, calling the migrant issue a test for humanity.

Çelik strongly criticised Europe's attitude towards migrants on Twitter in a series of posts on Aug. 10, saying: "Europe should not build walls against migrants but build bridges for them. This is a test of humanity." The minister urged Europe to welcome refugees instead of creating barriers against them, adding that looking after migrants should be the most important priority for humanity.

"Europe should be open, safe and provide fair ways for migrants instead of isolating them. The refugee issue should be something to be managed, not something to be fought against," He stressed.

Pointing to the incidents in Europe regarding migrants, Çelik cited the example of the French farmer Cedric Herreou, who was sentenced for lending support to migrants. "There are instances where people were arrested for delivering soup to the migrants," the minister said and added that the mistreatment in France's Calais camp was also demonstrated in the media.

Çelik also slammed Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz's recommendation to the Italian government about not allowing mainland passage for illegal migrants arriving on Italy's islands. "There are still countries blocking their borders with fences and armed forces. They are turning their backs on people who are fleeing death," he said.

"Europe should be open, safe and provide fair ways to migrants instead of isolating them. The refugee issue should be something to be managed, not something to be fought against," he added.

Commenting on the immigrant's bad conditions in Europe, Çelik said the refugees are living in what could be described as "a living hell" and slammed the modern world for their empty promises.

Minister Çelik mentioned Turkey's role in helping immigrants, saying Turkey has realized its moral and political responsibility regarding the refugees. The minister also reiterated that Turkey has yet to receive enough support from the rest of the world, particularly from Europe and the Islamic world. "Turkey is the only country openly embracing those who flee death," Çelik said.

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