Turkey on Monday criticized Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s remarks that Turkey is a “more suitable place” for Afghan refugees.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement that they read his statement with “astonishment."
“First of all, Turkey is not a country neighboring Afghanistan, as Chancellor Kurz stated,” the statement said.
“Instead of emphasizing joint efforts and cooperation to solve the problem of irregular migration, which affects the whole world and is a common issue for everyone, the attitude that ‘migrants should not come here, go elsewhere’ is both selfish and unhelpful,” it added.
Emphasizing that “Turkey will not take in a new wave of migration,” the statement added: “We convey this stance to our interlocutors on every occasion and at every level, emphasizing that Turkey will not be a border guard or a refugee camp of the EU.”
In an interview with Germany newspaper Bild am Sonntag, Kurz said that Turkey is “a more suitable place” for Afghan refugees than Germany, Austria, or Sweden.
Taliban has increased control over many parts of Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country, which triggered a new refugee flow from the region.