ISTANBUL (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan warned on Friday that Turkey could open its gates for migrants to Europe if pushed by the European Union, a day after European lawmakers voted for a temporary halt to EU membership talks with Ankara.
“If you go any further, these border gates will be opened. Neither me nor my people will be affected by these dry threats. It wouldn’t matter if all of you approved the (European parliament) vote,” he told a congress on women’s justice in Istanbul, in comments broadcast live.
Erdogan also said a controversial ruling party proposal that could allow men accused of sexual abuse to avoid sentence was not prepared carefully, and believed that the issue would be brought back to parliament with a wider consensus.
The proposal would have allowed sentencing to be indefinitely postponed in cases of sexual abuse committed “without force, threat or deception” before Nov. 16, 2016, if the perpetrator married the victim.