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'Turkey will not be a border guard or a refugee camp of the EU', officials say

Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz in Munich, Germany on 14 February 2020. [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş - Anadolu Agency]
Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz in Munich, Germany on 14 February 2020. [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş - Anadolu Agency]

"Turkey will not be a border guard or a refugee camp of the EU", officials said after 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 Ankara read Kurz's statement with "astonishment".

"First of all, Turkey is not a country neighbouring 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.

As the Taliban increases its control over many parts of Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country, a new refugee crisis is emerging.

Following that influx, Turkish officials reported that almost 1,500 Afghan migrants were detained after illegally entering the country last month.

Turkey started to strengthen its border defences to prevent the influx of Afghanistan immigrants by building a concrete wall along its border with Iran.

READ: Twenty years on from 9/11, the Taliban returns to the forefront in Afghanistan

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