Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara is opening the border with Europe to refugees from Syria.
"As of this morning, 18,000 migrants have crossed the Turkish-European border. And we will no longer close those doors, it will continue. We are not in a position to feed so many refugees," he said during his speech In Istanbul on Saturday, February 29, as cited by Anadolu.
According to Erdogan, there are 3.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey today.
The day before, the representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Peter Stano said during a briefing that the agreement between Turkey and the EU on curbing illegal migration remains in force.
"Regarding the speculations over the migrant movement in Turkey, I want to emphasize that as of today there has not been any official communication from the Turkish side about changes in their policy with regards to migrants or asylum seekers. This was confirmed today in a statement of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs," Stano said.
The Migration Agreement between Turkey and the EU, which was concluded in the spring of 2016, aims to limit the flow of mostly Syrian refugees through Turkey to Europe.
According to the agreement, between 2016 and 2019, the European Union transferred to Turkey about 6 billion euros for the accommodation of migrants, in particular for the construction of hospitals, schools and other institutions.
Last October, after human rights group Amnesty International accused Turkey of forcibly deporting refugees from Syria, the EU budget commissioner called for a reduction in payments to Turkey.