Turkey Dismisses Polish Accusation of Aiding Migrant Crisis

Migrants approaching a fence at the Belarus-Polish border in the Grodno region of Belarus, November 10, 2021. Photo: EPA-EFE/LEONID SCHEGLOV/BELTA

Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported that Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau on Wednesday that Turkey was being made part of a problem despite not being party to it.

Cavusoglu denied what he called "baseless accusations against Turkey and Turkish Airlines" and invited technical teams from Poland to inspect operations at Istanbul Airport.

Turkish Airlines earlier rejected the Polish claims on Tuesday, and said: "Turkish Airlines flights operate in cooperation with international authorities respecting all security measures."

Poland on Tuesday claimed Turkey had opened an air corridor between Istanbul and Minsk and was helping Belarus to bring thousands of migrants to the Poland-Belarus border.

Belarus dictator Alexander Lukashenko is accused of deliberately fomenting a migrant crisis on the Polish border in revenge for EU sanctions imposed on his autocratic regime.

"We see that [Turkish actions] are fully synchronised with Belarus and Russia. It bothers us, we don't like it," Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told parliament in a session held on the crisis at the border.

Morawiecki said that Poland felt deeply disappointed in Turkey. "Our help in promoting the Turkish tourism industry, unfortunately turned out to be a one-way favour. And we don't like it. And we point this out to our Turkish friends," he said.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Tuesday appeared to support Poland's accusations, calling for "approval of sanctions and possible sanctions on third country airlines involved" in the migrant...

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