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PRESIDENT Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s tyrannical regime in Turkey was handed €1.5 billion (£1.2bn) from the EU today as the undemocratic body was accused of having “the blood of Kurds on its hands.”
EU policy chief Federica Mogherini announced the release of the bumper payout in Brussels today during the neoliberal economic bloc’s “Supporting the future of Syria and the region” Third Annual Conference.
Speaking at a press conference in the Belgian capital, she said: “I would like to confirm the European Union contribution of €1.5bn to the second tranche of the facility for refugees in Turkey.”
She announced the funding plans, which are part of the controversial deal aimed at keeping refugees out of the EU and have been described by human rights organisations as “a shameful stain on the collective conscience of Europe.”
The agreement allows EU countries to return asylum-seekers to squalid camps in Turkey. Thousands are said to have suffered as a result of the deal since it came into effect three years ago.
Ms Mogherini said: “I am proud today to announce that the European Union is confirming its pledge of €560 million (£476m) for 2019, and is committing to the same amount in 2020. And we have the ambition to maintain the same levels for 2021.”
Mr Erdogan presides over a regime in Turkey that has seen the virtual shutdown of democracy.
More than 170,000 public-sector workers have been sacked following a failed coup attempt in July 2016, which also saw thousands of academics purged from their posts, hundreds of media organisations shut and the jailing of more journalists than any other country.
As local elections loom politicians from the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP) remain in prison along with around 8,000 activists.
Former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag face life in prison while MP for Hakkari Leyla Guven has been on hunger strike for more than 120 days over Turkey’s continued isolation of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.
The EU payout has been slammed amid warnings the cash is being used to wage war both inside the country and across the borders in Syria and Iraq.
Speaking to the Star from Van province, close to Turkey’s border with Iran, a Kurdish woman known as Kubra said: “This money is not being used to help refugees, it is being used to buy weapons and bombs to kill Kurds. The EU has the blood of Kurds on its hands.”
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