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Sunday, January 21, 2018, 

Turkey's Erdogan threatens EU with new migrant influx

Turkey

Athens, 26 November 2016 (MIA) - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened Friday to walk away from a deal that has substantially reduced the flow of migrants to the European Union and also effectively end Ankara's membership bid by bringing back capital punishment, AFP reports.

Erdogan's warning he could open Turkey's borders to illegal migrants bound for Europe prompted an immediate objection from Germany that such "threats" were unhelpful.

Greece, which would face a heightened influx of migrants if Turkey made good its threat, also expressed "concern" at what it said would be "an act of aggression."

The Turkish leader's comments came a day after the European Parliament angered Ankara by backing a freeze of its EU accession talks, already hit by alarm over its crackdown in the wake of a failed coup in July.

"Listen to me. If you go any further, then the frontiers will be opened, bear that in mind," Erdogan told the EU during a speech in Istanbul.

At a later meeting, Erdogan reaffirmed he would sign a law bringing back the death penalty if it is approved by parliament.

"If the people say 'we want the death penalty'... and this goes to parliament and parliament passes it and it comes to me, I declare I will approve this," he added.

EU officials have repeatedly made clear that bringing back the death penalty would instantly end Turkey's bid for membership as abolishing capital punishment is a key precondition. sk/11:35

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