Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned European nations Tuesday they should “revise” their thinking towards his country or risk being flooded by Islamic State terrorists now being held in Turkish jails.
Erdogan’s threat came in response to E.U. sanctions over Cyprus.
Speaking to reporters before a visit to the United States, Erdogan also said Turkey would continue repatriating foreign Islamic State militants to their home countries, even if those countries refused to accept them.
Erdogan’s comments were in response to the E.U.’s unveiling on Monday of a system for imposing sanctions on Turkey over its unauthorized gas drilling in Mediterranean waters off Cyprus.
Erdogan warned E.U. countries: “You should revise your stance toward Turkey, which holds so many IS members in prison and controls them in Syria.”
His threat came 24-hours after it was revealed a trickle of Islamic State terror operatives has already begun being repatriated by Turkey.
As Breitbart News reported, Turkey began following through on its promise to repatriate captured Islamic State terrorists on Monday, signalling NATO allies France, Germany, Denmark, and the U.S. will be the first on the receiving end of returned jihadists.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu warned last week Ankara would begin to send back Islamic State militants to their home countries even if their citizenships have been revoked.
Turkey’s warning came despite the unwillingness of Europe states to take them in, with the UK in particular even going so far as to strip known jihadis of their citizenship.
“We are not going to keep them until the end of time,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told reporters. “We’re not a hotel for Daesh,” he said, using another name for Islamic State.
AP contributed to this report