Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) does not have a problem with refugees in the country, rather the government’s immigration policies, said Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the party’s leader.
“Why should we get angry with the refugees, they are not the problem. We need to get angry with those who bring them, with those who open the door for them,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, the Diken news web site reported on Wednesday.
Both Turkey and the refugees are suffering because of these wrong policies, he said.
Turkey is hosting around 4 million refugees, mostly from war-torn Syria. The Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan this month has raised concerns in the country for another mass inflow.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is facing growing political pressure from opposition politicians, who are adopting a hard line on migration, and a population who are increasingly unhappy with the presence of refugees in the country.
Seventy percent of Turkish citizens say the country’s borders should be closed to refugees, according to a July survey by Metropoll, a leading local polling firm.
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticised European policy on the migrants, saying Turkey was being used.
Turkey is not a subcontractor for European countries, he said. “Your per capita income is $30,000, $50,000, $100,000. You take them, why us.”
In 2016, Turkey and the EU agreed on a deal that aimed to cut the influx of Syrian refugees arriving in Europe. The European bloc pledged billions of euros to Turkey to provide them with shelter.