Türkiye saved lives of 41,000 people left to die by Greece in last 2 years: President
“With the efforts of our Coast Guard, we have prevented deaths in the Aegean. In the last two years, we have saved the lives of 41,000 people who were left to die by Greece," Erdogan said at a Gendarmerie and Coast Guard Academy's graduation ceremony in the capital Ankara.
"If anyone still criticizes our defense industry breakthroughs despite the military build-up in Greece, it means they have become deprived of strategic vision," he added.
Türkiye has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.
Ankara and global rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece’s illegal practice, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children.
Erdogan said Ankara does not nurture enmity toward anyone or any country, adding: "On the contrary, we want to establish the best, most advanced and most sincere relationship with every country and society."
He also said Türkiye aims to establish a "belt of peace and cooperation" around it, starting with its close neighbors.
The president slammed those who criticize Türkiye's anti-terror operations in northern Syria and in northern Iraq and keep their silence when "other countries come from 10,000 kilometers away and intervene in Syria, Iraq and Libya".
Erdogan said if the countries continue to support terrorist groups with ammunition, vehicles and equipment, Türkiye will give them necessary response up to 30 kilometers beyond its borderline, adding: "...if they are bothered by this, sorry, they will be disturbed, and we will continue on our way."
“We have extended Türkiye’s depth of operation from Syria to Iraq. We are dealing the heaviest blows to the terrorist organization in the regions where they feel safest," Erdogan said.