US denies refugee deal with Turkey

The United States has denied claims that a refugee deal was signed between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Joe Biden.

The U.S. Embassy in Turkey on Aug. 18 sent a tweet regarding the issue, following main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s allegations.

“The U.S. Embassy wishes to state that allegations regarding an “agreement” or “deal” between President Biden and President Erdoğan regarding Afghan refugees or migrants are completely without foundation,” it said.

On Aug. 15, President Erdoğan said that Turkey faces an Afghan refugee influx and that those escaping from the Taliban are crossing into the eastern province of Van through Iran.

Afghan refugees have been flocking to Turkey for weeks to escape from the flare-up violence between the Taliban and government forces. More and more Afghans have been leaving their country since the Taliban seized control on Aug. 15.

Erdoğan’s remarks on a new influx drew a harsh rebuke from CHP chair Kılıçdaroğlu, who has been calling on the president to reveal what he promised to the U.S. in exchange for keeping refugees in Turkey.

“Erdoğan, I’m asking you: How can refugees who are 2,400 kilometers away from us threaten us? You said your government is in control of the borders? Is it not true? We know that you’re not in control deliberately,” the CHP chair said on Aug. 16.

“You’re admitting that you can’t protect the borders and that you’re keeping your promise to Biden,” Kılıçdaroğlu added, before going on to ask whether foreign countries are threatening Erdoğan with his personal wealth.

Earlier in August, Kılıçdaroğlu said that the United States’ deals with Erdoğan’s government won’t be binding for Turkey in the future.

“First of all, it is quite obvious that Erdoğan has agreed in his last meeting to accept these Afghans as refugees into Turkey,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on Aug. 3.

“I call on to the U.S.: As a member of the alliance that will govern Turkey in the future, we do not accept those deals that you made with Erdoğan. Whatever you have said or relayed to Erdoğan are binding only for him, not for the Republic of Turkey,” he said.