Erdogan says West only interested in oil in Iraq & Libya, slams refugee crisis response

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan © Umit Bektas
The interests of the West in war-torn countries such as Iraq and Libya are focused on their natural resources, oil in particular, while the current refugee crisis remains badly dealt with, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On Thursday, Erdogan “expressed with sorrow” that some European countries have “double standards,” slamming the West for drowning “humanity,” Hurriyet Daily News reported.

READ MORE: Turkey extends mandate enabling military operations in Syria, Iraq 

Erdogan slammed the West’s policies in oil-rich countries such as Iraq and Libya, which both suffer from dire security situations and have experienced Western military interventions.

“Do you know what is being done in these places? ‘There is oil in Libya and Iraq, so let’s seize the oil-wells.’ Isn’t this the situation now?” the president said. “80 percent of Iraq’s oil wells are under the control of the West. It is the same in Libya. While all these realities exist, this [international] structure is not acceptable.”

READ MORE: Erdogan blasts West for destabilizing Syria by supporting Kurdish ‘terrorists’ 

Global terrorism, also “burning” Syria and Iraq, was another sore point for Erdogan, who said: “Western countries do not show necessary sensitivity” towards this problem.

“I once again condemn some countries that on the one hand are fighting against a certain terror organization, while on the other hand support another one directly or indirectly,” he said, noting the importance of the cooperation of the “entire world.”

The “joint fight against global terrorism” will be a major agenda point of the G-20 summit, slated for Turkey in the coastal city of Antalya in November, according to the president.

READ MORE: Turkish military jets leave Kurdish village in ruins, kill 9 - local media 

As one of the biggest migrant routes from the Middle East to the EU passes through Turkish territories, Erdogan commented on the refugee crisis that threatens to engulf the European Union. 

“European countries that turned the Mediterranean Sea, the cradle of one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, into a grave, are part of the sin in the death of every single refugee,” the president said.

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Turkey has received almost 2 million refugees since the outbreak of civil war in Syria, according to UN estimates.