Erdogan says Turkey rejected EU’s 1 billion euro migrant aid

Dutch PM warns Europe will not renegotiate with Turkish President on migration crisis with a knife at its throat.

ISTANBUL - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday he had rejected an EU offer of an additional one billion euros to help deal with the roughly four million migrants it houses.

"They tell us, 'we will send you a billion euros.' Who are you trying to fool? ... We don't want this money," Erdogan said at a news conference.

The European Union voiced concern on Monday over the situation at the border with Greece days after Turkey said it had "opened its doors" to refugees and migrants to leave for the European Union.

EU interior ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday, French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.

Thousands of migrants are now massed on Turkey's border with Greece, which is taking draconian steps to prevent people from entering.

Erdogan accused "Greek soldiers" of killing two migrants and seriously injuring a third, without elaborating on the circumstances.

Erdogan also criticised the EU for not "sharing the burden" with Turkey, which is trying to hold off another mass influx from Syria where government forces, backed by Russian air power, are advancing into the jihadist-dominated region of Idlib.

He warned that Europe could expect “millions” of migrants and refugees after easing his country’s border-crossing restrictions.

“It’s done, the gates are open,” he said.

“Soon, the number of people going to the border will be expressed in millions,” he added.

Turkey agreed in 2016 to stop refugees leaving for Europe in exchange for six billion euros in assistance, and the EU insists that Turkey must stick to the deal.

On Monday, the Turkish president reiterated an accusation that Ankara had received only a fraction of the promised aid, an allegation European leaders deny.

The decision to open Turkey's borders with the Europe Union came as Erdogan sought Western support for his military drive against the Syrian government.

European leaders blasted Erdogan’s move, accusing him of torpedoing the agreement.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte lashed out at Erdogan for flagrantly disregarding the terms of an agreement under which Turkey is given European cash to house millions of refugees.

“Europe will not renegotiate with Mr Erdogan with a knife at its throat,” warned Rutte.

Turkey's borders to Europe were closed to migrants under a 2016 accord between Turkey and the European Union that halted the 2015-16 migration crisis when more than a million people crossed into Europe by foot.

Erdogan complained the funds transferred to Turkey from the EU to support refugees were arriving too slowly and said he had asked German Chancellor Angela Merkel to send the funds directly to the Turkish government.