⦁ The EU migrant crisis: unfolding drama
⦁ The EU and Turkey: a pandora's box
⦁ Turkey, Syria & IS: keeping not so mum
Some key players in their own words:
The leader of the Liberals group, Guy Verhofstadt from Belgium: “Europe is trying to outsource this refugee crisis, without taking its responsibility to protect those in need. It is positive that the EU will work more closely together with Turkey, but we should not make ourselves dependent on a country which is becoming increasingly authoritarian”.
The leader of the group of the far left, Gabriele Zimmer (Germany), made no exception. "We cannot accept a dirty deal with Turkey. Through our negotiations and our actions we must protect the rights of refugees and call for an immediate end to Erdoğan's war on the Kurdish people."
Hungarian President Viktor Orbán: "We do not want the EU to sit down to negotiate with Turkey, while giving the impression that it is Turkey which will save the EU. One cannot negotiate if the other party thinks that they are their negotiating partner’s last hope”.
Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu's message at NATO headquarter: "No Turkish President, Premier or any other authority will apologise for doing our duty."
The EU is holding on dearly to a strange version of European Values, similar to what we have seen with the unwavering support for post- Maidan Ukraine. It is continuing to turn a blind eye to some pretty nasty events taking place both in Ukraine and also Turkey. Take some examples of the much vaunted & glorified "European Values": media freedoms, minority rights & human rights both for Ukraine & Turkey:
⦁ Civilians have been being targeted and killed, based solely on where they live and what language they speak; (Russian speakers, Donbass & Kurds who make up 18% of the population);
⦁ Established links & support to some unsavoury extremely nasty groups; (Aidar, Azov, IS, Al Nusra).
⦁ Vicious repression of public protest, (Odessa, Mariupol & Gezi Park)
Never mind, just another fact to add into the equation is regarding Cyprus. The illegal Turkish occupation of North Cyprus continues to this day, without the EU even being a bit concerned about it. Erdogan said back in 2011 "There is no country called Cyprus",
Human tidal flow
The EU is totally impotent in dealing with the ongoing migrant crisis, originating from Turkey. Some 800,000 people have reached Greece from Turkey this year alone. Instead it adopted a series of 'sweeteners' to Turkey, in the hope that would offset the migrant crisis back closer to their homelands.
⦁ The EU commits to match the funds that Turkey is spending on the over 2.5 million refugees that are in its territory; so it has offered 3bn Euros.
⦁ If Turkey implements successfully the EU action plan, it would lead to a speeding-up of the process of visa-liberalisation with Turkey.
⦁ Implementation of the EU action plan would “re-energise" the negotiation process for Turkish EU Accession.
Given that Turkey has claimed that it has spent over 7bn € on migrants, it is becoming apparent that the EU action plan package is just bribery to hold on 'migrants'. When the money runs out or there a spat with the EU over something, what will happen next?
The migrants are being used as pawns in a dark and dangerous geopolitical game. There are literally tens of thousands participating in the migrant trafficking route between Turkey & Greece, right under the noses of the Turkish authorities. They see both the migrants & the EU leadership as easy pickings, weak and feeble, which is the case, judging by a tweet made by Burhan Kuzu, a Presidental advisor to Erdoğan, as reported on 2nd Dec 2015 in the Today's Zaman:
“The EU finally got Turkey's message and opened its purse strings. What did we say? ‘We'll open our borders and unleash all the Syrian refugees on you,'” Kuzu stated in his controversial tweet.
Not much in the way of a charm offensive, was it? Indeed it is a case of blackmail, pure & simple.
Turkey is quite capable of stopping the migrants flow, it has done so in the past, when it suited it to do so. But since summer 2015, the spigot has been turned on full and a steady stream of migrants have made the journey across the Aegean and up through the Balkan to reach the EU. Thousands of businesses along the Turkish coastline thrive on the back the smuggling routes by supplying boats & lifejackets & other sundries. Other criminal groups make money on producing fake Syrian ID documents, as highlighted by a Dutch journalist.
The EU isn't willing at all to play hardball with Erdogan, because he holds all of the 'migrant' cards in his hand, along with the cross border support for a range of terrorists groups in Syria. The Turks understand this clearly and twist the EU elite around their little finger. To back the EU into a corner they can quote " European Values" to the nth degree and the EU elites act like doomed sailors enchanted by mermaids.
The hapless EU has not even tried to confront him, to get the Turkish government to stop the boats, dismantle the smuggling gangs. Surely, "European Values" are a stake here, so the first step would be for Brussels to send a clear message to Ankara, one of" first sort out the rampant criminality at the root of this and then we can start to talk about 're-energising' EU Accession talks". But no, the Turks say "cough up and pay what we deserve".
So it wasn't surprising to hear that hours after the EU Turkish talks, lip-service is being provided by Turkey as it rounded up some 1,300 migrants on Monday. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/30/us-europe-migrants-turkey-idUSKBN0TJ1WX20151130
Not sure how long this action on the part of the Turkish authorities will last though.
The genie is out of the bottle
Brussels is stymied by a complete lack of forceful 'front' on this huge issue. This is mostly due to one person, Angela Merkel, who unilaterally sent out the 'invites' via the mass media, on behalf of the EU, without any prior or prepared policy or program in place. Not surprisingly a group of EU countries have recoiled in horror at the way this had been handled and said no to being asked to share Merkel's folly.
Is the EU unwittingly helping the Turkish authorities with a potential land grab of Northern Syria, as well as facilitating ethnic cleansing of Syrians? This article featuring a headline from a Turkish newspaper should send shivers down the spine of any self-respecting person. It describes how Aleppo should become part of Turkey. Invariably, both ISIS & the FSA have displaced tens of thousands of Syrians in the region and as a result, many fled into Turkey as refugees. Many of them have been lured by migrant 'touts' to leave Turkey for the EU. The EU is now saddled with a huge influx of Syrians, all due to a very convoluted machinations & political skulduggery.
IS and the oil angle
Turkey exerts its influence over both ISIS & the 'Turkmen rebels', mostly through the oil smuggling business, as well as military strikes. It is a huge money spinner for Turkey and ISIS, barely untouched by the US -led airstrikes for well over a year. Revelations on the extent and scope of the oil trade is only now being published in the mainstream press. See here & here for examples.
Turkey' backing of terror attacks
The EU cannot say that it wasn't aware of the Turkish double standards in combating IS terrorism since credible doubts did surface a while back, especially so, if we take one snapshot: the attacks on Kobane in June 2015, where the Kurds accused Turkey of letting IS fighters move into Kobane via Turkey. Take for example this headline: "Turkey's President Erdogan Denies Helping Islamic State Massacre Civilians in Kobane."
Likewise the well-planned attack on Kessab, in April 2014 on the Syrian-Turkish, bears the hallmarks of Turkish complicity in the take-over and massacre of Christian inhabitants. Moderate & IS terrorists, supported by Turkish gunships & artillery launched an attack from within Turkey.
None of this rang alarm bells in the corridors of power of Brussels. What does it say about the whole concept of the EU power base? Flawed, warped & perverted are words that spring to mind. Once more Turkey took advantage of the EU's ineptitude, to carry on if as nothing bad had happened. The problem is that Russia through Vladimir Putin has shone a bright spotlight on this cosy relationship between IS and Turkey. Yet the EU bimbles along, disregarding the nastiness and illegal activities taking place. Stunned, shocked, well you should be. Another huge dose of "European Values" dumped by the wayside.
No one within the Brussels corridors of power has shown any concern. The real victims of the Syrian conflict are to be in found in their millions, as IDPs in Syria, or in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan & Turkey.
Many of the ethnic minorities have been unable to get visas to go the West. A Polish journalist, Witold Gadowski, asks this question: “The real victims of the war are in the camps,”
“Why are the camp survivors pleading unsuccessfully to obtain visas for various European nations and being denied, while the young men are immediately taken in with open arms and presented as refugees?”- Because the EU is a ship of fools, lured & trapped into a self-absorbed mindset, unwilling to tackle the core issues at stake.
Link to the SU-24 shooting-down
The Turkish authorities have visibly cast their lot with Sunni terrorists, Mafia & smugglers for some time now, although everyone in the European media & political circles seemed to have hushed it all down. Now this is being laid bare by Russia, as a result of a reckless and audacious Turkish action of shooting down a Russian military jet. In an apparent decision-making time frame of 5 minutes and with an airspace infringement of only 17 seconds.
This latest event on the Syrian-Turkish border has not deterred the EU leadership in the least from continuing with a "business as usual" philosophy with Turkey. The latest news is that the EU is giving Turkey 3bn Euros. You might well say, "but isn't the timing just a little wrong?" Heck, no the EU, like the Titanic carries on in the foggy night, despite the warnings.
Bear in mind, the AKP party of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan only won snap parliamentary elections on November 1st, so it is in a confident position domestically & politically. This week alone the ever defiant tone continues to set by Turkey's leadership, in the wake of the SU-24 ambush:
"The protection of our land borders, our airspace, is not only a right, it is a duty," he said. "We apologize for committing mistakes, not for doing our duty."
"No country should ask us to apologize," Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters following a meeting with NATO's secretary general in Brussels. Interesting comments made in an interesting meeting, was it scheduled before the SU-24 shoot-down? I'd loved to have been a fly on that wall. The timing is intriguing to say the least. France jumped on the "let's bomb Syria" bandwagon following the Paris attacks, then the UK & Germany decided to join in the illegal military campaign against Syria. NATO is currently building up air assets in southern Turkey. [See blogpost:http://lepontduhadu.blogspot.fr/2015/11/turkish-back-stabbing-nato-part-2.html]
The big problem is that the Turkish government is losing its nerves & will continue to do while the Russians remain active in Syria. The Russian air operations have radically changed the balance on the ground, to the detriment of Turkish backed rebel/terrorist groups. It is a matter of time before some other 'incident' takes place that will impact not on the region, but might badly affect the EU as well.