This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sneering Erdogan

"We are far ahead of most EU countries but unfortunately, they are not sincere. We have 2.5-million refugees, no one cares. What do they say to us? [...] 'Oh my, don't open your doors, don't let them reach us."
"The PKK should not be given some kind of cloak of legitimisation by fighting against Daesh [Isis]."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, in Brussels, demanded the EU’s support for a ‘safe zone’ in northern Syria Reuters

“... However, Turkey needs to be equally ready to act. The situation where hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing to the EU via Turkey must be stopped."
"Europe has to manage its borders better. We expect Turkey to do the same."
Donald Tusk, chief, European Council
Heaping scorn on the European Union for its objections over the rising tide of refugees and haven seekers from the Islamic nations of the Middle East, Asia and Africa, the Turkish president speaks of the sacrifices that his administration has made in providing shelter to what he claims is two million Syrian refugees fleeing death and destruction committed mostly by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's troops, and minimally in comparison but far more graphically by Islamic State jihadis.

The European Union, led primarily by France, has for decades staved off Turkish requests to be accepted into the European Union, citing Turkey's poor human rights record. This is what propelled Mr. Erdogan to make a temporary peace pact with the Kurdish militants of the PKK. That truce has since been abandoned as Turkey has propelled itself into attacks against Turkish Kurds, reaching out to their posts in Iraq and in Turkey in bombing missions.

The fact that it is the Kurdish militias in Syria, Iraq and Turkey that have convincingly demonstrated themselves to be the most reliable adversaries in conflict with Islamic State has not deterred Erdogan's mission to destroy them; his hatred runs deep and wide. He will do just about anything to prevent them from accomplishing their long-held dreams of finally convincing the world that as the largest ethnic group without a state of their own, they have earned that status.

Turkey's governments have always resented being kept at arm's length to the European Union; the economic opportunities inclusion would afford them has compelled them to continue their mission to be accepted; the link between East and West; as an Islamic country in a wide arc of non-Muslim nations that have forged an all-purpose liaison of shared defence, economic ties, currency and social-political moderation.

As an aspirant-country to the EU, Turkey also resents that Turks must require visas to enable them to travel to Europe. Now, the EU elite are conciliatory and eager to meet Turkey's demands; not perhaps the one urging the EU to deny legitimacy to the Kurds, however. But the EU has pledged to hand over massive sums of treasury to aid Turkey in giving haven to the large number of refugees languishing in refugee camps in the country, as long as Turkey agrees to keep them there.

But the EU is now swallowing a bitter pill, having to do business with a country and its leader whom few feel any admiration for.  An unnamed senior European diplomat remarked that Erdogan's abrasive manner toward the West and his clawing away at Turkish democracy has resulted in little love for him in the EU. "We’re embracing a government we really don’t like at all. We have to bring down this flow of migrants. It has become realpolitik; we’re leaving aside our worries about domestic politics", the diplomat was quoted as saying.

"Facing an unprecedented migrant influx, a rising threat from Islamic State terrorists, and unchecked Russian military intervention in Syria, Europe needs Erdogan like never before", Simon Tisdall, foreign affairs columnist for The Guardian and a seasoned Turkey expert recently wrote in his analysis of the situation. The 600,000 refugees, many from Syria, and many others seeking opportunities to settle in Europe, particularly Sweden, Austria and Germany for economic reasons, have strained Europe's capacity to cope.

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar speaks of his nation being overwhelmed with 60,000 refugees arriving in the last few weeks. "In the next few days and weeks, I do believe that the European Union and Europe as a whole will start to fall apart", should no fresh approach be forthcoming, he stated. "What we are going to do with hundreds of thousands of these people?" was the rhetorical question asked by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.

Experts in migration continue to point out that there will be no solution to the crisis of refugees flooding Europe without resolving the war in Syria which has been the driver of migration out of a country torn by violence perpetrated on citizens by their own government. Russia has yet to be convinced.

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