Standing up to Turkey: Austria’s chancellor is the only EU leader prepared to call out Turkey's President Erdogan over weaponizing migrants to EU
3-3-20, * -- A poorly-considered fix to prevent Syrian Islamic migrants aka refugees flooding Europe has come undone for the EU as Turkish President Erdogan opens Turkey’s border to the west, with only Austrian Chancellor Kurz exposing Brussels’ migration policy failure.
While Brussels has taken its eye off the ball, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was paying attention and rightly accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as weaponizing thousands of Syrians it's “an attack on the EU.”
In 2016, the EU naïvely entered into a pact with the populist Erdogan to stem what at the time was a rising tide of Syrians by offering €6 billion [$6.7 billion] to help deal with the crisis.
With around 3.7 million refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and other countries now in Turkey, that money was never going to be enough, and when the time came that Erdogan wanted leverage over the EU, he was always going to threaten to turn the migration tap on again.
Which is exactly what he has done.
Though Chancellor Kurz has come down hard on the threat, and no doubt scored some much-needed political points by doing so, you have to wonder where the outrage from Brussels is.
Greece is angered over Turkey’s actions, and the horror of images featuring dead children drowned after falling from boats and coastguards shooting at jam-packed refugee dinghies will only increase the temperature of this mess.
It’s not as if we haven’t been here before. The frontline states in this ongoing saga, Greece, Italy and Spain, extended the offer of help to the war-torn countries of the region to the south on the belief that the EU would come up with a common immigration policy that would share the burden equitably among the bloc’s member states.
But we’re still waiting for this to materialize.
What Erdogan wants instead, when Greece and Italy decided to take matters into their own hands, trying to turn back the people smugglers and their desperate passengers, there is outcry from the liberal democracies over alleged human rights abuses.
So suddenly, these two EU member states find themselves as the bad guys.
Turkey has a point. It did the EU a massive favor in taking in millions of Syrians fleeing a war zone, but the bill it has racked up so far of more than US$30 billion is not something they’ll ever recoup. Erdogan is resigned to that, and it means he can take the moral high ground refusing a paltry offer of a further €1bn from the EU with a sniffy, “Who are you trying to fool? We don’t want this money.”
So what does Erdogan want? In a word: friends.
The days of Turkey courting Western leaders and hoping to join the European Union seem a long way off under Erdogan. If he is trying to convince the EU leaders to help him over Syrian refugees then threatening them is not the smartest move.
In the meantime, the miserable refugees are used as bargaining chips by Erdogan until he can figure a way out of this mire. His hugely optimistic emergency meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Mar 5, 2020 could hold the key.
🙏✝️ Luke 1:37 💕❤️
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7-8-21-21, Israel has only 8000 square miles of land - the Muslims have 5 million. Yet, they also want the Jews land. Of all the nations of the world, the Lord chose the descendants of Jacob [Jews], not Ishmael [Muslims], to be His covenant people - the descendants of Abraham and wife Sarah. (Genesis 17:19-21; Malachi 1:1–5).
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