Syria between Turkey's mercy and Europe's plan - ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL

Syria between Turkey's mercy and Europe's plan

The Syrian refugee problem that began with the arrival of Syrian refugees in Turkey in 2011 is no longer solely Turkey's problem, but has become the hottest humanitarian problem in the world.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) November report, the number of the Syrians who took refuge in Turkey has reached 2,287,360. Moreover, this is only the number of registered refugees. It is expected that with the latest wave of refugees, this number will reach 3.5 million.

When compared to the other countries, it is obvious that Turkey has been carrying a serious material and spiritual responsibility in the Syrian refugee issue. Turkey has been hosting more than half of Syrian refugees exceeding 4 million in total.

Opening the gates to Syrian refugees without any prerequisites, Turkey continues to follow an aid policy without attaching importance to the identity of the people in need and from which country they come.

Besides food and shelter, refugees have been provided support in the areas of training, health and recruitment.

An example for international social aid

In the face of all that is happening in Syria and the silence of international aid organizations, Turkey is applying an "international social aid policy," which can set an example for all countries.

Despite having times when we were unable to pay our debts, let alone their interest and were in need of aid, we are now implementing a social aid policy at the international level, which can serve as a lesson particularly for the developed countries and aid organizations.

The amount that has been spent on refugees' basic needs such as training, health, shelter and food has reached $8 billion in four years. Only $455 million of this amount came from the international aid fund.

This amount spent on the refugees does not damage the national budget or affect the economic indicators negatively because of the strength of the Turkish economy against an external crisis which would moreover primarily affect Turkey.

In other words, with its “open door policy,” Turkey accepted all Syrians who fled the war in Syria and took refuge in our country for a right to live. At the same time, it is trying to bring a life standard for them.

Moreover, we are talking about a country whose own political risks and social rest have been threatened in a period because of the geopolitical risks that emerged as a result of the things experienced in Iraq and Syria next door.

As long as the EU plays three monkeys in Syria, it cannot give advice

The European countries which have been playing the three monkeys in the face of the Syrian tragedy for almost five years are starting to show “sensitivity” toward the Syrian refugees' desire to cross into Europe. This is proof that global politics and economy are divided based on certain specific features.

The Syrian refugees' desire to get to other European countries by crossing through the Aegean Sea to Greece opened European countries' eyes to the violence in Syria.

The interesting thing is that the European countries which have kept their silence against the atrocities happening in Syria for years – although they need Turkey to stem the wave of refugees coming from Syria – do not refrain from recklessly advising Turkey.

Moreover they have been doing this by putting forward the 3 billion euros which will be given to Turkey as aid for the Syrian refugees. Turkey neither needs the 3 billion euros nor the advice of the EU countries which have been playing the three monkeys on the humanitarian aid issue.

But, the EU, already bored with the Greek crisis, is again obligated to cooperate with Turkey to help cope with the Syrian refugee problem that will come from Greece.

For those who still have the perception that “Turkey is a country in debt,” should understand that the 3 billion euros promised to Turkey is not a favor for Turkey but themselves.

As long as the Syrian crisis continues, the spread of the crisis to Europe is inevitable.
It is a complete enigma whether the European countries will be able to manage this crisis as successfully as Turkey.


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