Refugee crisis and Soros' visit - HATICE KARAHAN

Refugee crisis and Soros' visit

Last Saturday, George Soros had a focus-group meeting in Istanbul with some economic writers.

The topic of the meeting was the refugee crisis. As Soros was sharing his thoughts with us on the steps Europe should take in this direction, he remarked that there should be cooperation between the EU and Turkey.

Besides death at sea, the addition of the risk of freezing with the coming of winter is in the most explicit way showing Europe that the refugee flow should be addressed very urgently.

However, many European countries still avoid taking this responsibility. What per cent of the generosity to 2.5 million refugees that Turkey has shown, could Europe show? On the other hand, initially Germany, the EU's remembering “values!” and their calls to find a solution to this problem do not take a response at all.

Thus, in recent weeks statements the cracksin the EU from the refugee crisis are increasing.

The leaders coming together to address these concerns at the end of October showed that only for a few small moments they could shake hands. It was impossible to reach fast and definite solutions, and now there are deepening concerns that it will destabilize regional integrity.


Soros also prepared a six-point plan to address the problem. In summary, as the humanitarian crisis turned into a political crisis since the EU does not have a common asylum policy, the region should accept at least 1 million refugees annually.

At this point, the most critical issues are distribution of the burden fairly and providing financing.

Another outstanding article in the suggestion is with a movement that would be led by the EU providing financial support to countries such as Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan which are currently hosting significant refugee populations.

This means with 5,000 euros per refugee, a total amount of 20 billion euros.

It cannot be said that this amount is realistic.

Soros also pointed out that a common “Refugee and Immigration Agency” should be founded by the EU, added that groundwork was needed to take in at least 1 million refugees to Europe.

In other words, Europe, which cannot even cope with the current situation, should get out of the panic it is in and should gradually get used to it.

Also, safe transportation should be provided for the refugees. Of course no answer to the “where is the money?” question stands as a contradiction.

Let them stay where they live

On the other hand, in the meeting Soros said that in order to do all these, those who are seeking refuge should stay where they live.

Soros argued that this approach would cause fewer losses, and pointed out that in this way the current chaos in Europe could be ended.

I told him that I agreed with the suggestion to open the doors to Europe, but I had some reservations.

I asked him how fair could it be that in an atmosphere where millions of refugees are in question, Europe, which is several times bigger than Turkey in area and population, will take 1 million refugees only if it is ready, whereas Turkey has been currently sheltering 2.5 million refugees.

He indicated that when considered realistically, the region as a whole is panicked. An equitable distribution of the burden should be designed.

I reminded him that Turkey has been suffering from more serious problems both in terms of equity and panic. I asked him to evaluate the social effects of refugees continuing to live in their current locations for a long time.

I could not get a clear answer from him on this issue. However, İshak Alaton, who was among the hosts of the meeting, indicated that my concern for this issue was important and said Syrian children especially should be given support for their education to decrease restlessness in society.

Not sustainable

Of course the Soros Plan presents suggestions beyond the current decisions and approaches of Europe.

As you know, the region has not recovered yet in terms of humanity. Besides this, as I pointed out in my questions, I insist that the primary host of refugees in the world, Turkey, for reasons valid also for Europe, should be approached more fairly in ways that go beyond financial aid.

It is because the idea that the refugees, whose number continues to exponentially, should stay in their places for an indefinite period of time would fuel various social tensions for Turkey in the near future.

In the southern part of the country, sensitive balances prevail, but it is possible that the growing immigrant mass will cause new disturbances.

Of course, as I indicated in previous article, Turkey showed a generosity in humanitarian action and something other than this does not suit us. We are proud of this. But İt is also true that if the world doesn't significantly share our burden, this situation is not sustainable.

Since Europe, which does not have a positive view of Soros' suggestion, is one of the pillars of this issue, the entire Western world must shoulder responsibility. On the other hand, it would not hurt if Israel and the Gulf countries, which are nose distance away, both open their wallets and open their doors.

This unequal treatment, which is the shame of the entire world, will not easily stop. If a fair regional/global distribution cannot be arranged, my concerns for Turkey will increase.


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