Turkey, thanks to the United Nations, will now officially be in charge of deciding not only who is a refugee but also where he or she will be placed or transferred. Turkish state authorities have repeatedly threatened to flood Europe with refugees, such as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s message to Europe in 2016:
“You cried out when 50,000 refugees were at the Kapikule border. You started asking what you would do if Turkey would open the gates. Look at me — if you go further, those border gates will be open. You should know that.”
Given the Turkish threats, this new official position for Turkey should be of concern.
The pro-government Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah recently reported:
“The U.N. refugee agency has handed over the management of registration procedures for the refugees in Turkey to the country’s migration authority. Turkey’s Directorate General of Migration Management itself will now oversee the registration of refugees and determine their status. Any foreigner seeking international protection in Turkey will now have to apply to the local offices of the Turkish migration authority.”
The concern exists for three key reasons.
In March, Erdoğan slammed French President Emmanuel Macron for his offer to mediate between Ankara and Syrian Kurds. He warned:
“With this attitude, France has no right to complain about any terrorist organization, any terrorist, any terrorist attack. Those who sleep with terrorists, welcome them in their palaces, will understand sooner or later the mistake that they made.”
In April, hours after a man ploughed his van into pedestrians in Münster, Germany, Erdoğan verbally attacked France again, calling it a “stooge”:
“… providing support to terrorism…hosting terrorists at the Elysée Palace… You see what is happening in Germany, right? The same will happen in France. The West will not able to free itself from terror. The West will sink as it feeds these terrorists.”
It is not merely threats from Erdoğan that should cause Europe to re-think its lax immigration policies. In recent years, European cities — such as Manchester, Paris, Brussels, Nice, Copenhagen, London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Toulouse, Trèbes, Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, Berlin and Stockholm — have been shaken by deadly jihadist attacks. Since many of the terrorists involved in these attacks were radicalized and recruited by jihadist groups, both in the Middle East and in Europe, unchecked immigration from Muslim-majority countries seems risky.
This is not just speculation. Opinion polls indicate that a large number of Muslims worldwide support terrorism or violence on behalf of Islam. There are also reports that ISIS has been infiltrating operatives into Europe via Greece, by disguising them as migrants among the masses. According to a recent Deutsche Welle documentary, “Terror at the Moria Refugee Camp”:
“A group of IS [ISIS] followers are said to be terrorizing people in the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. On the pretext of religious propriety, they brutally punish whoever [sic] they deem criminal.
“Recently more and more refugees from Deir ez-Zor, one of the last strongholds of Islamic State in Syria, have been arriving in the camp. Since then, it seems that crime in the camp has taken on a new quality. A group of Syrians is said to be controlling most of the illegal activities. Anyone who doesn’t toe the line or is in the way can expect physical violence or even death threats. The perpetrators often cite Sharia law as their justification. More and more graffiti glorify IS.”
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