The “selective memory” of the Daily Sabah (Erdogan’s propaganda machine) and the EU Commission regarding the EU Turkey deal. We are not sure who provides more “spin”.
** The EU Commission claims “only 15% of Syrian refugees have been resettled from Turkey to the EU countries under the resettlement agreement signed in March 2016.”
How can they possibly calculate this number? They cannot unless they engage in deception. This is a false statement.
1. Top misinformation: “Under the deal, the EU pledged to admit 72,000 Syrian refugees who resided in Turkey.” Not exactly true. This was not a pledge but the “maximum number” of Syrians to be relocated to Europe under the so-called “one-for-one” swap of “Syrians only”.
The Daily Sabah claims only 11,354 Syrians have been resettled to Europe as of November 2017. This is how they erroneously calculate the 15% success rate. Again, the 72,000 figure was not a pledge, but an upper limit dependent on “72,000 Syrians being sent back to Turkey”, which we all know is not the case.
Under the deal, this means that 11,354 Syrians should have been sent back to Turkey from Europe. Unfortunately, this has not happened. The leaders of Greece are simply not sending back the Syrians to Turkey to match the Syrians being sent to Europe. In fact, it’s not even close to “one-for-one”. Very few Syrians, maybe a thousand, have been sent back to Turkey. This is a sham.
2. Second misinformation: “The deal employs a one-for-one formula under which failed asylum seekers in Europe are returned to Turkey while Syrian refugees are resettled in EU states in a quota system.” Again, the language has been altered and distorted to fit Erdogan’s agenda.
The “one-for-one” swap ONLY pertains to Syrians, not “failed asylum seekers”. Under the second part of the deal, in which both Turkey and the EU seem to have forgotten, ALL “non-Syrian irregulars” were to be sent from Greece back to Turkey with no corresponding swap. One may have to read this paragraph twice.
However, it’s always the same story with Greece, which is not sending back “all the non-Syrians” to Turkey as required. Instead, the illegal migrants are “roaming” in places like Serbia waiting for their chance to travel north, or hoping for the EU to expand their relocation program. This has created a very dangerous situation for Europeans.
3. The big reach for glory: EU Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos claims, “The number of crossings in the Aegean Sea has seen a considerable decline since the migrant deal was reached.”
Macedonians, Hungarians, Austrians and others may strongly disagree with a portion of this statement. While it is a fact that the number of crossings have declined, these numbers were already decreasing due to the closing of the Balkan route, which was initially vehemently opposed by Angela Merkel and the EU. The Balkan closing clearly pre-dated the deal with Turkey.
We will not claim that the Turkey deal was not helpful, but the key was the closing of the migrant pipeline from Greece to Germany. The migrants targeted “rich” Germany for their final destination. They had no desire to be stuck in Greece or Serbia. Once this road to Germany was secured, the migrant demand for Greece dropped sharply. There was no longer any incentives to reach Greece. Ironically, the biggest beneficiary was Germany, which is why Merkel no longer talks about the Balkan closing as “not my Europe”.
*** Don’t get caught up in the rhetoric of Angela Merkel or “poor” Erdogan in Turkey. The deal is paying dividends for both Turkey and Germany…..thanks mainly to the efforts of Visegrad and the Central European Defence Cooperation coalition.