Hungary urges EU dialogue with Turkey to prevent new wave of migrants.
Here lies the problem: One cannot “dialogue” with a tyrant like Erdogan, nor can the EU rely on Turkey to secure its borders in the long run.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto (the V4 Report has always admired Szijjarto) criticised some EU member states “who are making a competition who can bash the Turkish president more while relying on Turkey to curb the flow of refugees.”
His second point should be studied. Why on earth is the EU relying on Turkey to curb the flow of refugees? This is highly irresponsible.
The EU and Greece must do this themselves, or they will always be held hostage to the actions and demands of Erdogan.
* As the V4 Report wrote in January 2016, “Amazingly, the EU has chosen to surrender their responsibility to secure the external border to a foreign entity in Turkey. The EU is negotiating from a point of weakness, at the mercy of Turkey’s Erdogan. We believe this is a mistake, and it is doomed to fail miserably in the long term.”
While the EU commands little influence abroad (they just are not respected), there are several options to stop illegal migration from Turkey, but this requires courage, something the EU simply lacks.
1. Balkan security analyst Ioannis Michaletos says, “There are direct and indirect ways, and you have to use a combination of both”.
“A direct way would be to name the close sea regions between Turkey and Greece as military zones. This means that anybody that tries to pass through the medium line between the two countries will be stopped by Navy ships, will be detained for 18 months and will be charged with trespassing in a military zone,” he says.
The security expert added that “Because Turkey is not in the EU, Greece can do this — but not alone — because it doesn’t have the space to detain so many people. The EU needs to back Greece in order to do this.” (As opposed to ‘resettlement’, this solution relies on “denying entry”.)
Michaletos points out that “according to international law, if a Syrian passes through Turkey to go to another country, he is no longer recognized as a refugee because he did not file for asylum in the first country he entered, as long as it is considered a safe country. And Turkey is considered a safe country by the United Nations.”
The Balkan security analyst furthermore explains, however, that “The indirect way is very fascinating and could produce better results.”
He points out that “Greece, the EU, possibly Interpol and other security agencies can pinpoint — and they have the means to do this — who the smugglers in Turkey are. How are they connected with the Turkish police or the Turkish military? Who are the smugglers in the Mideast who are actually transporting these people, who in many cases are being uses as slaves because they don’t have the money to pay for their trip?”
He added that “The big heads who reside in Istanbul, or in Izmir or in Beirut should be named, arrested and sanctioned. How can you have a deterrence policy if you let these people enrich themselves and do this without any consequences?”
2. The EU has the leverage to use “Economic hardball” to break an already vulnerable Turkish economy while adjusting Erdogan’s attitude…as opposed to allowing Erdogan to bring the EU to its knees.
Dig deep and one will find lots of economic ammunition to confront Erdogan. For instance, 41% of Turkey’s exports are to the EU28 countries, with Germany buying the most from Turkey. Europe could bury Turkey’s economy.
Erdogan needs Europe much more than Europe needs Turkey. The EU should by all means give Erdogan a choice behind close doors: respect our borders and we can talk about your future; or cast your lot with a Middle East in flames and we will isolate you and your people from Europe.
Erdogan respects power, not candy, and cannot afford any type of sanctions at this time from a continent he needs. The economy of Turkey is in shambles; Erdogan will understand the message loud and clear. Destabilize the economy and his power becomes threatened. (Word of caution. The EU Border must be sealed for any solution. It is a common sense at any time).
The weak and feeble response by the EU to this crisis has baffled me from the start. By unarming themselves of all courage in the face of “UN-Correctness”, the EU finds itself disrespected by the smugglers, Erdogan, the NGOs and even the migrants themselves. As a result, all Europeans are at risk and chaos reigns. The borders are open to literally anyone, including Islamic terrorists.
** The EU is not threatened by a strong opposition, but rather by their own weakness and lack of will and confidence. The EU has the leverage to stop this madness; but do they have the courage to fight for their culture and way of life – or have they already surrendered their soul?
No official responsible for defending Europe should ever completely “outsource” its border responsibilities to a foreign power. Yes, work with others where there are mutual benefits and understandings, but never rely on a foreign entity for security.
Ultimately, it is Europe that must defend its own external borders…at all costs and by any means.