No wonder Horst Seehofer and Germany are in a fit, suddenly concerned about the border in Greece. But the EU does not have to be helpless and so weak, or to leave itself vulnerable to the actions and moods of a pariah in Turkey.
The EU is not without resources or methods to close the sea routes from Turkey or to seal the borders by “pushing back” (only the naive, like Sweden, follow unrealistic and outdated UN protocols) the boats to Turkey. This would end Erdogan’s leverage. Yet, the EU has no moral fiber or will to defend Europe.
Moreover, the EU has economic leverage on Turkey, whose economy is in shambles. The EU could bury Erdogan but does not have the courage, confidence or self-respect to deliver.
Erdogan has gotten this far because of the soft coddling from Germany and others. We don’t agree with Sebastian Kurz on everything, but his no-nonsense stand against Turkey is both admirable and spot on. Erdogan needs to be answered, strongly and swiftly.
* “I am saying this today: We have not got the required support from the world — particularly from the EU — to share the burden of the refugees we have been hosting, so we might have to [open the gates] to get the support.” — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Takvim, September 5, 2019
“If we open the floodgates, no European government will be able to survive for more than six months. We advise them not to try our patience.” — Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Anadolu Agency, July 21, 2019.
** The V4 Report advises the EU to answer the bell by informing Erdogan to either adjust his attitude or face crippling economic and trade sanctions, while taking away his leverage by sealing off the Greece border…or Erdogan will continue to abuse a feeble EU.