Turkey and the European Union have reportedly reached a deal about the refugee crisis. That’s both good and bad news.
First, the good news. As Turkish opposition newspaper Hürriyet explains, Turkey promises to finally do something about the tsunami of Syrian and Iraqi “immigrants” to Europe.
That’s just wonderful. After all, the refugee crisis is not only causing serious economic problems in Europe, but also cultural, social and criminal problems. It’s time that something is done about it.
Now for the bad news. And with “bad,” I mean potentially catastrophic.
The EU offered to lift visa requirements and provide an additional 3 billion euros in aid to Turkey, after a half-day summit was extended upon Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s suggestion of “new ideas” going beyond Ankara’s commitments to curb a flood of migrants to Europe, Reuters and Turkish Prime Ministry sources have reported.
The Turkish sources said visas would be scrapped for Turkish citizens by the end of June and an additional 3 billion euros would be given to Turkey to provide better living conditions for Syrian migrants in its country.
Before the negotiations started, Turkey’s president Erdoğan said he wanted three billion euros in aid and visa-free traveling for Turks, and that’s exactly what he got: Turks can soon travel to Europe whenever and however they want. And they can pay for their travel arrangements with European taxpayers’ money.
Most Europeans will oppose this arrangement for obvious reasons, such as the fear that many Turks won’t leave once they’re in, but also because they believe it’s the first step to a Turkish EU membership. And they’re right. Europe’s leaders may not be willing to say so out loud right now, but Ankara is slightly less hesitant:
The officials said the EU-Turkey summit was not only focused on migration but also on Turkey’s EU accession process. “Turkey’s existence here… [Turkey’s] attendance at the summit is not directly linked to the migration issue,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted a Turkish official as saying.
“We are not here just to talk about the migrants. Turkey’s EU accession is an issue for us here as well,” he added.
I know what you’re thinking: “OK, that’s bad, but that must be it, right? The EU couldn’t possibly have negotiated an even worse deal, could they?”
Of course they could. And they did. You see, when push comes to shove, Turkey won’t actually do anything to curb the flow of immigrants:
At the same time, the 28-nation bloc will accept one refugee from Turkey for every Syrian refugee Turkey accepts, Turkish sources added, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.
“For every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from Greek islands, another Syrian will be resettled from Turkey to the EU member states,” read a part of the draft agreement seen by Reuters.
So whenever Greece sends an unwanted refugee back to Turkey, the rest of the EU has to accept another refugee who comes directly from Turkey! In math that would be akin to: 1-1+1. Apparently, the EU thinks that leaves us with zero. No, enlightened fools, it does not. It leaves us with one, which is exactly where we were when we started.
This is an outrage. The EU has completely surrendered to Erdoğan, an authoritarian ruler who has — for years — used the refugee crisis for his own benefit, and the EU isn’t merely letting him get away with it, but positively rewarding him for it.