More threats of unleashing migrants by Erdoğan
If the revealing tweet of Burhan Kuzu and a leaked EU memo (which Erdoğan confirmed to be valid) were not enough to convince you that Erdoğan has been using the threat of migrants as a negotiating tactic against others, well now we have public statements by Erdoğan himself to cite as evidence. With the recent offensive by Hezbollah, Russia and Bashar al-Assad’s forces on the city of Aleppo, at least 50,000 Aleppians have fled their battered city and are heading for the Turkish border.
Thus far Turkey has kept its border largely closed to these refugees in spite of criticism from other nations and organizations. If you have not noticed by now, Erdoğan does not take too kindly to criticism. He responded in his usual manner during a business forum, “We do not have the word ‘idiot’ written on our foreheads. Don’t think that the planes and the buses are there for nothing. We will do the necessary.”
So here we have Erdoğan publicly implying that he will bus and plane migrants into other countries (presumably Greece and Bulgaria) if necessary. What more evidence do you need that Erdoğan is helping to facilitate the flow of migrants into Europe and is using the threat of increasing this migrant flow to serve his own interests?
However, to a certain degree, Erdoğan’s discontent is understandable. Turkey has borne the brunt of the Syrian population displaced by the Syrian Civil War. Undoubtedly Turkey is experiencing a significant economic and social strain due to the over 2 million Syrian within its borders, while other countries, particularly the Gulf Coast Sunni Arab states have done very little with regards to this matter.
Yet this difficult situation for Turkey does not undo the fact, which is clearly implied by his most recent statements, that Erdoğan has and is using the migrant crisis as a negotiating tactic to effectively blackmail the EU.
Ultimately the devious Erdoğan is in fact no idiot. He will do what is in his own neo-Ottoman and Islamist interest. One wonders when the EU will behave in a likewise manner and do what is in its own interest, and most importantly what is in the interest of the European people.