Istanbul is hosting an international conference on the situation in Syria organized by Turkey’s largest opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). During the conference, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu called on the Turkish authorities to restore contacts with the government of Bashar al-Assad and work together to fight terrorism and solve the problem of Syrian refugees.
For Istanbul, this problem is extremely urgent – and it is quite possible that the Turkish parliamentary opposition specifically holds a conference on Syria in the largest Turkish metropolis. Of the more than three million Syrian refugees Turkey has taken in since the start of the “revolution” in 2011, about half a million have settled in Istanbul. Even for a 20 million-dollar metropolis, it’s too much. The attitude towards Syrians as “little brothers” who have lost everything and who need help has long changed to the opposite – by 2019, the masses are rigid: refugees must leave, they prevent Turks from living. In some places, refugees have already been the victims of mass pogroms. The Syrian refugees hang around the neck of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – Erdogan’s Turkey has proved to be the most hospitable country for Syrians who have decided to flee the war, but then changed her grace to anger. There are growing reports of the forced deportation of refugees to Idlib, the last zone of armed conflict in Syria, a blatant violation of human rights. The methods of the Turkish “migration service” are also no different.
In Turkey’s Adana, angry crowds attacked and looted shops and businesses belonging to Syrian refugees over false rumour of sexual abuse by a Syrian man. pic.twitter.com/UMeOOkVvG8
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye) September 23, 2019
It was the problem of Syrian refugees that Erdogan devoted the bulk of his speech to the UN General Assembly. The Turkish leader has officially announced his plan – if the international community gives the go-ahead for the creation of a “security zone” in northern Syria on Turkish healers, Ankara will resettle a million Syrian refugees there. For a start, it is doubtful that Erdogan’s plan could work at least in part as intended. Half a million Syrians in Istanbul – some of them living there as refugees for eight years since 2011, and others even managed to make some fortune there – will not leave comfortable Turkey for homeless camps in northern Syria (“pilot zones” In the security zone”), where they will be threatened every minute by militants from U.S.-sponsored Kurdish groups. Plans to resettle a million people without even asking for consent to “travel” are, by definition, criminal and cannot be justified by any political necessity. Not to mention that it would be a direct, open and clear violation of Syria’s territorial sovereignty and integrity.
#Turkey is deporting Syrians especially in Istanbul city. Witnesses report that the Turkish police is insulting Syrian refugees and beating them in case they refuse deportation. This video shows a group of Syrian refugees and their hands are tied.
— Mazen Hassoun (@HassounMazen) July 20, 2019
In order to “clean up” the planned “security zone” – a 30-40-kilometer-wide strip that will house as many as 140 new villages with a population of 5,000 people and 10 towns with a population of 30,000 – Turkey has all the necessary military force, military expert Boris Rozhin is sure. In an interview with the Federal News Agency, he said that the Turks will only have a few days to “reform” the situation in northern Syria.
“Two Turkish armies have been deployed on the border with Rojava. From a military point of view, there is no problem to cross the border and occupy the territory – the Kurds (from the pro-American coalition “SDF” and militias YPG. – FAN) will be able to provide some resistance, but the operation in Afrin showed that against there is little they can do,” Rozhin said.
According to the editor-in-chief of the Kasshad Information and Analysis Center, Erdogan is currently hesitant to be linked to the “best friends of the Kurds” of the United States, and the tactical ally, Russia, which is necessary Erdogan, not to “surrender” Idlib (which will be perceived by the Turks as a betrayal of the Syrian opposition, which the Turkish leader fed with his hands for many years), and not to smear his hands with direct and clear support of terrorists.
“Turkey is afraid to do something on its own, as it may quarrel not only with the United States, with which relations have not been sticking recently but also with Russia, which at the moment is against Erdogan’s ambitions in northern Syria,” said Boris Rozhin.
Therefore, Erdogan continues the information campaign, pedaling the topic of Kurdish terrorism, the refugee problem, and the threat of a separatist Kurdish enclave – he, the foreign minister and his deputy, and the Turkish media voice it on all international platforms. They expect a change in the environment that would allow these plans to be implemented. But it doesn’t have to happen.”
“It’s blackmail. Erdogan’s blackmail is the purest. He has already tried to use it once, having received 3 billion euros from Europe. It’s, you know, like black caviar – it beats the memory of its taste: here I remember, Here I do not remember,” Chuprygin chuckled in an interview with FAN.
He recalled that just a few days ago Erdogan warned the European Union – if the issue with the “security zone” is not resolved, Turkey “will be forced to open stubs” and open the borders to all refugees who wish to seek happiness in the countries Europe. And on the new migration wave, Turkey can only sympathize with the Europeans and tell how hard it was for the Turks to help 3.7 million Syrian refugees. But in Europe, the message about the “security zone” will be understood correctly.” Erdogan says: guys, we are concerned about the situation in northern Syria, we have long said that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party rules the ball in this region, and they are terrorists, they blow us up and kill our people, and you do not help us – and you, the Americans with whom We agree and agree, but we can’t agree, and you Europeans who don’t let us into the EU, so we say that if you’re like this, we’re going to clean up the 40-kilometer zone, we’re going to get the refugees out there — and then you think they’re going to go to Idlib. or Deir Ezzor?
No, they will all break down on the coast and will start to sail in the direction of you, dear Europeans, with all the truths and crooks,” Chuprygin explained.
During his speech at the General Assembly, Erdogan announced the cost of a “security zone” with the resettlement of refugees – a fantastic 23.7 billion euros. It is worth remembering that a rich Europe and 6 billion euros did not want to scrape together to help Erdogan with refugees.
“In fact, it stands for: give money! Andrey Chuprygin is sure. — This is blatant blackmail in the hope of getting money from the European Union. Erdogan’s financial capabilities are limited today, it is no secret for anyone..In general, according to the FAN interlocutor, Erdogan is in a very unenviable situation – he is not under pressure from all sides, the position of his party in the country has ceased to be strong, there is no money and the population is dissatisfied.
“For Erdogan, this moment is very important – for a reason he decided to speak from the podium of the General Assembly. Erdogan has a difficult situation inside the country and he understands it very well, in fact.
He needs to get his hands on something that he can show the population, the electorate – they say, I’m here for a reason! Where do you get it from? He has one argument left – refugees by whom he can blackmail Europe,” Chuprygin concluded.
The Turkish opposition insists that to solve the refugee problem Ankara must be the first to break the silence and go to talks with Damascus – whether Bashar al-Assad likes Erdogan or not, but the Syrian president is now the only politician who is capable to provide real assistance to the Turkish president in a key domestic political issue.
Otherwise, a whole set of scenarios are possible in which a new war will start in northern Syria – perhaps not as large-scale and comprehensive as the war in Syria in 2014-2015, but bloody and terrible. So far, Turkey has been seriously hampered by the U.S. presence and tactical alliance with Russia – but any reckless move by Erdogan in northern Syria could open a new bloody page in history with Syria, Turkey, the Kurds, and refugees.