Visit ArabTopics.com

Death at the Greek Border

In a surprising move, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, announced on February 29 that he will be re-opening his country’s border to Europe, thus allowing tens of thousands of mostly Syrian refugees into Greece and other European countries.

Expectedly, over 100,000 people rushed to the Ipsala border point in the Edirne province separating Turkey from Greece, hoping to make it through the once-porous border.

Even though, initially, the sea route was not opened for the refugees, many attempted to brave the sea, anyway, using small fishing boats and dinghies. A few have reportedly reached the Greek Islands.

What transpired was one of the most tragic, heart-rendering episodes of the Syrian war and the subsequent refugee crisis saga.

This time around, Greece, with tacit political support from the rest of the European Union, was determined not to allow any of the refugees into its territories.

The prevailing understanding in Europe is that the Turkish government was purposely engineering a refugee crisis to press the EU into supporting Turkish military operations in Idlib in northern Syria.

“They didn’t come here on their own,” the Greek Public Order Minister, Michalis Chrysohoidis, told reporters on February 29, with reference to the flood of refugees at his country’s border. “They are being sent away and being used by (our) neighbor, Turkey,” he added.

While the media focused mostly on Erdogan’s decision within the context of the Idlib conflict, little mention was made of the fact that Syrian and other refugees in Turkey have been the focal point of an internal crisis within the country itself.

The Istanbul mayoral election (held on March 31 and, again, on June 23) underscored the anti-refugee sentiment among ordinary Turks, one that is compounded by the fact that Turkey itself has been subjected to a protracted economic recession.

Unsurprisingly, the over 3.5 million Syrian refugees who had fled the war in their country over the last decade are being scapegoated by opportunistic politicians, the likes of Istanbul’s new Mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu.

“Imamoglu was … able to tap into simmering discontent with the large number of Syrian refugees in Istanbul in the context of his general complaints about the high level of unemployment in the city,” wrote Bulent Aliriza and Zeynep Ekeler on the Center for Strategic and International Studies website.

The Turkish government is now fully aware of the obvious correlation in the minds of many Turkish voters between the oppressive economic crisis and the Syrian refugee population in Turkey.

In fact, a recurring argument made by the Turkish government is that its military campaign in northern Syria is ultimately motivated by its desire to create a safe zone that would allow for the resettlement of many Syrian refugees.

With its NATO alliance faltering, and with growing difficulties at the northern Syrian front, Turkey’s strategy quickly fell apart. However, the scenes of naked, shivering refugees running back to the Turkish side, after being pushed away by Greek military and police was not only indicative of Turkey’s growing political dilemma, but of Europe’s betrayal of Syrian refugees and its utter incompetence in fashioning long-term solutions to a crisis that has been brewing for years.

On March 18, 2016, Turkey and EU countries signed the statement of cooperation, which resulted in a short-lived barter. According to the deal, Turkey agreed to stem the flow of refugees into Europe in exchange for economic incentives to help Ankara cope with the economic burden, partly resulting from the refugee crisis.

Aside from the fact that Turkey has claimed that the EU failed to fulfill its part of the deal, the agreement did not offer a long-term solution, let alone a political vision that would ultimately end the suffering of millions of Syrians.

What makes the Syrian refugee crisis within the Turkish-EU context particularly complex is the fact that the refugees are finding themselves hostage to selfish, political calculations that view them as a burden or a pawn.

This unfortunate reality has left Syrian refugees in Turkey with three options, all of which are dismal: returning to a war zone in Syria, coping with unemployment and an increasingly hostile political environment in Turkey or making a run for the Greek border.

When Ahmed Abu Emad, a young Syrian refugee from Aleppo, opted for the third and final option on March 2, he was shot in the throat by Greek border police. His fellow refugees rushed his gaunt body back to Turkey, where he was laid to rest.

Considering their limited options, however, neither death, injury nor torture will end the quest of Syrian refugees, who are desperately trying, as they have for years, to find a safe space and badly needed respite.

Perhaps only Palestinian refugees can relate to the dilemma of their Syrian brethren. It is one thing to be pushed out of your homeland, but it is a whole different thing to be refused, dehumanized and subjugated everywhere else.

The Syrian refugee crisis is a political, not a humanitarian crisis – despite the palpable humanitarian component of it. Therefore, it can only be resolved based on a comprehensive political solution that keeps the interest of millions of Syrian refugees — in fact, the Syrian people as a whole — as a top priority.

Several ‘solutions’ have been devised in the past but they have all failed, simply because various governments in the Middle East and Europe have tried to exploit the refugees for their own political, economic, and ‘security’ interests.

The time has come for a more considerate and thoughtful political strategy that is predicated on respect for international and humanitarian laws, one that adheres to the Geneva Conventions regarding the rights of war refugees.

Syrian refugees do not deserve such inhumane treatment. They have a country, a glorious history and a deeply-rooted culture that has profoundly influenced ancient and modern civilizations. They deserve respect, rights and safety. Equally important, they should not be used as pawns in a costly and dirty political game in which they have no interest or choice.

Source: 
Dissident Voice

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Please Stop the Ride 23
The Infectious Myth 21
Lockdown Skeptics 25
Sam Husseini 31
Dr. Andrew Kaufman 3
Swiss Propaganda Research 18
Off Guardian 72
Cory Morningstar 10
James Bovard 48
WWI Hidden History 51
Grayzone Project 425
Pass Blue 372
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 17
John Pilger 425
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 3373
FEE 5417
Marine Le Pen 403
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 1227
Mohamed Omar 404
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 19
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 143
Vetenskapsradion Historia 196
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 261
Les Crises 3941
Richard Falk 220
Ian Sinclair 136
SpinWatch 61
Counter Currents 12609
Kafila 655
Gail Malone 45
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 95
The Duran 11358
Vanessa Beeley 215
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 6097
Paul Craig Roberts 2556
News Junkie Post 74
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 6146
Sir Ken Robinson 28
Stephan Kinsella 119
Liberty Blitzkrieg 885
Sami Bedouin 65
Consortium News 2685
21 Century Wire 4134
Burning Blogger 324
Stephen Gowans 102
David D. Friedman 165
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1541
Tom Dispatch 631
Levant Report 18
The Saker 5118
The Barnes Review 600
John Friend 535
Psyche Truth 160
Jonathan Cook 162
New Eastern Outlook 4901
School Sucks Project 1828
Giza Death Star 2181
Andrew Gavin Marshall 28
Red Ice Radio 685
GMWatch 2588
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 35
Jay's Analysis 1176
Le 4ème singe 91
Jacob Cohen 221
Agora Vox 19517
Cercle Des Volontaires 455
Panamza 2603
Fairewinds 121
Project Censored 1251
Spy Culture 628
Conspiracy Archive 84
Crystal Clark 14
Timothy Kelly 649
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 1056
Independent Science News 91
The Anti Media 6877
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 317
The Mind renewed 460
Natural Society 2627
Yanis Varoufakis 1145
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 114
Web of Debt 166
Porkins Policy Review 456
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 646
Libyan War Truth 373
DeadLine Live 1916
Kevin Ryan 68
BSNEWS 2129
Aaron Franz 270
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 123
Dr. Bruce Levine 160
Peter B Collins 1791
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 11975
Climate Audit 227
Donna Laframboise 510
Judith Curry 1191
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2730
Syria Report 84
Human Rights Investigation 94
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 13614
Laura Wells Solutions 50
Video Rebel's Blog 483
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 22949
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 3398
Northerntruthseeker 2899
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4885
AntiWar.com Blog 3418
AntiWar.com Original Content 7673
Corbett Report 2665
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1298
Webster Tarpley Website 1154

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public