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Real or Empty Threat? Will Turkey send a new wave of refugees to Europe?

As relations between Turkey and Europe deteriorated, the government in Ankara did what it knows best: it fired threats. Exactly there where it knows it hurts Europe: The Refugees.  At least two ministers told media that the government is considering to review the EU Turkey Deal.  The statements were immediately understood as a threat that president Recep Tayyip Erdogan would open the doors and send a new mass wave of refugees and migrants to Europe. More than 850,000 people left Turkey for Greece in 2015.

Will Erdogan make his threats come true? Some people, like smugglers, think and hope, he will. But analysts believe,  he won’t.

New York Times quotes

Smuggler Abu Samir, who earned up to $4,000 on some days and now complains that the EU Turkey deal has caused his business to collapse.

“I expect waves of people,” he said in a video call on Tuesday night. “The business will come back to the way it was, and maybe better.”

Aaron Stein, a Turkey specialist at the Atlantic Council, a policy research group said:

It would mark “an incredible divergence” from one aim of Turkey’s continuing military campaign inside Syria, “which is to create a safe space for refugees to move back” into Syria.  his seems to me like an empty threat, and it’s about time Europe called Turkey on this.”

Whatever Mr. Erdogan does, the prospect of traveling to Greece is less appealing to Syrian refugees than it once was, said professor Heaven Crawley, a migration expert at Coventry University and the co-author of wide-ranging research on the motivations of Europe-bound migrants.

“There is no shortage of people in Turkey who could move. It’s just that they don’t see there’s much point in moving,” Professor Crawley said. “They don’t see the point of being stuck in Greece.”

Balkan Rout closed? Hardly a problem. Smuggler Abu Samir says

If a new wave of migration to Greece does materialize “if enough numbers arrived in Greece, then neither Greece and Macedonia will be able to hold them, so they’ll have to open the borders again.”

full article inA threat on Migration may prove to be empty

Greece’s main opposition party New Democracy warned that 200,000 refugees and migrants will flock to Greece if the EU Turkey deal on the refugee crisis breaks apart.

Although the EU Turkey deal halted the mass influx, there are currently more than 60,000 refugees and migrants stuck in Greece.

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8 comments

  1. If they want economic sanctions that will cripple Turkey’s economy they will do just that. Europe would be able to handle 3 millions refugees/migrants coming in. Turkey will not survive billions lost due to sanctions. Their economy is tanking already. But Erdogan might just be mad enough to do it. If your belly is empty then perhaps nationalist talk can warm you.
    Latest update on mad rhetoric coming Ankara:
    -Germany and NL are nazis, fascists, Hitler, Mussolini and Franco
    -The Dutch slaughtered 8000 Muslims in Srebrenica (Erdogan’s own words)
    -Dutch harvested organs from kids in Bosnia and trafficked women (Erdogan advisor)
    -Dutch government like North Korean regime (Turkey’s EU minister).

  2. I do not agree with the article title– “wll turkey sen.. refugees to europe?” The fact is that it is not Turkey’s responsibility legally or even morally to host refugees. Turkey does not accept refugees from outside Europe, all EU countries, and gives minimal rights (and no assistance at all) to Syrians, and no rights at all to other refugees. The EU is just playing a game — with its legal obligations, with Turkey, and with the international community. Turkey has every right to allow refugees to cross into Greece.
    ~
    Moreover, if the EU had had the courage to sign a treaty with Turkey, then this position would not now be the case. With a legally binding treaty, Turkey would have to host all refugees on behalf of the EU, but would also have the visa facilitation agreement for Turks to come to the EU. The EU politicians tried to have their cake and eat it. Moreover, the fact that the agreement is not even called an “agreement” but a “Statement” is so that this can not be taken to the CJEU or any international court. Again, this is the EU playing silly buggers. It can only end in a mess, with Turkey deciding on the rules of the game.

  3. Some typing problems here — words missing etc. Why can we never edit things on blogs? Is this the 19th century or 2017? (Not a criticism of KTG, because it is the same with all blogs)

  4. keeptalkinggreece

    it is definitely the 19th + the 21st century when commentators insist on refusing having own websites but prefer to commend on other people’s websites and blogs. Fair PLay 🙂

  5. As I said, this is not about KTG: it is all blogs. Well, without readers and comments a blog is pointless. There are many out there which nobody bothers commenting on. Presumably, nobody reads them either…

  6. keeptalkinggreece

    you’re wrong. there can be readers but no comments.

  7. Blogs have far more readers when they allow comments. People want interaction, not being told stuff. Even newspapers now have such interaction.

  8. keeptalkinggreece

    still: readers important not commentators