By Behold Israel, Sep 6, 2019
Recep Tayyip Erdogan demands the European Union & United States work to provide a place for immigrants in northern Syria; Erdogan: This either happens or otherwise we will have to open the gates; Danforth: This looks like an attempt to build pressure for more U.S. concessions on the safe zone.
In light of the mounting pressure due to Syrian immigrants, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to “open the gates” for a multitude of these immigrants to flee into Europe from the war-torn country of Syria. In 2015, over 1 million immigrants came from Syria into Europe, with over 900,000 fleeing into Germany.
Erdogan, primarily criticizing the European Union, called for a location to be mapped out in northern Syria for these immigrants to be settled. While making his case, he stated, “This either happens or otherwise we will have to open the gates…Either you will provide support, or excuse us, but we are not going to carry this weight alone. We have not been able to get help from the international community, namely the European Union.” He also added, “Turkey can no longer afford to be a mere onlooker to the situation east of the Euphrates”. He is reported to have given the European Union & the United States until the end of September to establish a “safe place” in northern Syria before he makes good on his word to allow immigrants to flow into Europe.
To provide some context as to the war going on in Syria, it’s an ongoing deathly feud between Syrian President Bashar Al-Asaad’s government and various other groups such as the Islamic State. Russia is currently backing the Syrian government. There have been over 200,000 civilian casualties in the country since the conflict began almost a decade ago.
In making his case, Erdogan said, “We are saying we should form such a safe zone that we, as Turkey, can build towns here in lieu of the tent cities here. Let’s carry them to the safe zones there…Give us logistical support and we can go build housing at 30 km depth in northern Syria. This way, we can provide them with humanitarian living conditions.”
A senior visiting fellow at the German Marshall Fund, Nicholas Danforth, questioned the potential motives of Turkey in this instance, warning, “This looks like an attempt to build pressure for more U.S. concessions on the safe zone, where some refugees could then be resettled for purposes of domestic (Turkish) public relations.”