Catch 22: Erdogan´s blackmail and the possible consequences
by Neal McQueen Athens / 28.02.2020
Turkey announced they will open the borders to Europa for Syrian refugees for the next 72 hours. The plan is to blackmail the NATO and Europa to support the Turkish forces in their war of aggression in Syria.
This has quiet a lot of potential risks.
1. Turkey is now on the verge of a hot full blown war with Syria and its partners Russia and Iran. If the Nato and EU decide to give in to the demands of Erdogan, they would fight directly against Russian and Iranian Troops in Syria. There is an emergency meeting of the NATO right now because of this. This could lead to a potential hot conflict between the NATO and both Russia and Iran inside of Syria and the risk of that conflict escalating is huge. This might be the spark to set the whole region irrevocable on fire, leading to a direct conflict between Russia and Iran against the forces of NATO, Israel and Saudi Arabia and others. This has the potential to start WW3 when it escalates. May i remember you that this would be the first direkt conflict between the Nato and Russia?
2. If the Nato and EU decide not to give in the demands of Turkey and Erdogan decides to keep the borders open for longer, like some weeks, or even long enough for the hundreds of thousand new refugees from Syria and other countries to pass trough to Europa, there will be a huge movement of Refugees crossing the boarders to Greece and Bulgaria within a short period of time. This will not only lead to catastrophic conditions in Greece within days and has the potential of leading to civil war like conditions on the affected Greek islands in weeks, this has also the potential of war. The tensions between the NATO partners Turkey and Greece are rising for years now. The new Greek government is running an outspoken anti Turkish propaganda from the very beginning, most of the Greek media is full of anti Turkish propaganda on a daily level. The same is happening on the Turkish side. There are border violations of both countries airforce and navy on a frequent level for a long time now. It does not help that last year a new map of Turkey was presented by the government and army showing extended sea-boarders in the Ägäis, in wich most of the Greek island near Turkey would be actually part of Turkey. When this was published even a lot of the Greek moderates and left wing dipped into anti Turkish sentiments. The Turkish drilling for oil in Cyprus waters does not really help either. The fear of a new Osman empire is real in Greece and when you look at the Turkish war of aggression in Syria and the outspoken plan of Erdogan to occupy a big chunk of Syria, it is actually not that far fetched.
Taking all of this in account, it is possible that the new government of Greece will consider the opening of the Turkish boarders to Greece for refugees as an act of war, since it has the potential to spark a civil uprising in the country. So this could lead in the end into a hot war between 2 NATO partners with two of the biggest armies, airforces and navies in the NATO. It is also possible that everything will stay the same and the nationalist on both sides just prance for a while. They do that. They can use that fear politics against their own population, its quiet a tool.
3. If there will be another huge influx of tens or even hundreds of thousands refugees over the Turkish boarders within a short period of time, this has the potential to destabilise the EU to an extend that might be the end of the European project itself. The conditions in the EU are very different from 2015. In many countries the extrem right profited big time from the refugee crisis and the anti muslims sentiment in the populations are still on a rise. The terror in Europa is now mainly a right-wing extremist one and far too much members of the EU are already in the hands of ultra-nationalist-rightwing Governments. It is very likely that a new big influx of refugees will be abused again by these forces, since the EU did everything to worsen the situation for refugees and demolished most of their rights already. So this might cause the end of the EU.
I am very curious about the outcome of the NATO emergency meeting.
The most likely outcome might be the EU paying Turkey more money. Greed is the biggest force in the game.
The price for all of this is paid by the refugees. Over a million of new refugees on the move in Syria, a lot of them on the move to Turkey. Many more displaced during the last months. Most of them lost everything. No country gives them shelter anymore, only a far too small group of citizen are emphatic and actively help them in their suffer, or even give them a new chance. Minorities like the Yazidi suffer the greatest. the Kurdish, betrayed by every side. Most of us still do not have in mind how much of them have suffered severe traumata, how much they need our help, most of us never faced war conditions and no idea at all what its like to live, survive and flee from a war zone. For the refugees it is the perfect catch 22. Trapped in horror.