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Home > fundamentalism / shrinking secular space > Turkey, European Union and the “Question†of Refugees: Hypocrisy (...)

Turkey, European Union and the “Question†of Refugees: Hypocrisy Pouring

Thursday 29 December 2016, by siawi3

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]


Thursday 15 December 2016,

Sanem Öztürk

Hard to fit everything in this tiny little article as a woman who works with Syrian women in the field and kind of knows the difference between the humanitarian aid and political change.

The Syrian “issue†was debated in different ways in Turkey: A refugee “problem†; a basis to discuss Turkey’s Kurdish “problem†, or a leverage in the midst of the Middle Eastern politics of many stakeholders. Maybe the most dominant dynamic in these debates was the AKP government and Erdoğan; Syrian population was always instrumentalised both by the government and the mainstream opposition.

The official discourse in Turkey was shaped by the concepts which, with a reference to the Prophet Mohammed’s era in Islamic history, stressed upon the status of Syrians as “guests†in a very crafty way. This has been the way for AKP to treat Syrians as temporary and make no real, political change to improve their living conditions. Considering hundreds of thousands of Syrians in Turkey who still have no ID (i.e., not under temporary protection, which is not a refugee status by the way) and those who have IDs and still have no access to services despite the laws, shall I go on with the unemployment among Syrians? With child labour, or the fact that more than half of Syrian kids are not attending any schools? With violence and sexual harassment against Syrian women and children? And early and forced marriages of the girls and how AKP government tries to justify them for all girls in Turkey instead of protecting them? These are just reflections of how AKP government and their agencies consider Syrians: A group of people who came to Turkey without anything and who have to be thankful for whatever they are given.

And as for EU; I don’t think I have to mention that the despicable deal with Turkish government is a violation of – beyond everything else — Geneva Convention, according to which no country can deport people in masses, especially to a non-safe country like Turkey for the reasons I tried to give a hint.

AKP government is responsible for countless crimes – against Kurdish people, against Syrians, against women, against LGBTİ people, against socialists, the list is long - and it is a new level of low in the international politics to let AKP be the border police and play the card of refugees at every chance just for the sake of keeping Syrian “masses†still. By the way, the deal will not end the illegal crossings, of course; it will make them longer, more expensive and most importantly more deadly.

Let me finish saying that any negotiation without the real representatives of Syrian people is doomed to be imposing, from above, and illegitimate after all.