After halt in negotiations with the EU, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkey will open its borders, and thus make a wave of Muslim migrants and refugees into Europe, that the continent has never seen before, if the EU "goes any further."
Erdogan previously stated that the European Parliament's decision to recommend to freeze membership talks with Turkey "does not mean anything," but the response when it actually happened is something that was feared in Brussels: A threat to open up for a new gigantic flow of refugees.
- You have not treated humanity with honesty, and you do not treat people fairly. You did not pick up dead babies in the Mediterranean. We are providing food and shelter to about 3.5 million refugees in this country, said Erdogan in a speech addressed to the EU.
- You did not keep your promises. When it came to the 50,000 refugees at our border, you called us and said, "what will happen if they are released into Turkey." Well, listen to me, if you go any further, these border gates will be opened. Neither me nor my people will be affected by these empty threats, Mr Erdogan said at a women’s justice congress in Istanbul on Friday, raising the rhetorical stakes with the EU.
- They must know this, he added.
In March this year, Ankara and Brussels signed an agreement which meant that Turkey would take steps to prevent migrants and refugees from taking westward to Europe. In return, the Turks were given monetary assistance to handle the migration, as well as promises of membership negotiations with the EU.
But Turkey failed to follow up measures in connection with an agreement about visa-free entry, and after the failed attempted coup in July, relations between the EU and Turkey have reached a freezing point.
More than 125,000 public employees have been fired, accused of having participated in the coup or of sympathising with the coup makers. Many have been arrested, and a number of media critical to Erdoğan have been forcefully closed.
In addition, the Turkish parliament recently, in a first of two votes, adopted a law that legitimise child marriages.
There is also a push to reintroduce the death penalty in the country.
“If the people say 'we want the death penalty'... and this goes to parliament and parliament passes it and it comes to me, I declare I will approve this,” Erdoğan said.
The European Parliament therefore on Thursday decided on a temporary halt to the negotiations with Turkey, in response to the Turkish government’s “disproportionate” reaction to this summer’s failed coup.
But if Erdoğan puts his threat in motion, Europe would be faced the largest Muslim invasion of the continent ever, and a wave of refugees and migrants that is twice as large as last year. Meanwhile, Greece and Italy are sending migrants to Turkey, adding to the coming wave as part of the brilliant deal by the smart visionaries in the EU.
So, how prepared is the EU? What will Greece and Macedonia, the bordering countries do if it happens? The pressure from 3,5 million people would be enormous, and unlike anything the border guards have ever faced before.
Will the migrant be stopped by force? Not likely. If there is one thing we learned from last year's migrant crisis, it is that governments push the responsibility over to the next country, and by doing so let migrants walk all across Europe to the destination they most prefer. Hungary even arranged for buses to drive the migrants to the Austrian border to get rid of the problem quickly.
But what do you think? Is the EU better prepared this time, or are we about to face a crisis of disastrous proportions?
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