ATHENS – Again and again, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo কিছুan wants something from the Europeans, he reminds them that he is the gatekeeper for sending tens of thousands of refugees.
Friday was much the same, as Turkey sought assistance from NATO after the deadly conflict in Syria. However, Mr Erdogan did not only threaten refugees to enter Greece. Local officials bought them thousands of tickets, assisted them on a shiny Mercedes-Benz bus and drove them to the border.
This was a mini-step by state-run Turkish media in which Europe was able to take control only with the help of Turkey, as families reminiscent of the Greek islands have flowed live, as a reminder of the migrant crisis of 20. .
The echoes of the crisis were certainly intentional on behalf of Mr Erdogan, who knew he could count on the frustration of refugees eager to travel to Europe to make his statement. Friday’s events were seen as an attempt to give weapons to both the frustration of immigrants and the xenophobia of Europe.
In fact, it was the ninth time that the President of Turkey has promised to send new refugees to Europe via refugees. It remains to be seen whether Mr Erdogan was simply under threat again or would reveal the full-blown crisis.
If the leader of Turkey is in the business of money, it is not the borders of Greece that he opens. Rather it is the Syrian border where he is blocked As the fighting intensifies in the Idlib region, millions of people will be refugees.
“He is trying to say, ‘What happens in Idlib does not reside in Idlib,'” said Aaron Stein, a Turkish expert at the American think tank Foreign Policy Research Institute. Our problem with being serious is now your problem ”
“I think it’s mostly for the show,” “added Mr Stein,” “but never know when the show will end.”
Turkish activity throughout Friday suggested that Mr Erdogan’s latest threat might be his most credible.
Throughout the day, his government closed hundreds of migrants at the Turkish land border with Greece from the center of Istanbul for free. Overnight, the migrants were called from the city’s main police station to the street outside the headquarters of Istanbul’s immigration authorities.
In light of the day, officials then assisted more than 8 migrants in at least 12 buses that were transported about 5 miles northwest of the Turkish-Greek border.
On condition of anonymity, three coach drivers said the coach was provided by the local municipality. Police officers struggled to maintain order as immigrants filled with snacks, backpacks, strollers, suitcases, and diapers. Coach.
An estimated 6,000 migrants were sent from other cities and towns in the country, according to a border refugee. Internal legal restrictions on the movement of migrants appear to have been temporarily rescued, as taxi drivers and private car owners allowed Syrians and other foreigners to cross the border directly into Syria, in full view of the police.
The display was a convenient task, which was 0-6. Neither was seen during the crisis, when Turkey kept a blind eye to the movement of refugees without being physically organized.
The campaign’s shamelessness spoke of Mr Erdogan’s frustration and diplomatic isolation as the Turkish army became more involved in the Syrian war.
In recent years, the Turkish army has created an informal security system in parts of northern Syria, displacing Syrian rebels and army forces, sheltering Syrian rebels. Russia’s allies in the government.
But the tactic collapsed in recent weeks, with Russian air force-backed Syrian government restoring vast territory and dragging on Turkish troops to a growing confrontation.
The growing threat suddenly turned into a full-blown crisis on Thursday night, when several Turkish troops died in airstrikes – urging Mr Erdogan for help from his NATO allies in North America and Europe.
Against that backdrop, Mr Erdogan’s government began offering migrant ferries across the border on Friday, seemingly trying to convince European politicians to give them more support.
Mr Erdogan believes his military should be given more support in Syria in the west, and more support to its civilian ministries inside Turkey, where its government oversees more than thirty million Syrian refugees – more than any other country.
To quell Mr Erdogan’s threat, government news agency Anadolu has released continuous footage of migrants arriving on the Greek border.
Likewise, a private Turkish channel – which seems to have coordinated its operations with the Turkish authorities – portrayed a group of Afghans traveling farther south on a Greek island.
“We are no longer in a position to hold refugees,” said Omar Selik, a spokesman for Mr Erdogan’s party on Friday morning.
In the wake of the incident, an agreement was struck between Turkey and the European Union on March 27, 2016, which prompted Mr Erdogan to successfully complete the most migrant smuggling between Turkey and Greece. In exchange, the European Union provides Turkey with .6.6 billion euros ($ .2 billion) in aid to Turkey’s refugees.
The agreement also had evidence that the Syrians could be repatriated from Turkey to Turkey, although in reality the Greek government did not use that provision.
When it comes to the new emergence of refugees in Europe, however, the keys Erdogan has left no doubt. Migration between Turkey and Greece has dropped by more than 90 percent in 20 years, mainly due to sanctions by Erdogan’s government.
And on Friday, Mr Erdogan’s drivers felt more like a media stunt than the mass protests that witnessed the final phase of the crisis in 2015, when 10,000 people landed in Greece one day.
According to a UN refugee agency on Friday, less than 3 people landed on the Greek island, with carriers on the Greek land border unable to cross the fort.
Importantly, in addition to showing no sign of opening its southern border with Syria, Turkey has also not lifted visa sanctions for Syrians living in Lebanon and Jordan.
(A large part of the refugee flow to Europe in the 20th century was those who came directly from Syria – or who traveled to Turkey by plane elsewhere in the Middle East.)
Even if the migrants and refugees make arrangements to reach Greece and Bulgaria, it is impossible to repeat the situation in the same manner as the twenty one.
Not only did these two neighboring countries close their borders to prevent further movement, but the European Union also invested heavily in preventing people from traveling to the north.
On the Greek border, some immigrants were eventually trapped by the Greek border guards in the land of no-man in tear gas.
Instead of several hundred of them in the night, they were secretly trying to cross a river that divides the two countries, but there were only three rubber dinghies in total.
“If anyone can help us, please tell them,” the 23-year-old Syrian Kurdish marvels at the river near the Turkish city of Anze. “We have a problem here. We do not know how to get to Greece. “
Mr Al-Hussein has only one hand, so he didn’t even think about swimming in the river.
Do you think he has used the Turkish government?
He said by telephone, “Maybe”. “But I need a hospital for my eyes – and no one can help me here.”
Matina Stevens-Gridneff reports from Athens and Brussels, and Patrick Kingsley from Jerusalem.