We cannot control the Syrian gate
NEW YORK - LONDONI will mention a topic that you may not like at all today. Or, maybe, on the contrary, this topic is on your mind but you have not been able to mention it.
I want to mention the gate and the camps opened for refugees coming from Syria. So much strange information started coming that I told myself: “Why did we make this facilitation? Let’s say we did it for the sake of humanity, do we know who is coming? Do we know whether they are truly in need of this?”
I can give you an example: The number of those coming has exceeded 100,000, and looks as if it is going to increase more. A portion of them are actually people who are in need. Their houses have been destroyed; they are poor Syrians who are guiding their families away from death.
Another portion, though, is constituted of those who are in Turkey just to find a job. Visit the big cities in the region and you will immediately notice them.
There is also another portion who have come with their families, rented a place and will stay. Indeed, there are also some illegal people that nobody can manage.
Most importantly, we cannot control effectively who is entering Turkey. We do not know who is who. We do not have the means to investigate them; we are bound to the information supplied by them. As their numbers increase, maybe spies are also coming as well as provocateurs. The situation gets worse. Especially after all this, there is no way we would close these gates.
Well, what are we going to do?
We are desperate. One of the issues that makes Ankara ponder is this anyway. As Bashar al-Assad’s fall is delayed, the flow to the camps will continue. Unless the camps are closed, we are faced with a burden that would be impossible to shoulder. Closing the camps would ruin the image of Turkey both in Syria and in the region.
The step we took for humanity looks as if it will cause us trouble in the future.
A solution in Syria becomes tougher
According to the United Nations, the situation in Syria is getting more difficult. A solution is becoming impossible.
The answer to the question “What will happen?” is always: “The civil war will bring the solution. Nobody knows how long this will last.”
Right now, al-Assad is going through his luckiest period. Domestic support for him continues and the opposition is weak. Because the opposition has not been able to buy enough weapons, it has disintegrated. Moreover, the United States has no intention of a military intervention. The U.S. also is blocking all its allies, primarily Turkey. It does not want any country to have a military initiative.
The reason for this is that it does not want to get into trouble, because an intervention from an allied country will involuntarily drag Washington into the conflict also. Because a military intervention in Syria has a very heavy bill, nobody wants to get involved. Nobody intends to enter the Middle East quagmire.
Besides making life difficult for the al-Assad regime and several side factors such as embargo and supporting the opposition, no other pressure is planned.
There is not much Turkey can do. It is doing what it can. It is opening its gates, embracing the refugees, issuing harsh statements. There is no step to be taken in terms of military action.
Thank God there is not. Otherwise, our war-loving public would have been hard to control.
The reason I am back to this subject is to explain that the Syrian crisis will continue for a long time. I believe in the benefit that this has to be known and that we should prepare ourselves accordingly.
Let’s not forget that this crisis has started inflicting important damage on us. On one hand, a mood as if a Turkey-Syria war has started is becoming widespread; on the other hand, Ankara’s relationships with regional countries – especially with Russia and Iran – are getting worse. Moreover, harsh statements do not work anymore. We had better stop digging old accounts, where Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu made a mistake and why the family of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was so close with the al-Assad family in the past, because we will not get anywhere with these discussions.
We should look ahead and be prepared. We will be facing much more difficult times.