Refugee camp or rebel command center?

Refugee camp or rebel command center?

Probably he was warned by legal experts of the serious consequences of describing the Apaydın refugee camp in Hatay as a military camp, or a camp where Syrian military defectors were hosted. Perhaps he was told by advisers that saying “That’s a military camp… Military people coming from Syria are staying there… Civilians cannot enter” and such things could send him and the government to the High Court. Whatever, on the way to the Security Council meeting on Syria in New York the much-lecturing foreign minister landed on bitter reality, made a U-turn and said the Apaydın camp might be visited by parliamentary human rights commission members… Still, not by the opposition deputies alone!

As is said, “When boasting of his successes a gypsy lists his crimes” (please, no insult aimed at gypsies, it’s just a saying). The foreign minister, in explaining to the public why a main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) delegation was turned down at the door of the Apaydın camp, had confessed that the camp was hosting some generals and soldiers of the so-called Free Syrian Army fighting the Syrian government. He claimed that for their security and the security of their relatives back in Syria the generals and soldiers did not want their identities be revealed, thus the camp was off limits to civilians and the media.

Furthermore, they tried to fool the nation with the explanation that there was a difference between the refugee camps hosting civilians and those hosting military people. The lecturing foreign minister and his most clever aides perhaps thought that no one would read the text of the U.N. convention on refugees, which stresses in all clarity that irrespective of what they were in their homeland, people seeking refuge in another country are all “civilians” and “cannot carry any weaponry.” Otherwise? They cannot be given refugee status, that’s all!

It is sad and perhaps very difficult for those aspiring to have absolute power to concede but under the current Constitution of Turkey no foreign military can be deployed even for few minutes on Turkish territory without parliamentary approval. That is, the government does not have the power to host foreign troops or paramilitary elements, “free something army” or such armed foreign elements on Turkish territory without the consent and approval of Parliament. Under Turkish penal code, on the other hand, abetting armed elements hostile to one or more neighboring country constitutes a very serious crime.

Now, he conceded the bitter reality and said, “In consultation with the premier, we have decided that the parliamentary Human Rights Commission may visit all camps.” What generosity?

It is obvious that the most-lecturing foreign minister and his gang of merry men needed some time to hide all elements of the crime at the Apaydın refugee camp and elsewhere before a parliamentary team might be allowed to visit and inspect them.

All the discussions we have been through for the past few days demonstrated once again that Turkey has been playing not as clean as it has been claiming in this Syrian quagmire. Put aside frequent interviews with the “rebel commanders” confessing to have received military training in Turkey, there are claims that the Apaydın camp has become a “command control center” for the rebels. How could Turkey allow a camp on its territory where Syrian rebel commanders are planning and commanding the attacks in Syrian towns and cities? If you have doubts just visit the website of the rebels and check where their headquarters is…