When Syrian refugees made their way over land and sea toward EU member states, Europe was shaken with fear. Their stern and uncompromising terms of acceptance of Syrian refugees into Europe derives from their tragic experience of the Holocaust and reflect their indifference to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Having dominated the world for two centuries, European countries appeared as uninfluential actors in the international arena with the beginning of the Syrian civil war. Since the beginning of hundreds of thousands Syrian refugees' move toward Europe, European countries have by no means developed any policy for returning them to their country. Indeed, as opposed to Russia, the United States, Iran and Turkey, European countries have not developed any clear policy on the Syrian civil war.
Aiming at penetrating into the Middle East under the veil of the fight against Daesh, the U.S. administration wants to perpetuate its dominance over Syria through the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) by transferring territory formerly controlled by Daesh to the YPG. On the other hand, Iran regards all groups outside the Syrian regime as enemies to be eliminated. In fact, both the U.S. and Iran are solely concern with regional domination and thus have no concerns for the millions of Syrian refugees who have taken shelter in Turkey and elsewhere. While Iran aims at keeping the Syrian regime on its feet, the regional priorities of the U.S. include both acquiring regional dominance in the Middle East and ensuring Israel's national security.
For years, the Syrian people have struggled to live amid a devastating civil war. When such a humanitarian crisis emerges outside of Europe, the ideals of justice, human rights and dignity appear null and void. As these ideals are only effective for Europeans, the hypocrisy of the modern projects of human prosperity and human rights has become apparent.
Currently, some 5 million and 6 million refugees live in Jordan and Turkey, respectively. While both of these countries offer their Syrian brothers and sisters conditions compatible with human dignity, Lebanon has, against all odds, a significant portion of Syrian refugees.
Since the very beginning of the Syrian civil war, Turkey has pursued an open-door policy on Syrian refugees. While Turkey pays the price for such humanitarianism, the YPG members, who have been treated by the U.S. and the EU as friends, conducted terrorist attacks in Turkey by crossing the Syrian border. While Daesh, which has been manipulated by Western powers, has murdered hundreds of civilians in Turkey, Turkey's humanitarian foreign policy in Syria was sabotaged by terrorist organizations and their patron states.
In Turkey, most Syrian refugees earn their livelihood by their own means. Only 18 percent of Syrians in Turkey currently live in refugee camps, which were the Turkish state built with respect for human dignity. Syrian refugee children study both in Syrian and Turkish schools and the Turkish government aims to increase their schooling rate up to 90 percent. All health care needs of Syrian refugees are met by the Health Ministry. Finally, district governors meet the basic needs of those Syrian refugees who do not live in camps and cannot earn a living.
Many Syrian refugees, however, want to return to their homes. After the completion of Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield, many Syrian refugees could return to their country. It is expected that many more refugees will return to northern Syria after the completion of the ongoing military operation in Afrin.
In short, instead of aiming at acquiring regional domination, all powers in the international arena must aim at resolving the Syrian humanitarian crisis by ending the civil war, eliminating the terrorist organizations and returning Syrian refugees to their country.
In this respect, the common goal of Russia, Iran and Turkey to ensure the territorial integrity of Syria appears the only viable policy for resolving the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis.
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