The EU has been the focus of a refugee influx within recent months. Syrians take the leading place among refugees trying to get to EU countries. As a matter of fact, the EU countries that remained helpless in the face of the Syrian refugee influx have created this situation themselves. Had they backed Turkey's suggestions and taken the required steps against the Syrian dictator, President Bashar Assad, three years ago, the problem with Syrian refugees would not have gone so far.
The EU countries that did not even properly support the opponent units fighting against Assad actually caused the empowerment of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in the region. Had the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which has been fighting against Assad, been supported not only by Turkey, but also by the U.S. and EU and had Syrian airspace been closed to Syrian aircraft, thousands of people would not have had to leave.
Especially in Syria, which was left alone by the EU, people had to flee under harsh circumstances as they were subjected to the assaults of regime forces, ISIS terrorists, and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian wing of the outlawed PKK. Millions of them took refuge in neighbor countries such as Turkey and Jordan. Neither the U.N. nor the EU provided the required financial aid to these people who had to take asylum in neighbor countries and live in refugee camps.
However, when Turkey suggested forming a buffer zone in northern Syria that would shelter millions of Syrians in refugee camps and whose airspace would be closed to military aircraft, EU countries refused. If they had tried to practice and support President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's suggestions rather than wasting their time and energy with conspiracies to overthrow him on the grounds that he threatens their interests, many refugees would have survived.
Thousands of Syrians who tried to reach the EU as a result of false promises of human traffickers, including the PKK, embarked on journeys of death in worn boats that could not endure the wild waves of the Mediterranean. Likewise, many lost their lives in the midst of the Aegean Sea since they set sail on boats that they are prohibited from using. Lately, more than 70 people suffocated to death in a truck in Austria. They were also Syrian refugees.
I would like to regretfully highlight that EU leaders who announced that they were "very sorry" after the deaths of thousands of Syrian refugees, do actually have a role in these fatalities. It is not enough to express sorrow in the face of death.
The EU has the capacity to take in many more refugees than the number there today.
If they had only organized that, innumerable people would not have to embark on journeys of death forced by human traffickers.
They are required to come up with constructive resolutions instead of creating an illusion for their public that they were working with nonsensical suggestions such as founding a refugee camp in the İzmir province of Turkey, as the German minister of the interior recently said.
He should have performed his own duty of preventing assaults against Muslim refugees, refugee camps and mosques in his own country before making this unfortunate statement. Besides, currently more than 2 million Syrian refugees live in Turkey. In other words, Turkey is performing its duty to the best of its ability while Germany is backward in this sense.
However, it is currently required to find remedies to refugee deaths instead of debating which country takes what number of refugees. At this point, EU member countries have the greatest responsibility.
Turkey's suggestion is clear to form a buffer zone in northern Syria, close its airspace to regime aircraft and establish refugee camps in the region and shelter Syrians without forcing them to leave their country in these camps with humanitarian conditions.
Can there be a more constructivist and rational suggestion?
If we could create such an atmosphere in northern Syria where people are able to maintaintheir lives with good standards in proportion to the facilities and where they would not suffer from hunger or cold, we may relieve or diminish their reasons to run to other countries. We can prevent the deceptions of human traffickers.
Countries such as Germany and Austria should be the first ones leaning toward this suggestion. Otherwise no one will stop the influx of Syrian refugees.
With close cooperation, the U.N., EU and Turkey could enable people to live in refugee camps formed in northern Syria where they can take shelter in secure and humanitarian conditions and whose close location would enable them to return to their hometowns after the war ends in Syria.
The countries providing safety for these camps can also prevent the activities of human traffickers.
Erdoğan and Turkey have been trying to explain this for three years.
EU countries might now see the worth of this suggestion due to the despair they are in.