Europe needs Turkey

Published 26.10.2017 01:32

Regardless of the problems between the EU and Turkey and the crises in relations between Turkey and several EU countries, a crucial subject that interests all of Europe must be closely followed.

Terrorism has so far led to many tragic incidents in European countries. So currently, many European capitals are filled with police and armed soldiers, which was uncommon until the threat of terrorism. Today, we are used to seeing armored vehicles in the streets of European cities. Fully-equipped officers patrol stations, airports and crowded tourist spots. In brief, nearly all of Europe has been living under the circumstances defense against terrorism requires. For this reason, laws have been amended and implementations have gone stricter while de facto emergency practices have also been introduced. Turks know how hard it is to prevent terrorist attacks despite all the measures, so we can sympathize with our European friends. Living under the threat of terrorism is gruesome.

For Europe, terrorism does not only mean living with this anxiety, terrorism is also one of the primary sources of the refugee challenge confronted by Europe. The people who had to leave their countries due to terrorist groups resort to every way to take refuge in Europe. No one can blame them for that. They believe that they might have a chance to start new lives and provide a safe future to their children in Europe. If they have relatives in Europe, this turns into a glimmer of hope for them. They strive to arrive in Europe by the most dangerous ways and are targeted by human traffickers most of the time. Not all of them can succeed in arriving in Europe. However, the number of arrivals in Europe increases with the growing number of refugees. New problems arise since many European countries and citizens cannot cope with the situation. Among them, xenophobia and bigotry constitute new threats to European democracies, as can be seen from the recent election results across Europe.

In brief, the security of Europe and the peace of the people there depend on the success of the counterterrorism fight. For this very reason, all European countries must contribute to the counterterrorism fight in Syria and Iraq. Russia, Turkey and Iran have been recapturing Syrian territories seized by Daesh in a way more successful than the coalition forces, which failed to give an effective fight. Turkey's alliance with Russia and Iran has yielded successful results.

Turkey maintains the strategic operation to cleanse the de-conflict zone in Idlib of terrorists. Having completed deployment on Cebel Berekat mountain, which is the most strategic point of both Idlib and Afrin and located at the zero point of the border line between the two provinces, Turkey seized control over Abu al-Duhur and Taftanaz military airports in Idlib and is about to enable safe flights of the military jets. The war jets will be more effective against terror groups thanks to this. Also, by completing deployment on Cebeli Bereket mountain, the field control of Idlib has been ensured while a military guard has been formed on the southern border with Afrin. The Afrin and Manbij operations, which are planned as the second and third phases of the operation, will probably follow this.

Meanwhile in Iraq, the Iraqi military that has been fully supported by both Turkey and Iran and continues to successfully purge the country of terrorists. With Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's visit to Turkey today, Turkey and Iraq will take steps to improve their cooperation with regard to border gate screenings and security of the region along with improving economic and commercial relations.

Eradication of the terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq and rendering these two countries livable again depend on Turkey's efforts. In this sense, Turkey is fighting against terrorism also for the sake of Europe's security and peace. The counterterrorism fight will erase Europe's fear of terrorism while decreasing the refugee inflow to a great extent. Supporting Turkey is crucial for this reason. Although some Europeans do not want to admit it, Europe needs Turkey today.

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