In the European cities of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Amsterdam, Ghent, Brussels, Hamburg, Bremen, Frankfurt and many others, people were unable to travel over the weekend when life in Europe was paralyzed by a massive storm.
Hundreds of flights across Europe and ferry services were canceled in countries where the storm wreaked havoc. Trains took refuge at stations, while ships hunkered down in harbors for safety. Schools were closed temporarily. In the face of such a natural disaster, the only suggestion that the most technologically advanced countries in the world could offer was for their citizens to stay home.
Though citizens of Turkey sympathize with their European neighbor's weather troubles, Europe's real problem is not severe winter storms. Storms come and go. They will recover from the resulting damage. The real danger that awaits Europe is yet to come.
Europe still remains unaware and indifferent, but a new influx of around 3 million refugees is currently on its way from Syria. The European Union, which has so far failed to keep its promises to Turkey regarding refugees, should not rely on Turkey this time. Turkey hosts over 4 million refugees from Syria alone. Now another 3 million have either reached or are approaching the Turkish border.
Turkey is no longer the target of this new wave of migration. The refugees know well that Turkey cannot accommodate 7 million refugees. The refugees have only one target: reaching rich European countries. They achieved that in 2015 when they reached Western Europe by discovering new escape routes and directing groups of refugees with mobile phones.
Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Copenhagen, Vienna, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cologne, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Salzburg, Ghent and many other European cities saw their own influxes. If they do not want to be caught off guard again, precautions are needed for the next new wave.
It would be useful to plan which gyms, schools, kindergartens or other government buildings you will offer the refugees.
Indeed, it will be very difficult for Turkey, Greece and other Eastern European countries to prevent the new migration wave. Around 3 million new refugees are on the way, while 4 million others in Turkey will not miss the chance to set off toward Europe given the chance. Aside from Greece's Aegean islands and refugee camps, Greek cities will not be able to cope with this new wave of migration. Even if they close the border with Bulgaria or Hungary through military measures, it will be very difficult for them to prevent this wave of migration.
Perhaps not millions, but hundreds of thousands of refugees may leave Turkey and head for Western Europe, and neither the Turkish military nor the Turkish police can resort to violence against these desperate people.
There are effective and powerful lobbies for energy companies, the automobile industry, the aviation sector, tobacco, the alcohol sector and many other sectors in the European Parliament or in the national parliaments of EU capitals. Members of Parliament and journalists mobilize them when necessary.
On the other hand, the refugees are all alone. They have no lobby. They are derelict and desperate. So far, Turkey has been the only country that has embraced Syrian refugees. It was Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government who made demands and proposed remedies for refugees on international platforms. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu visited almost all the capitals and attended numerous international meetings, explaining the refugee issue and the steps that must be taken urgently.
Despite this, all the European capitals, especially the EU, remain indifferent.
However, the situation in Idlib is quite grave. The Syrian regime is now pressing into Idlib. They are bombing the city with fighter jets, helicopters, tanks and cannons. The statement "no one can hold millions of refugees if Idlib falls" is not a threat but a fact.
Currently, Turkey is taking all the military measures required. If necessary, it will intervene to protect the lives of millions of people.
However, Europe has yet to acknowledge the possibility of a new influx of refugees and a possible political crisis. So, it will be too late if Europe does not stand by Turkey.
In order to stop the Syrian regime's attack on Idlib, pressure must be applied and if this is not enough, every necessary action must be taken together with Turkey. It is essential to provide financial assistance to people fighting for their lives in challenging winter conditions on the Turkish border and in areas under Turkey's protection.
The EU Commission must convince EU leaders to take the necessary steps as soon as possible. Once again, we are reminding and warning that it will not be possible to prevent the new wave of immigration with statements condemning the Syrian regime.
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