Turkey is hosting exactly 1,597,030 refugees from Syria. With 250,020 of them living in refugee camps, the other 1, 300,000 live in cities, mainly in southeast Turkey, the Mediterranean coast and Istanbul. The total cost to Turkey since 2012 for the refugees is 2.3 billion TL, which is almost $1.1 million. These numbers look dull; however, they underline a very difficult humanitarian situation. Turkish authorities have declared time and again that the administration will continue to help and sustain the refugees, but have also asked for help from the EU. After three years of bloodshed in Syria, the German government has decided to offer an envelope of 640 million euros to countries neighboring Syria. Basically, it took three years for Turkey's allies to accept the seriousness of the situation and to take a position.
Turkish authorities have repeatedly asked for the Syrian democratic opposition to be given real support. This did not materialize; unfortunately, the result was that the radical opposition steadily took the place of the Syrian democratic opposition and the Free Syrian Army. Russia and Iran have thrown all their support behind Assad, who remains partly in power in some places in the war-torn country, and more than 200,000 people have been killed. Only now, the U.S. administration has decided to intervene militarily in Syria.
In Kobani, after the departure of the Assad forces, the Kurdish PYD (closely related to the PKK) has decided to declare "democratic autonomy," at a time when all democratic regimes have been trying to support Syria's national unity. The PYD's move was miscalculated, mismanaged and dangerous. Turkish authorities have repeatedly warned the PYD of how hazardous their idea was to side with the Assad camp and oppose the Syrian democratic opposition. When ISIS simultaneously attacked Bagdad, Mosul and the northern Syrian region (including Kobani), it became crystal clear that Kurdish movements in northern Syria were not capable of sustaining a viable regime or showing military resilience.
At this point, a huge propaganda was waged against Turkish unwillingness to become part of the conflict in Kobani and help the PYD fighters. In order to "punish" Turkish immobility, the PKK did not hesitate to break the ceasefire between its militants and Turkish security forces. This has resulted in major social conflicts between civilians, which saw the death of 48 citizens in Turkey. For the Turkish government, it was obviously not possible to help the PKK fighters by giving them heavy armament and helping them to cross the frontier. But having contacted both the Iraqi Kurdistan Autonomous Administration and the Free Syrian Army, Turkey has allowed the passage of fighters to Kobani. This time, the PYD command in Kobani snubbed the reinforcements, asking for better air coverage. The U.S. led air strikes continue, the reserve forces and ammunition is being conveyed to Kobani and still, the situation remains extremely hazardous, as ISIS is still holding half of the city.
Now when it comes to pointing a finger at Turkey, most of the Western mass media are on the same wavelength. On the other hand, steadily, measures asked by Turkey at least a couple years ago are being cautiously taken to bring a semblance of a solution in Syria. And the question is, who was really wrong?