A protracted crisis has unfolded since Turkey decided that it had finally done enough by looking after more than 4 million Syrian refugees alone and holding back many from seeking other sanctuaries in Europe.
Already now, tens of thousands of refugees have left Turkey by sea and by land. Greece is resorting to military measures to block any attempt by refugees to cross the Turkish border into Europe. There are even refugees who have died as a result of the inhumane measures carried out by Greek security forces.
It is now commonplace that refugees who are caught trying to cross the border are stripped naked by Greek police, extorted of their valuables, beaten up and then sent back.
To boot, the Greek government, in a manner that boldly flouts international law and the universal values respected across the globe, has held Turkey responsible for what has happened. It demands that Turkey, which has implemented an open-door policy on its border with Syria, should continue to stem the flow of refugees like a dam, holding back the tide indefinitely.
None, least of all Greece and the European Union, can blame Turkey for this crisis.
Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Turkey has gone above and beyond its legal and moral duties in its welcoming of refugees. For years, the country has incurred the economic, social and political costs of limiting the movement of refugees westward. However, the EU, which should have been sharing in this burden, has not lifted a finger.
Despite all these reasonable justifications, Turkey has not given up its humanitarian role. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently ordered security forces not to allow crossings from the Aegean Sea to Europe on the grounds that many of these sojourns put human lives in peril.
Undoubtedly, the silence among European intellectuals, artists and civil society in the face of such a bleak state of affairs, which calls to mind an episode taken right out of the Dark Ages, is more pathetic than that seen in the states.
A small group recently protested against German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis when the two met at the Economic Forum in Berlin, chanting slogans such as, “Europe, don't kill, open the borders." Thus, at a time when Greeks are journeying to the border to spray pesticides on refugees fleeing war, there are also those who seek to open the borders to refugees in the country.
However, the reactions are very weak given the level of trauma inflicted on those crossing the border. Syrian children stuck in wire fences on the border with Greece have not made an impact anywhere near as thunderous as that of the Greta Thunbergs of the world. Indeed, the artists who chastised the wall U.S. President Donald Trump built on the border with Mexico don't dare castigate the EU for the trenches it has dug in Greece. The same goes for the feminist activists, academics and politicians who are silent on the plight of Syrian women, as the boats they board with their babies in their arms are sunk in the middle of the Aegean Sea by the Greek coast guard.
Celebrities who pay lip service to political correctness at film festivals and on TV shows do not even find the image of babies drowning in the Mediterranean to constitute a tragedy.
How long will this Orientalist hypocrisy last?
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