28.01.2016 Author: Valery Kulikov

The “Turkish Stream” in the EU

34234236222The flow of refugees into the EU does not cease. Their number in 2015 reached 1 million 6.5 thousand people, reported the International Organization for Migration in late December.

The Telegraph wrote quoting forecasts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that by the end of 2017, Europe will probably have four million migrants, that is, 1.3 million, on average, will arrive each year. The IMF forecast was higher than the EU’s own autumn forecast, that predicted that by the end of 2017, three million migrants (1 million in 2015, 1.5 million in 2016 and 0.5 million in 2017) will have reached Europe.

But there is little reason to assume that these forecasts reflect the real trend since, according to the International Organization for Migration, 31,244 refugees (i.e. almost 1,735 per day) had already arrived in Greece by the first half of January 2016. In comparison, in January 2015, the number of such refugees stood at 1,472 (i.e. an average of 47 people per day throughout 2014). If the number of daily arrivals remains at the current level, then by the end of the year more than 600 thousand migrants will reach Greece by sea alone. It is without a doubt, that now in the winter and harsh climatic conditions, fewer people will risk their lives to cross into Europe in the cold and windy weather. But come the spring and summer, the number of migrants seeking to reach the Greek coast will certainly increase. This is also confirmed by the Minister of Migration Policy of Greece, Ioannis Mouzalas, who noted more migrants are arriving in the fine weather even on these cold winter days.

Therefore, it is likely that in 2016 more than a million migrants will get to Europe through Greece alone. This is confirmed by the forecasts of the International Organization for Migration, which expects that a higher number of migrants will reach the shores of Greece in 2016 compared to the 853,650 people in 2015. Similar conclusions with regards to the flow of refugees through Greece in the coming years can be found on the UN digital portal (ReliefWeb). However, we must not forget that in addition to Greece there are other busy “gateways” to the EU, such as Italy and Spain, for the refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.

According to the latest IMF study based on the UN data, a very large number of people has accumulated to the south of Europe. They have fled from their countries devastated by the US and their Western allies as a result of armed interventions and regime changes. Even approximate estimates suggest that more than 10 million refugees are seeking a better life. After all, in 2014 alone, about 60 million people were forced to leave their homes because of the reigning chaos, wars and ensuing poverty and hunger, 19.5 million of them are refugees. The number of Syrian refugees in states neighbouring Syria has currently reached 4.3 million. Moreover, 2.59 million Afghans, 1.1 million Somalis, 3.7 million people in sub-Saharan Africa too, became refugees. And there are also refugees from Iraq and North Africa: Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco.

This is why a few days ago Prime Minister of Slovenia Miroslav Cerar said bluntly: “We must be prepared for the millions of migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Algeria and Morocco ready to enter the EU once the weather improves.” Attuned to these words, Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier made a prediction at a press conference in Berlin that a further influx of refugees from the Middle East to Europe will not dry up regardless of the EU’s attempts to close borders, since the root cause of the problem lies within the countries people are fleeing from. So, the president and founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Klaus Schwab said in an interview with Bloomberg shortly before the opening of the World Economic Forum: Look how many countries in Africa depend on the income from oil exports. Now imagine 1 billion inhabitants, imagine they all move North “.

As a military analyst, former head of the security services “Nativ”, Yakov Kedmi stated in a recent interview with Pravda.Ru, that the responsibility for this humanitarian catastrophe with refugees for the most part lies with Saudi Arabia, USA, and Qatar. The EU is paying the price for it while Turkey is the one that profiteers from this tragedy.

Calling the flow of refugees to Europe “the new great migration”, Turkish President Erdogan took Europe to task: the Turks, who are used to taking over the world by means of demographic expansion, decided to use the tried and tested method of the “great migration”. All that remains for Europe is to simply ‘swallow’ the millions of refugees. Today, the bulk of the refugees in Europe come from Turkey, where the Turkish smugglers traffic desperate people to the European shores. This “transit service” has not only become a profitable business, but also a stable source of income in Turkey.

Last year, the smugglers received a record 6 billion worth of revenue from the transfer of migrants into Europe. As a result, the income of migrant smugglers in Europe exceeded the profits of drug traffickers, stated the head of Europol, Rob Wainwright, in The Independent.

In addition to the refugee “transit service”, the manufacturing and selling of life jackets to migrants, alongside guide maps of Europe with highlighted migration routes, tips on how to behave with the European police and border guards and much more has become another source of income in Turkey. Hardly anyone can doubt that all this is happening without the knowledge or even the support of the Turkish authorities, that at the same time promised the EU that they would curb the migration flow to Europe.

There are many facts that point at the profitability of the migratory flows into Europe for the Turkish authorities and Erdogan personally. That said, the situation in Turkey has been nearing critical: attacks on the army, police and other government agencies occur practically on a daily basis. In these circumstances, President Erdogan and Prime Minister Davutoglu repeatedly stated that “Turkey will be cleansed of terrorists”, which in turn leaves no doubt about the possibility that the Turkish authorities are taking direct part in the smuggling of the opposition and terrorist organization members (whom the Turkish authorities have been transferring into Syria for over a year now) via the migration channels into Europe. In such a way, Erdogan is able to not only free his country from thousands of potential sources of chaos, but also demonstrate that he can hit Europe hard, if need be. The very Europe that has refused to accept Turkey into its ‘family’ since 1966.

So, while Erdogan is still in power (even though he gave his word to resign after his involvement in the criminal Isis oil trade has been proven – and such proof abounds in almost all the Western media including Turkish), the “Turkish stream” of migrants to Europe will carry on and even increase. And like the Isis oil, it will continue to benefit the Erdogan clan among others while the permissive attitude of the current European politicians towards the Turkish president lingers on.

Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.