Turkey: Could Syrian refugees help bring down Erdogan government?
Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 29, 2013
Sure looks like it is possible! And, it would be one explanation for why Turkey is a sieve and allowing Syrians to move through the country and out the other side into Greece and Bulgaria (both countries having enormous problems with illegal migrants mostly from Syria, but even from places like Algeria coming through Turkey!).*
From The Daily Star (Lebanon). Emphasis is mine:
BEIRUT: A corruption scandal in Turkey may see embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad outlast his Turkish adversary Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the latest sign Turkish foreign policy on Syria is undergoing a major recalibration, analysts say.
Former ally Turkey emerged as the most vocal opponent of the regime in Syria, which, after protests against Assad’s rule were brutally repressed by government forces, has become mired in an all-out civil war. Erdogan was one of the first international leaders to call for Assad to step down. Turkey also hosts some 600,000 refugees and has also provided safe haven and material assistance to Syrian military opponents.
Turkey opens door to radical Islamists?
More recently, Turkey’s apparent open door policy to rebels crossing the border to fight Assad has drawn criticism both at home and from its Western allies for allegedly providing a base and military assistance to radical Islamists affiliated with Al-Qaeda to launch their attacks. [Wasn’t there a suggestion that Obama was sending weapons for Syrians from Libya (Benghazi!) to Turkey?—ed]
Those concerns have seen Turkey adjust its policy on Syria by tightening border security and boosting intelligence operations, in what analysts say reflects an embarrassing about-face once it became apparent that Assad’s regime would not fall as quickly as Ankara had hoped.
Potential for anti-Syrian refugee rhetoric and hostility?
While the left-wing opposition remains weak in Turkey, the anti-intervention position on Syria is likely to gain traction and party support is strongly divided over the Syria refugee issue.
That raises the potential for a wave of anti-Syrian rhetoric and hostility toward the 600,000 refugees in Turkey, Ulgen said, similar to the backlash against Syrians that occurred in Egypt following the military’s post-revolutionary coup.
A public opinion poll conducted by EDAM to be released in January found that 86 percent of participants agreed that no further Syrian refugees should be allowed in the country, while only 11 percent believed Turkey should continue to take refugees.
Refugees taking jobs the Turks would like to do (it is the same the world over!):
Ozel (a newspaper columnist) added that he feared hostility toward Syrians would increase.
“The unofficial figures say there are 1 million Syrians here. They are scattered all over the place, they are dirt poor, they are working at a fraction of the price than the Turks doing the same job. Sooner or later it will cause social tensions and this government has done nothing to address that.”
There is a lot more in The Daily Star article worth reading.
*Type ‘Greece’ or ‘Bulgaria’ into our search function for more on the Muslim migration into those countries.
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