HELP FOR REFUGEES, YES ! BUT NO RESTART OF “TURKISH ACCESSION” TALKS

As Europe seeks solutions to master the migration flows across its undefended borders, it looks with ever greater concern to a Turkish neighbor which under Erdogan has developed in a quasi sultanate.
In which way and how far can Europe reasonably go to relieve Turkeys difficult task with a vast flow of migrants ? Some help up to 3 bln euros seems to have been offered by the European Union.Perhaps we can do more, and if we can, we certainly should.
But it seems Erdogan sees this as a good moment to repeat his demands for accession of Turkey to the European Union. And that certainly would be a bridge too far.
If our European political leaders want really a last argument to torpedo the whole EU structure and project , yes, then they would have found the no-fail step to succeed.since our populations would rise up against unneeded betrayal of thee European cause. But no, that is not their objective; they would only submit to pressure without any need by weakness, at a moment when Erdogan is the weaker one.
Long time ago I had among Dutch ambassadors colleagues who on the occasion of our annual ambassadorial conferences loved to stand up and then proudly exclame that “ Surely Europe was not pretending to be a “Christian Club”, and we should show that by admitting Turkey as a member state.
While some of my colleagues are not anymore with us, the survivors live now to see that the Christian character of Europe has been gravely eroded to the detriment of our social and national strength, while on the other side Turkey has indeed become a truly Islamic club.
Whatever we do in trying to solve the present refugee problems, for ourselves and for Turkey, we should not take up the molded file of Turkey’s harsh accession claims.
Let Turkey stay out of Europe, it is a noble country and has enough strength to stand on its own.. We in Europe have nothing to gain from their accession, and we can do much better things with that country, and to mutual benefit.
The present silly voices pleading to renewed accession efforts do not worry me too much as of today, since Erdogan himself has developed into the best scarecrow we might wish to warn our European citizens.
But a really difficult moment will come when tomorrow or after tomorrow the Erdogan regime falls down.
Then the talk about “anchoring Turkey to the West” (anchoring against what?: the East? the North or the South?), may get a sentimental revival, pushed by financial and industrial interests and by the media, and we must clearly reject any step in that direction. For Erdogan we can do enough by offering him a nice place on the island of Elba where, with their fortune, they could survive.
On our side we need to concentrate efforts on more important ttasks than accession talks with Turkey.
The following might be among our priorities:

• Restore our national and common defence forces so that we may be able to take action together, if possible with NATO help or an alternative grouping from which Russia should not be excluded in principle.
• Re-establish control over internal borders, particularly with Germany so that Frau Merkel will not be able to ship off to other European countries the refugee flows she cannot handle.
• Make the perspective of a “return” clear to all who came recently to Europe. For the Syrian refugees (Chaldaeans, other minority groups as well) in the Near East with whom we share deep cultural bonds , let us help their families to constitute as far as possible and register at a high official level a documentation folder on the properties they have left behind, and which (or equivalent property) they should recuperate on their return home. International organizations must then defend their case with any successor governments in their region of origin.
• Let those European countries which engaged in the foolish and illicit war against Kadhafi’s Libya (particularly France) make an expiating effort. helping to restore that country to unity , perhaps involving Kadhafy’s son in Libya’s leadership.
• Build adequate but simple short-term compounds where we could house refugees on future occasions. We should not house them in properties where there stay would take on a permanent character.

We should not worry about the Turks and what they will have to endure in the near future.
They are a hardy race and will ultimately return to a degree of wellbeing.
All along we can and should work with them both inside Turkey and with Turkish entrepreneurs in Europe and much of Asia. Even the Sil.k Road renewal may give us good chances.We can have with them a very satisfactory shared agenda.
But keeping our two houses separate between Europe and Turkey will be the best action for a peaceful future on both sides of the Bosphorus.
Let us not succumb to a misguided ultraliberal business clique which sees Turkey as a market to sell to, and as a source of cheap labor.
Let us keep a tight watch on the “European Union” s leadership: NO ACCESSION TALKS ! the European nations werre never consulted in that matter.

Anton Smitsendonk

Paris 17 october 2015

Note 1 The author has enough documentation to prove that it was largely the Netherlands employers association VNO (similar national organizations did that job in other European countries) which formulated the original policies for engaging Turkey in European accession talks. I am close to the world of businessmen. For entrepreneurs I have even great empathy but only if they refrain from misleading our European nations on our common geopolitical agenda
Note 2 As an additional suggestion may I propose to add “Africanus” to the name of Monsieur Sarkozy. Not to honor him as Roman senators did with Scipio “Africanus” for his triumph over Cartago,, but as a warning to the French electorate, linking the former president of France clearly and forever to his fatal African misstep in the Libyan war.

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About dutasia

Former Ambassador of the Netherlands, presently National Commissioner for Thailand and for Indonesia in the ICC, the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Business Organization. Chairman of China Carbon Forum in Beijing, China.
This entry was posted in Business, democracy, diplomacy, EUROPE, EUROPEAN UNION, European Union enlargement, European Union Neighborhood, France, immigration, Immigration into Europe, Islam, Islam in Europe, Migration issues, Nederland, Turkey, Turkey's campaign for EU accession. Bookmark the permalink.

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