March 20, 2016
The EU-Turkey Statement of March 18, 2016 starts with these two paragraphs (*):
“Today the Members of the European Council met with their Turkish counterpart. This was the third meeting since November 2015 dedicated to deepening Turkey-EU relations as well as addressing the migration crisis.
“The Members of the European Council expressed their deepest condolences to the people of Turkey following the bomb attack in Ankara on Sunday. They strongly condemned this heinous act and reiterated their continued support to fight terrorism in all its forms.”
Dictionaries define “as well as” in the following way: “and in addition”, “and also”. So, at first look, one may assume that the “meeting of the Members of the European Council and their Turkish counterparts” was essentially about “deepening Turkey-EU relations” and “in addition” or “and also” they addressed the migration crisis. Wrong! Okumaya devam et →
March 8, 2016
The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees defines the refugee as someone who is unable or unwilling to return to his/her country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. The Convention stipulates that its provisions are to be applied without discrimination as to race, religion or country of origin. Developments in international human rights law have reinforced the principle that the Convention be applied without discrimination. The Convention also lays down basic minimum standards for the treatment of refugees, “without prejudice to States granting more favorable treatment”. Such rights include access to the courts, to primary education, to work.
Syrian conflict has created huge refugee problems for neighboring Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. This is what the European Commission says in its “ECHOFACT SHEET” on the refugee situation in Turkey:
• “The overwhelming influx of refugees into Turkey has reached over 3.1 million registered, making Turkey the largest host of refugees in the world.
• “In 2016 some 126 166 people have arrived through Turkey to Greece by sea. 91% come from the world’s top 10 refugee-producing countries.
• “About 90% of Syrian refugees in Turkey remain outside of camp settings with limited access to basic services.
• “UNHCR estimates that more than half of the Syrian refugees are children, with 400 000 children remaining out of school…” (*) Okumaya devam et →
October 18, 2015
Struggling to cope with a massive influx of refugees, most of them crossing over to Greek islands from Turkey’s Aegean towns and cities, the EU was bound to seek some accommodation with Turkey. Needless to say this is “a massive influx” by European standards; massive enough to bring Chancellor Merkel to Istanbul.
In order to judge the timing of Chancellor Merkel’s trip to Istanbul one should remember the controversial visit PM Netanyahu paid to Washington in early March this year. Mr. Netanyahu’s visit constituted a breach of protocol because an invitation to a head of state or government can be extended by no other official than his or her counterpart, who is the head of state or government of that country. In this case, it was House Speaker John Boehner who had invited Mr. Netanyahu to visit Washington without properly consulting the White House. He was wrong to do that and the Israeli prime Minister was wrong to accept the invitation without seeking President Obama’s agreement. That was the “invitation aspect” of the problem, but there was more to be said. Okumaya devam et →