Friday, October 16, 2015

Paying the Turkish Dane-geld

Last week I pointed out that Turkey was effectively holding the entire European Union to ransom over the refugee crisis in that continent, and that this was, in so many words, payback for all the slights the EU had inflicted on Turkey.

It seems the ransom demands worked.

EU leaders offered Ankara a host of long-sought sweeteners in exchange for shutting borders that have let 350,000 people enter Europe since January.

Angela Merkel said the EU had agreed to open a "new chapter" in accession talks to the bloc after decades of delays, adding that the EU was looking at a "ballpark" of €3 billion [about US $3.4 billion].

Given Turkey has spent seven billion addressing the migrant crisis it "makes sense" for EU states to contribute, the German chancellor said.

"We cannot organise or stem the refugee movements without working with Turkey," said Mrs Merkel, who is due to visit Turkey at the weekend for talks about the crisis and Syria with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president.

Turkey is the main launching point for the more than 600,000 migrants who have entered Europe this year.

. . .

Turkey signalled it would drive a hard bargain, saying it would do nothing until a visa deal is on the table. Turkish officials presented their EU counterparts with a "wish list" during talks in Ankara on Thursday.

Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish prime minister, stressed he wanted swifter moves towards visa-free travel to Europe in exchange for Ankara keeping more refugees on its soil.

There's more at the link.

Having decided (or, rather, been forced) to pay the Dane-geld, one wonders whether the EU will now ever be rid of the Dane Turk?  I think the Turks, having proved to everyone's (and their own) satisfaction that they have the EU over the proverbial barrel, will switch on the refugee torrent anytime they don't get their own way in the ongoing negotiations over their full membership of the EU.  I don't see any good ending for anyone coming out of this.

(To provide context to US readers who haven't been following the situation in Europe:  this 'solution' is akin to the US paying Mexico to slow down the movement of people from other nations through its territory, allowing them access to the US border to invade this country as illegal aliens.  Payment would be partly in [lots of] cash, partly by way of many more visas to allow more Mexicans to legally enter the US.)



Paul said...

This will not end well. I do not like seeing this slow slide into oblivion.

Charlie Mitchell said...

I read of a half-serious solution to our illegal alien problem.
Put 50 million dollars into an account for the Mexican President.
Tell him the money will be his after a couple of years, but we're subtracting 10 thousand dollars for every person who slips across our border. The problem would be solved that afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Again, you have nailed it, Peter.

Erdogan, who is working hand in glove with his Qatari and Saudi financiers to topple Assad and is therefore co-responsible for the Syrian mass migration, pockets a cool three billion. But that's not all.

He also gets a permanent exemption for Turks from visa requirements. Arranged marriages to illiterates from Turkey's most backward areas will boost the Turkish population in Germany and many newly arriving Turks will swell the welfare rolls. But that's not all.

Kurdish Turks are the country's largest minority and are reproducing much faster than "Turkish Turks". They are a real threat to Erdogan's plan to rule until the end of his natural life. Now he can adjust the thumbscrews so that more and more Kurds emigrate of their own accord. The EU will have to take them. But that's not all.

Any chances, however slim, of Turkey ending their occupation of North Cyprus are now moot.

And in the middle east, once you shake hands on a deal, it remains good only as long as you don't turn your back on the counterparty. Erdogan hasn't lifted a finger yet to close his border and crack down on smugglers, passport forgers, rubber boat and outboard motor sellers etc. He may eventually close down the border once he is satisfied that his demands are met. But be sure that he will fling the gates wide again when it suits him.

Turkey is not behaving like a NATO ally but like an enemy and should be dealt with accordingly.