It now looks like Europe may be moving towards Migrant Crisis 2.0 as footage from the Greek border is pouring in over the Mainstream Media. However the key player to pay attention to is Turkey, they may have started the new migration problem and thus they may be the ones who can end it.
The original Migrant Crisis at the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011 was portrayed as an organic consequence of events that happened on their own. The Mainstream Media pushed hard to sell the idea of the migrants as victims of either circumstance or Assad, who deserved to get everything they want from the wealthy West. However, this time around the narrative is surprisingly different (at least for the moment) as Migrant Crisis 2.0 is not really getting much media push, in fact the opposite appears to be happening, possibly due to the fact that Erdogan made it so bluntly clear that with his decision to allow migrants to leave Turkey is directly connected to his failures in Syria. If he doesn’t get a piece of Syria, then Europe will.
For example Foreign Policy frames the move as “Turkey’s decision to allow migrants to cross into the European Union was intended to pressure EU leaders to come to Ankara’s aid against Bashar al-Assad”. The Independent went with the headline “Turkey says it has allowed more than 100,000 migrants and refugees across its border with Greece”. This is not the narrative of waves of poor victims coming to Europe, but instead the tale of the Turks using human beings as pawns of influence. Even the Hyper-Liberal Cultural Masochist den that is NPR positioned the event as an attempt for victims to “Leave Turkey For Europe, But This Time The Gate Is Closed” which is surprisingly soft. It is almost like NPR is hinting at some sort of logic like “well we should let them in but we can’t, I guess it’s bad, but whatever”.
What a difference a decade and a resurgent Turkey make as this migrant narrative has completely shifted. Furthermore, it is important to note that according to RT, the footage of the poor migrants trying to find peace and happiness in Europe, while being attacked by Greek authorities comes from Turkish sources. Essentially, the Turks who were able to hold all these migrants perfectly fine for years (since a deal was struck with the EU in 2016) have now, all of a sudden, decided they can’t do it anymore, releasing them into the wild. This also by a stroke of luck happened at the exact moment when NATO denied help to Ankara in their fight for Idlib partially via proxies against Assad and his Russian pals.
This is the point in an article where one might get the feeling that this is a hit piece against the Turks but it is far from it. The Turks are the ones making the moves now but they did not start the Syrian crisis, they just capitalized on it.
Firstly, the Civil War in Syria was started by Washington. This mess was started by the Obama era with a massive demonization campaign of Assad all over the Mainstream Media.
Secondly, it is the EU’s welfare state policies that send a message to the world that “if you sneak in, you are entitled to live like kings for free” that attracts the bottom of global society to immigrate to Europe. EU law/policies are really what created the Migrant Crisis, if they were to “man up” and have real borders and reasonable attitudes towards immigration (as well as dump the welfare state for immigrants) there would be zero problems.
So to be clear the Turks are just taking advantage of conditions created by Europeans and if I were born a Turk and were in Erdogan’s place I would have done many of the same moves. We shouldn’t blame others for jumping on the opportunities that we ourselves create for them. Yes, Turkey is now fanning the flames but they never started the fire.
So what could or should the strategies be for the various players going forward in Migrant Crisis 2.0?
This country finds itself as the farpost of Europe in terms of a migrant invasion. The Greek economy is still in ruins and the nation has definitely not been a beneficiary of EU status. If the Greeks actually have any political will of their own to take action, then they unfortunately need to “go hard” on any attempts to violate their borders.
Greece has nothing to lose but its Euro chains so they may as well militantly react to any attempts to violate their territory to send a message to Turkey that “this won’t work”. This may sound violent, but allowing enough migrants into your country to the point that it destabilizes, would lead to vastly more violence. A few unpleasant pieces of footage from Greece will make thousands of potential migrants think twice against storming a border unarmed with an army sitting on the other side of the barbed wire.
If Greece did become like a real country and actually protect its borders it would be demonized by Brussels, but then again, so what? What are they going to do, kick them out of the EU? If so then that would be a boon for the average Greek. If Greece does actually have sovereign control of itself and can take action then Brussels has no real means to punish them for said actions, and any punishments would only push Greece towards an independence that it needs anyways. Harsh border control of Greece is a win win for anyone except the most delusional EU enthusiasts in Athens.
In many ways the Turks are doing the right things to restore their former glory. They have done a good job of convincing Central Asians that they are actually Turks via their massive trade and education network in those countries. As stated above the flood of Turks into Europe is an exploitable beachhead for Ankara, and if they were to have negotiated with the Russians for some eastern chunk of Syria, this could have become an ideological Sudetenland for Erdogan, who may start to feel the heat as home as the proud Turks are losing to the WWII era looking Syrian Arab Army.
The Turks need to slow down and be patient. The West is slowly eroding, but until it hits the breaking point it will be an unstoppable barrier. Erdogan needs to stay cool and keep shoving as much of his fifth column of migrants into the EU as he can, and rally Europe’s migrant Muslims around himself even if they are non-Turks.
Turkey is in the rough geopolitical position of having Europe to the west and Russia to the north which made the idea to push south against weak Syria very logical, until it essentially became part of Russia. They want to expand but they are surrounded by spheres of influence even to the East. Right now there is no wiggle room for the Ottomans so they need to patiently grow and maybe try to make some deals with the Russians to understand just what the spheres of influence could turn into in a world with a collapsing EU that we will probably see in our lifetimes. Today is not Turkey’s day, but a weak West will open up huge opportunities for Turkey, they just need to stay patient, stay in NATO and wait it out.
The EU is the source of its own problems. The mentality of those in power in the Euro bureaucracy is culturally suicidal. If they would only turn on a tenth of their former zeal for European Civilization and control their borders while cutting out immigrant welfare, they could save the continent, but they won’t do that.
Immigrating to Europe needs to become an impossibility so Europe an assimilate the people it has now and fine a future for itself. They need some sort of “Renaissance II: The Revenge of Europe” to take place, but the elite and intelligentsia fervently against any such move. The borders around Europe need to close but the powers that be are convinced the opposite is the correct policy. This is good for Ankara, Moscow and Beijing, but not so great for Europeans.
Europe’s openness is on track to being essentially the same as Africa’s helplessness during the Colonial Period. If you cannot defend yourself you will get carved up, this is the reality of International Relations that the status quo in Brussels does not believe in.
- The Turks did not create the conditions for the first or second Migrant Crisis
- The Turks are exploiting these conditions for their benefit by artificially starting a new Migrant Crisis, which is opportunistic and not evil.
- The Greeks have everything to gain by using any means necessary to send a message that they cannot be overrun by migrants.
- The Turks want to grow but have their backs to the wall geopolitically and have started Migrant Crisis 2.0 due to their failure in Syria and NATO’s lack of will to support them.
- All migration problems in Europe could be solved by having a strict external border and enacting pro in-group policies towards throughout the EU, while cutting all welfare for the migrant out-group.
Tim Kirby is an independent journalist, TV and radio host.
Originally published in Strategic Culture online journal. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.