The 2016 refugee agreement between the European Union and Turkey, which the EU alleges has helped avert a migration crisis, is teetering on the brink - several damning reports on the damaging humanitarian impact of the deal have added further fuel to the growing inferno engulfing diplomatic relations between Ankara and Brussels.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (File)
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Why Erdogan is Likely to Put His Threat Into Action and Rip Refugee Deal Up
The deal was inked in March 2016, and obliged Turkey to stop the passage of undocumented migrants arriving in the EU through its territory, in exchange for the EU accommodating Syrian refugees in Turkey, on a one-for-one basis. In return, the EU pledged to introduce a visa-free regime and provide financial aid to Turkey.
The deal is steadily unraveling as it nears its first anniversary. Travel bans imposed on Turkish politicians by Austria, Germany and the Netherlands in the lead up to the country's April 16 constitutional reform referendum, which has seen a plane carrying Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu prevented from landing at a Dutch airport, have provoked angry condemnations from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's administration.
In addition to well-publicized "Nazi" jibes, ministers have repeatedly threatened to scuttle the refugee deal — Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu went as far as threatening to flood Europe with refugees.
"I'm telling you, Europe, if you want we'll send the 15,000 refugees to you we don't send each month and blow your mind. Do you have that courage?" Soylu said.
This is about to get singularly unpleasant in a heartbeat.
Europe can barely cope with the refugees it is already trying to absorb, who have had no education or language skills of their adoptive countries, and cannot find work, except for the most menial, which they take away from European nationals.
This will not end well, and unfortunately, we may see a call to arms by many nationals who feel that they have been completely marginalised, and their quality of life diminished intensely by this flood of refugees.
And unlike Holland, where I strongly suspect that there was intense vote-rigging deployed to keep Wilders out of office, there won't be enough vote riggers and electronic systems which can possibly squelch the rage of these people who feel they have been betrayed by their governments to have let this happen.