So here we are, with German chancellor Angela Merkel ready and willing to offer more concessions to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in order to slow the refugee migration into the Eurozone.
Merkel’s latest concessions come despite the fact that Erdogan is now the de-facto dictator of Turkey, having just taken over Turkey’s largest newspaper with a violent teargas raid by riot police.
Subscriptions immediately collapsed.
Violent Teargas Raid
Let’s start with a look at dictator Erdogan’s newspaper takeover. Then we will investigate how Merkel is willing to brush such events under the rug with still more concessions to a person who obviously cannot be trusted.
Law enforcement raid on a prominent media company and takeover of the nation’s largest-circulation newspaper have raised new fears of a press under assault by the administration of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Police late Friday forced their way into the offices of Zaman newspaper and its English-language sister publication, Today’s Zaman, after an Istanbul court ordered the seizure of Feza Media Group, which owns the two dailies.
Police in riot gear peppered protesters and staff alike with volleys of tear gas and water cannons, a scene broadcast live on satellite television.
Zaman has a daily circulation of more than 600,000, the largest in Turkey.
Amnesty International described Friday’s actions as “deeply troubling.” “By lashing out and seeking to rein in critical voices, President Erdogan’s government is steam rolling over human rights,” Amnesty International’s Turkey expert, Andrew Gardner, said in a statement.
The shutdown also drew an unusually forceful rebuke from the U.S. State Department, which is generally hesitant to criticize Turkey, a NATO ally. At a regular news briefing Friday, a State Department spokesman, John Kirby, said the raid was “the latest in a series of troubling judicial and law enforcement actions” and was not “in keeping” with Turkey’s constitution.
In October, days before the country’s general election, Turkish authorities ordered the seizure of Koza Ipek Group, which ran several prominent television stations critical of the government.
Prosecutors have opened at least 1,845 cases of “insulting the president” since Erdogan rose to the presidency in August 2014 with 52% of the vote.
Among those who have been charged are celebrities, a former Miss Turkey beauty queen and children who tore down a poster depicting Erdogan.
In May last year, Cumhuriyet published a sensational report that allegedly showed trucks, halted by police in southeastern Hatay province, belonging to Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency, stacked full of ammunition destined for insurgents in neighboring Syria.
The two journalists were arrested and sent to prison to await trial. After 92 days, Turkey’s Constitutional Court last week ordered their release on grounds that their personal rights had been violated.
The Turkish president fumed at the court decision, publicly refusing to “respect or obey” it.
Devil Makes More Demands
Despite Friday’s newspaper takeover by Erdogan, Merkel flew to Turkey over the weekend.
She is prepared to offer the devil more goodies if the devil would cover up her inane decision to welcome millions of refugees with open arms.
Turkey has made a host of last-minute funding and political demands that threaten to derail a controversial EU-Turkey deal to dramatically reduce migrant flows to Europe.
Ahead of crunch summit between EU leaders and the Turkish prime minister on Monday, Ankara has called for a an increase to the €3bn in aid previously promised by Brussels, faster access to Schengen visas for Turkish citizens and accelerated progress in its EU membership bid.
- Visa privileges to Turkish citizens.
- Increase in the EU’s proposed €3bn in funding, so that it covers municipal infrastructure costs as well as health, education and material support for Syrian refugees in Turkey.
- Turkey wants to speed up the already fast-tracked process of opening several new chapters in its EU membership bid. Cyprus is loath to make further concessions to Ankara in membership talks.
Merkel’s Plans Flop Like Fish Out of Water
Ms Merkel, who has been the most vocal proponent of this plan, held late-night talks with the Turkish prime minister in Brussels on Sunday night. Despite pressure from Berlin, other member states have been unwilling to back such a scheme.
Although Brussels has come up with a range of policies aimed at controlling the flow — from relocating refugees across Europe to introducing a European border guard and sending aid to Greece — most of these have either flopped or not yet been implemented.
Speaking before the meeting, Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras said: “There have been agreements that were not implemented by everyone. This cannot be the case. There are either agreements that we implement or no agreements at all. Everyone needs to implement common decisions.”
Agreements? What Agreements?
When Chancellor Merkel tells countries what they need to do, and they refuse, does that constitute an agreement? Do Merkel’s idiotic plans constitute an agreement?
In Bed with the Devil
That Merkel is prepared to deal with Erdogan despite the fact he is now a de-facto dictator speaks volumes about her willingness to sleep with the devil for purposes of short-term political expediency.
Turkey’s demands on Merkel include visa rights and speeding up of Turkey’s admission into EU. Let’s take a look at the demographics involved.
- Population: 79.316 Million (Source: WorldOmeters)
- Median Age: 30.2 Years (Source: WorldOmeters)
- Religion: 99.8% Muslim officially (Wikipedia estimates 90% to 96.4%)
- There are more than 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees in Turkey, according to UNHCR estimates. On average, 2,500 people cross the Aegean to Greece every day. (Source: Turkey Summit Overshadowed by Newspaper Crackdown).
- Youth Unemployment: 19.1% (Source: Trading Economics).
Since the chancellor in unable or unwilling to do the math estimates on those demographic stats, I put five key ideas together for her.
Five Refugee Math Considerations for Merkel
- Turkey has 2.7 million Syrian refugees who want to make to Germany for free handouts.
- The EU is already choking on migrants.
- There are another 79+ million Turkish citizens, many of whom just might be fed up enough with the dictatorship of Erdogan to flee, if they only had a Visa or EU membership.
- The median age in Turkey is 30.2 and the youth unemployment rate is 19.1%. A huge chunk of the millennials will want to leave for sure.
- Even if a mere 5% of Turkish citizens want to flee, that’s another 4 million or so refugees pouring into Europe.
Leaders vs. Bullies
As my friend says, “Leaders lead; that’s what they do.” However, leaders also learn when to admit they have made a mistake. Chancellor Merkel, like Hillary Clinton, never learned how to do that.
With her handling of this crisis, Merkel has morphed into nothing more than a playground bully. It’s high time someone stood up to the biggest bully in Europe, and they just did: Austria and Nine Balkan Countries Effectively Tell Merkel Go to Hell.
However, political bullies seldom give up so easily. There’s a good likelihood Merkel can bully her way to an agreement with the devil.
If she gets her way, the other countries will regret their decision when a massive wave of Turkish migrants floods the Eurozone in search of free handouts.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock