JLH has translated an article from Zuerst! from earlier this month about changes to Turkey’s immigration policy.
The translator includes this note:
The picture of hordes of immigrants poised on the Turkish shore inevitably calls up visions of “300” and the Persians.
The comments concerning Italy, Spain and Greece as entry points reminds me of the WWII Allied strategy of attacking the “soft underbelly” of Europe. However you look at it, the prospect of totally uncontrolled entry into an already reeling, politically correct Europe is dispiriting for anyone who harbors any fond memories of any place on the continent.
The last sentence of the article is a masterpiece of understatement.
The translated article:
Turkey Opens the Floodgates
March 1, 2010
Ankara has lifted visa requirements for several Middle Eastern countries, including Syria and Lebanon. For Europe, this means an aggravation of its security situation. Anyone without a visa who has no difficulties entering Turkey from the Middle East, will relatively easily find a way to slip into the EU. That is why visa liberalization by Ankara is seen by the EU as a confrontation with European countries. Turkey, which would like to become a full member of the European Union, is sending a clear signal by opening its borders to the Middle East. In Saudi-Arabia, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was asked whether his policies toward Muslim countries would change with Turkey’s membership in the EU. He replied with a quote from the Koran: “Strive for what is right, as it is commanded (by God).” At the same time, he sharply criticized the EU, which is letting the Turkish applicants cool their heels.
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The situation is complicated still more by Turkish demands: Ankara is pushing for visa-free entry into the EU. According to the pertinent agreements, there is no longer sufficient reason to deny Turks entry without a visa. Ankara has complained that Serbs, Macedonians and Montenegrins may already travel to EU countries without visa, while Turkey is denied this (privilege) despite presently ongoing access negotiations.
There are already problems between Turkey and Greece. Athens accuses Turkish border authorities of allowing ships full of illegal immigrants unhindered passage to Greek islands, which are EU territory. Acting Director of the EU border authority “Frontex”, Gil Arias Fernandez, points out several instances in which Turkish patrol boats have turned a blind eye to the smugglers. There is also a bilateral “take-back” agreement between Greece and Turkey, but Turkey does not honor it. Greek authorities estimate that thousands of immigrants on the Turkish coast are waiting for the opportunity to cross the short stretch of sea to Europe. While the influx of illegal immigrants to Italy and Spain has lessened, the islands of Leros and Patmos are the new showplaces for the waves of immigration from Asia and Africa. Removal of visa requirements for countries of the Middle East could further increase the pressure on the EU.