Most readers will be familiar with Bill Warner’s organization Center for the Study of Political Islam. Over the last few years Dr. Warner has expanded his operation to include a European branch, CSPI International.
CSPII has just launched a new website called Think Twice to provide information related to the proposed visa-free travel arrangement between the European Union and Turkey. The visa-free zone is supposed to be a reward for Turkey in return for its promise to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into Europe.
From the introduction to the English-language section of Think Twice:
EU visa-free policy with Turkey
There are 751 elected members of the European Parliament who on a daily basis make decisions which influence the lives of millions of Europeans. Each decision, therefore, necessitates all relevant information from a wide array of sources.
Soon, there will be a vote regarding the visa-free entry agreement with Turkey. If you agree that this is an important issue please use the following facts to educate your politicians. We should not tell them how to vote, but rather help them make an informed decision. We believe that when many people do small acts, they can create a huge impact. On the bottom of this page you can click on the “Take Action” button to see how you can take part in this educational campaign.
The site has five tabbed topics:
- Christians & Jews
From a long term perspective, establishing visa-free relation between Turkey and the EU can be considered a step in wrong direction. This concession will, among other things, lead to decreased Turkish motivation to solve the migration crisis and permanently increase the number of Turkish citizens in the EU.
Visa-free relation with Turkey poses the following risks to the EU:
- Decrease in Turkey’s motivation to solve the migration crisis
- Increase in the number of Turkish citizens in the EU, with or without necessary permissions
- Increase in asylum applications by Turkish citizens
- Chance of transferring ethnic conflicts from Turkey to Europe (e.g. Kurds)
- Difficulty enforcing Turkish obligations to the EU
- Opening an “official” route for both migrants and radicals
- Problems reintroducing visa requirements with Turkey
- Increased impact of political Islam in the EU
Establishing visa-free relation with Turkey brings about a wide array of risks. The chance of repeating the history of liberalized visa relations with the West-Balkan countries is high. Many of the people who migrated to Germany, Belgium, and other places attempted to obtain asylum (unsuccessfully of course), causing administrative congestion and eliciting discussions about re-introducing visas. Turkey is much larger than the West-Balkan countries, has substantial internal socioeconomic differences and deals with deep seeded issues related to the protection of minorities. The number of citizens that belong to low socioeconomic classes or disadvantaged minorities (Kurds, Armenians, Christians) is high in present day Turkey. Additionally, a large number of fraudulent or illegally “purchased” Turkish passports are being provided to migrants from other countries during their stay in Turkey. Considering the plight of Turkish minorities, the EU is an attractive destination for many minority Turkish citizens.
The EU wants to grant Turkey visa-free entry without Turkey fulfilling all the conditions necessary — e.g. adjustment of anti-terror laws. If the EU establishes visa-free relations with Turkey before Ankara complies with pre-established conditions, how will it persuade Turkey make any internal changes? President Erdogan is blackmailing the EU with threats to open the borders and transport migrants to the EU countries. Ankara’s actions and threats should make it obvious the EU can’t rely on Turkey as a partner in solving the migration crisis. Politically, once visas are no longer required for Turkish citizens, it will be very complicated to reintroduce the visa requirements between Turkey and EU nations.
To set up the visa-free EU travel for Turkey is a considerable security risk for the EU. Turkey is neighbors with non-democratic or unstable states and its own state organs cooperate with jihadists operating in Turkish territory.
- Turkey supports ISIS and other jihadist groups
- Turkey supplies weapons for jihadists and provides their training and medical aid
- ISIS operates directly in Turkish territory
- Turkey is in a politically unstable geographic region
- Turkey shares its 1,925 km long border with Syria, Iraq, Iran or Georgia
- Visa-free EU travel for Turkey will provide easier entry to the EU for jihadists
Turkey shares its 1,925 km long border with unstable or war torn states, such as Syria, Iraq, Iran, or Georgia.
The Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, in New York City, published research that reveals Turkey’s support of the Islamic State (ISIS). According to newspapers or social networks, Turkey’s participation in the war in Syria on the side of jihadists (ISIS, Al-Nusrá, etc.) can be easily proven. According to one ISIS leader, most of the fighters, equipment, or supplies for ISIS come from Turkey. It is also documented that weapons for jihadists were brought to Turkey in trucks with supposed humanitarian aid for Syrian Turkmen. There are also documented news reports that show Turkish operatives providing logistic support for jihadists, improving their training, providing hospital care, and permitting safe passage into Syria through Turkey’s Hatay Province. British Sky News gained documents proving that Turkey’s authorities approve passports for foreign jihadists who try to pass the Turkey-Syria border and join ISIS. ISIS sells mineral resources, antiques, and launders dirty money in Turkey, providing a significant source of its income. Oil is transported into Turkey by fuel trucks and, according to documented sources, through illegal oil pipelines.
The ISIS also operates directly in Turkey, with documented ISIS recruitment operations right in Istanbul and Gaziantep. Meanwhile, Turkey’s military group IBDA-C directly supports ISIS. Some web sites, focused on recruiting ISIS fighters in Germany, are operated from schools established by members of the Turkish government’s party, AKP. According to Jordanian security service, Turkey trains ISIS fighters who are designated to conduct special operations.
See Think Twice for the topics Democracy, Women, and Christians & Jews. There are also numerous links to source materials, and a program of action for those who want to oppose the handover of the European Union to Turkey.