I hope that the U.S. readers have enjoyed their Thanksgiving. Turkey seems like a natural topic these days.
I am not a fan of Daniel Landa and it seems right to classify his singing as out-of-tune (plus plain talk) but this well-known Czech song is titled "Thanksgiving" so it may get the right to look for fans outside Czechia. Music: Petr Hapka. Lyrics: Michal Horáček, Prague Café's presidential candidate.
For some years, I have observed that Turkey was a problematic ally that Europe shouldn't rely upon, and I have criticized Turkey's relationships with ISIS vs the Kurds, among other things.
I've argued that agreements with Turkey can't really be trusted and if a relationship develops at all, Turkey could abuse the power it could acquire. Well, it's here. We're told that
malicious intents much more visibly. He wants a membership in the European Union or at least a visa-free access to the EU for the Turks, otherwise he will dump 3 million migrants to Europe's yard, whatever it exactly means.
Needless to say, the justification involving Turkey's "accession" was as predictable as it is nonsensical. In recent years, no influential politician at any level was defending Turkey's entry to the EU in any foreseeable future. The suggestion that Erdogan feels "disappointed" is therefore totally ludicrous. Every sane person who has been watching what's going on has understood that Turkey's membership in the EU is a matter of science-fiction. Turkey's political system isn't really a form of the European secular democracy and Turkey was recently getting further from it, not closer to it. The coup could have induced some sympathies for Erdogan but it contributed to the divergence of the EU and Turkey, too.
To a lesser extent, a visa-free regime with Turkey would be suicidal for Europe, too. If Turkey enjoyed this advantage, Erdogan wouldn't need to threaten with the dumping of refugees. He could give them the Turkish passports and simply tell them "go to Europe now".
There are still lots and lots of insane people in Europe who worship the cult of the Wilkommenskultur. But I tend to optimistically think that in recent months, a majority of the truly powerful ones as well as a majority of the European public has understood the point of the Visegrád Group and others that the EU simply has to protect its borders in the old-fashioned way – in which every nation or empire had to protect its border in the history – and if there's a bug that prevents the EU from fulfilling the same activity (the same task that the skin plays for any animal), then the bug has to be fixed.
As long as the important political institutions of the EU (and not just your humble correspondent) clearly say that the EU won't accept the 3 million migrants in Turkey, it pretty much means that it won't accept them. An overwhelming majority of them won't even try to come if they hear that they're not welcome. It is really straightforward for half a billion people to defend its border against 3 million unarmed civilians. And even if we hypothetically imagine that they would be armed by Erdogan – if Erdogan decided to turn the 3 million migrants into a huge subsidiary of ISIS – the confrontations would have to be called a war but they would still be defeated.
All Europeans should return to their common sense. The task to defend their land isn't a task that may be outsourced to a would-be ally such as Turkey. It's a duty that every nation or confederation must do for itself. I am confident that my country won't allow the arrival of any large number of Turks or migrants from Turkey. I want to believe that this will be guaranteed by policies that reflect some prevailing consensus in all of Europe. But even if these policies won't have a prevailing support in the EU, countries like mine will defend their territories.
Erdogan's blackmail is childish and no one should take it seriously, just like no one should have taken his friendly promises seriously.