The Syrian exodus is creating a full-fledged refugee crisis in Europe. Now Turkey, which is already full-up with some two million Syrians, fears that fighting around Aleppo could drive as many as another million refugees to its border. And as Reuters reports, the government is looking for a little help from its friends:
“Turkey has reached its total capacity for refugees. Now, there is talk that a new wave of refugees may emerge. That would exceed Turkey’s (capacity), and it would put the EU face to face with more migrants,” Volkan Bozkir told the newspaper Hurriyet during a trip to Brussels. […]
Bozkir said the amount Turkey had spent on refugees – it has established a string of camps along its 900 km (560-mile) border with Syria – dwarfed the contribution from the European Union, which Turkey wants to join.
“We have spent $6 billion so far. The total amount that the EU has provided is 70 million euros and it is still just a promise, it has not yet arrived with us,” he said.
Earlier this week, the UN reported that the Syrian war had produced a total of over four million refugees, one sixth of the country’s population. About one third of the 137,000 refugees who have crossed into Europe already in 2015 are Syrian, while about 270,000 Syrians have sought asylum in the EU in total so far. When Turkey can or will not accept any more refugees, many more will try to make their way to Europe.
The inadequacy of the EU’s already strained migrant policies came to light earlier this year, when around 900 migrants drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean. Since then little has been done to better accommodate the growing influx of stateless migrants. The U.S., for its part, has accepted less than a thousand Syrian refugees since the war began more than four years ago. Turkey’s warning should serve as a wake up call to the international community that this real, human problem is not going away soon.