Letter from Athens: Erdogan’s Migrant Scam Hoodwinks The EU, Tsipras Too

Turkish Prime Minister and presidential candidate of the ruling party in the August election, Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves to his supporters in Istanbul, Turkey, Friday July 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Not since the Indians sold Manhattan for $23 and some beads, the Louisiana Purchase, or the Red Sox trading Babe Ruth to the Yanks for $100,000 and No, No Nanette has there been such a one-sided migrant deal as the swindle Turkish Dictator-for-Life Recep Tayyip Erdogan pulled on the European Union and Greece’s clueless Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

I’ll give you 500,000 Syrians, 150,000 Afghans and 200,00 migrants to be named later and you give me six billion euros, fast-track entry into the EU, and visa-less travel, Erdogan said, promising only to take back migrants and refugees who leave Turkey only after they’re not allowed to go. Who arranged this contract? Groucho Marx?

As Warner Wolf would say, “If you play poker or Pinball Wizard with Erdogan, you lose!” Erdogan was in a battle of wits with unarmed opponents who believe in fair play and the EU’s “soft power,” which goes to the Head of the Class in oxymorons along with New Jersey Night Life.

He sent his lackey, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to Brussels to do the talking but Erdogan was pulling the strings, a few days after he ordered his cop goons to invade an opposition newspaper office, toss out the journalists and install his friends to make it a pro-government organ as he moves toward complete control.

Make room for him in the next season of Game of Thrones because he could fit right in with his Machiavellian scheming. Erdogan helped create Europe’s worst human crisis since WWII by allowing Turkey and human traffickers to flood the Continent with up to two million refugees and migrants and will profit handsomely from it.

As for the six billion euros, look for a 100-room addition to his 1100-room palace because none of it will go to helping refugees and migrants unless it’s to buy them life preservers filled with straw so they will be sure to drown as their boat flips on the way to Greece because they’re not going to stay in Turkey when they want to be in Germany.

These people have fled war and terrorism and ISIS so EU Council President Donald Tusk, who gleefully said, “The Balkan Route is closed,” after Greece’s neighbors and other EU countries slammed the door shut on refugees and migrants isn’t really an obstacle for them.

The inhumanity is difficult to calculate, especially when you see babies and handicapped and the elderly sleeping near sewage, trying to stay warm and dry in flooded tents with little to eat, little medical care and with the Greek state (where was Mr. Compassion, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras?) nearly absent from the site of the Idomeni refugee camp after FYROM and the EU slammed shut the borders.

If there’s a crisis in Ethiopia or Africa, the United Nations and Red Cross are there before you can blink to set up tent cities and the world responds with food, clothing and other human necessities.

But these poor people, mostly Syrians fleeing war worsened by the failure of the United States, the EU and United Nations to act, are being treated like carbon credit swaps or poker chips with the cockamamie scheme to have them returned to Turkey – the country they fled as fast as they could – and with the EU agreeing to take back an equal number of those seeking asylum.

This is crazy enough to be something amateurs like SYRIZA cooked up but it’s no laughing matter.

Think of your great-grandparents coming to Ellis Island from Greece and being put on a boat and sent right back and that will give you an idea. Except that it’s worse for these refugees because Erdogan has no intention or interest in helping them and once they’re back in Turkey they could find themselves being shipped back to Syria for a deadly fate.

And before you say Europe can’t take a million refugees and migrants, do the math. There’s 28 countries in the bloc and not even accounting for a country’s size that’s an average of 35,714 they should be assigned.

The EU’s first response last year was to agree to take in 60,000 coming through Greece. By the end of 2015 they had resettled 500, a disgrace beyond ridicule.

The deal hadn’t even been agreed to and Erdogan was already reneging and looking for wiggle room and human rights groups rightfully blistered pathetic EU leaders for putting together a scheme to wash their hands like Pontius Pilate.

“This will be a major win for smuggling groups,” Tuesday Reitano of the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime told the Associated Press, referring to the EU-Turkey deal. “The effects are already visible.”

Aurelie Ponthieu, Humanitarian Affairs Adviser on Displacement for the Medecins Sans Frontiers medical aid organization, added: “For each refugee that will risk their life at sea and will be summarily sent back to Turkey, another one may have the chance to reach Europe from Turkey under a proposed resettlement scheme. This crude calculation reduces people to mere numbers, denying them humane treatment and discarding their right to seek protection.”

“Everything here is like a big casino and they play, dirty play. We are the playing cards. No one looks at us as humankind,” Syrian Abu Haida said of the results of the summit in Brussels. “We have dreams, life, children.” No more, courtesy of compassionate Europe.