22:08 GMT +312 November 2019
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    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during a meeting on the New Constitution at the Congresium in Ankara on January 28, 2016.

    EU Ignores Turkey's Butchering of Kurds if Erdogan Mops Up Migrants

    © AFP 2019 / ADEM ALTAN
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    Europe has allowed itself to become fatally dependent on the Turkish president, whose crackdown on opposition and the Kurdish minority could also have grave consequences for Europe, Green Party politician and Bundestag Vice-President Claudia Roth told Die Welt.

    The EU made a "highly problematic" agreement with Turkey in November to try and ease the migrant crisis, while Greece is on the verge of collapse without greater support from Brussels, German former Green Party leader and Bundestag Vice-President Claudia Roth told Die Welt on Sunday.

    "I have huge concern for Greece. The country has been left in the lurch by European partners for months. The motto is, 'Bad luck, if the Mediterranean is right outside the door.'"

    That Greece is in need of humanitarian aid from the EU, a source of funding usually reserved for developing countries, is an "indictment" for the EU, Roth said.

    "Greece's debt crisis problems are far from over, and now the humanitarian crisis is coming as well. As long as Greece is not markedly relieved conflicts there will foment," she said, warning of a rise in support for right-wing extremist politics.

    Hellenic coast guard personnel rescue refugees and migrants on a dinghy as they try to reach the Greek island of Lesbos while crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on September 29, 2015
    © AFP 2019 / ARIS MESSINIS
    Hellenic coast guard personnel rescue refugees and migrants on a dinghy as they try to reach the Greek island of Lesbos while crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on September 29, 2015

    "The politics of austerity and the harsh attitude of the federal government towards Athens have certainly led to anti-German resentment in some European countries. Now Merkel with her refugee policy is feeling the resistance to the perceived policy of German domination," Roth told the newspaper.

    The politician noted that though the EU has been miserly in its support to Greece, it is willing to strike a deal with Turkey to stop the flow of migrants and refugees at any price.

    Roth said that while Turkey has taken in many refugees from Iraq and Syria, the conditions in most Turkish refugee camps are unacceptable. She called the deal agreed with Turkey in November that gives Ankara political concessions and 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in financial aid to be spent on refugees in Turkey "highly problematic."

    "The EU has got itself into a fatal dependency on President Erdogan and is now in the hand of this autocrat. If foreign politics is made out of internal political interests then human rights and the rule of law are left behind. Because the EU wants to contain the refugee influx from Turkey at any price, it is not at all concerned any more about the rule of law in Turkey. The EU has been blackmailed."

    'Claudia Roth: Europe has got itself into fatal dependency on ​Erdogan,' Die Welt reported its interview with the politician.

    "He (Erdogan) is massively increasing the pressure on the opposition and minorities in the country, and is conducting a brutal war again the Kurds in the Southeast. In Diyarbakir, hundreds of people, including children, have been imprisoned and are being starved. There is no audible criticism from the EU." 

    Erdogan's campaign against the Kurds has consequences for Germany, and for the Syrian crisis, where his policy is escalating the conflict, Roth said.

    On Monday representatives of the EU and Turkey are holding a summit in Brussels, and the European politicians must address Erdogan's role in the Syrian conflict, his attacks on the Kurds and human rights in Turkey, Roth urged.

    "When it comes to fighting the causes of the flight of refugees, Turkey is part of the problem. Erdogan is involved in escalating the Syrian conflict and his brutal crackdown on the Kurds causes more refugees to flee the Kurdish areas."

    "I have concerns that the conflict with the Kurds will be carried over to Germany from Turkey. I can well remember the 1990s, when Kurdish women stood on the roads here and set themselves on fire. In Hannover, Berlin and Hamburg the old conflict between Kurds and Turks is sporadically emerging again. Therefore we must not turn a blind eye to what is happening in Turkey."

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    European Union, migrants, refugees, Germany, Turkey
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