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Oh deer; Is Erdogan taking on the role of Mr. Claus?

  • Opinion

By Mahnoor Sajid, BA Economics and Politics

Jingle bells, Turkey sends, military detainees back!

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is determined to take on the role of Santa Claus this holiday season and it appears Western Europe is getting a present it was hoping to avoid

The members of the Islamic state who were captured in Syria ought to be returned to their home countries. The decision of how to punish them – harshly where warranted, lies in the hands of their home countries. These citizens should be dealt with responsibly as leaving them stateless would only make the situation worse. The children are innocent, caught in a situation, not of their own making and must be protected at all costs.  

Earlier this month, Turkey was held responsible for evicting Islamic detainees despite the threats it received regarding the imposition of sanctions over its unauthorized gas drilling in the eastern Mediterranean. Mr Erdogan is set to uphold a strict policy when it comes to returning the members of the Islamic State back to their home countries. He has asserted in a recent interview that Turkey has started a swift repatriation process. By the looks of it, the Turkish President is entirely indifferent to the problems these detainees are facing on the borders and is adamant on delivering these captured terrorists as part of a Christmas present to European countries.

About a week ago, a US citizen of Jordanian descent was deported by Turkish authorities and was stranded for two days between the Greek-Turkish border. This incident was seen as a mere inconvenience by Ankara and Turkey remain unfazed by the complaint. Unfortunately, the American detainee was not the only one Turkey has vowed to deport. According to the Turkish interior ministry, 11 French citizens; women and children, 7 Germans alongside some Danes are to be expatriated to their native countries who are not entirely merry about welcoming them. As Turkey followed through on these threats, Western European nations are burdened with a problem they had long sought to avoid: how to deal with the possible return of these radicalized Europeans. It seems like European leaders are not quite happy with the delivery of these presents and strongly believe that these detainees could prove to be a long-term threat. Thus, the European countries have thought of prosecuting ISIS members anywhere but Europe, preferably on Iraqi soil, which seems to be asinine but a quick and easy way to dispose of this problem.

On the brighter side of things, French lawyers seem to be working hard to give women and children a promising future as they fight to reunite them. The children are young and vulnerable, they do not deserve to be separated from their mothers and vice-versa. Last year, one of the four women was set to be deported but she demanded that she would not leave without her son. At the very least, there seems to be more protection and sympathy for the vulnerable children in comparison to the pushback the women and former male militants are receiving. 

Western Europe needs to devise a better strategy in order to deal with the situation at hand rather than foisting these detainees on Iraq. The Turkish President Erdogan eagerly delivered his presents in hopes of deepening his bond with the European leaders but it seems that Western Europe is caught up with the Christmas blues this season and has refused to accept the Islamic state members entering the countries. The leaders have decided on re-gifting them to Iraq but it seems as though the continent has forgotten that re-gifting is an action that is considered to be morally and ethically wrong.

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