Mustafa Kaya: "Asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and managing the process correctly"

Mustafa Kaya: "Asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and managing the process correctly"
Date: 1.8.2021 17:00

Milli Gazete columnist Mustafa Kaya writes on refugees and migrants debates in Turkey. Here is the full article.

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The heartbreaking forest fires, the brutal murder of 7 members of a family in Konya, the provocations towards social peace in Turkey began to increase gradually. Someone wants the streets to move. We are in a dangerous process. We have to be vigilant against any kind of manipulation. Special attacks are planned on ethnic fault lines. It is possible that the circles aiming to drag Turkey into an environment of internal conflict are making various fictions somewhere. Everyone's duty is to put on common sense. The main duty of the state is to ensure that what is happening is revealed in a transparent manner. In such times, with the urge to protect their own regions, some people may take wrong steps such as taking the task out of the situation, taking over the duties of the police and state institutions. If there are such attempts, the state should do what is necessary and show everyone that the authority and responsibility belong to the state institutions.
On the other hand, the discussions about refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants in our country have started to gain different dimensions recently. It is imperative that the public be properly informed about these issues. Because the discussions about whether Turkey has an official immigration policy now cause everyone with common sense to worry. Even the legal difference between refugees who had to immigrate to other countries and could not return to their countries because of their religious, racial or political views, and asylum seekers who have not yet attained this status, is not clear. In our country, it is also controversial who will be granted asylum in the legal legislation. Therefore, it is not very correct to call these people who cannot apply for asylum as asylum seekers.
While it is not known who is a refugee in Turkey, how accurate can it be to talk about asylum seekers who claim this right and whose proceedings continue? There are also those who are described as immigrants among them. This is not as a result of a specific fear like a refugee, but is known as people who have to immigrate to another country due to economic or educational concerns. And yet, the use of the term "migrant" for Syrian, Iraqi or Afghan groups who are not Turkish citizens in our country should not be correct. The concept of immigrant is perhaps best used for Turkish citizens who immigrate to Germany for a better future and what they refer to as "guest workers".
It is also unclear how the citizens of Syria and Iraq (again Afghanistan), who have recently caused controversy in our country, will be disposed of as they do not comply with any of the statuses in international law. Perhaps these people, who fled the war and took refuge in our country because of their lack of security of life, can only be given the status of "temporary protection" (October 22, 2014). Although the term "irregular immigrants" is used for some of these people, the explanation that they entered the country "illegally and illegally" is not sufficient. The real issue is whether these people entered the country illegally, perhaps during the "open door" policy period, or whether their records are in the hands of the state. It is highly probable that these people have "saw war", that is, they have been exposed to the highest level of violence such as war in their life, and perhaps their personality has changed, even they have participated in the war and been traumatized. But most importantly, they may be tied to a radical ideology. They may not be sensitive to complying with rules and regulations, as they have had to move away from their home, place and country, and because of the pain of this, they no longer have much to lose in life. At worst, there are those who are used as "proxy warriors" on behalf of powerful states. All these may pose a security problem in the country they pass through, as well as pose a threat to the society they live in.
Also, as it is known, the protests against economic crises, undemocratic regimes, unemployment, corruption and political corruption in North Africa and the Middle East countries, which started in Tunisia in December 2010, shook the regimes. People who had no hope for the future in their country or who were persecuted because of their opposition to the regimes on the grounds that they participated in the demonstrations had to flee to other countries as soon as they had the opportunity. After about 12 years, the Arab Spring has come to a head with the civil-constitutional coup in which the head of state took all the powers in Tunisia, and it has unfortunately emerged that it is very difficult for people like participatory democracy to feel more comfortable and happier in this geography. Moreover, instability has increased in these countries for many years, and irreversible, irreparable and incurable wounds have been opened.
But the other side of the coin is also not encouraging. It should not be an easy experience to see people he has never met in his neighborhood, village or city as a result of developments that they did not directly cause. Maybe at first, although they saw these people as their brothers due to their religious beliefs, it is a situation that should be understood that they took an opposite attitude due to the increase in their number over time and directly affecting their own lives. These guests, who were desperate at first, have lost their jobs because they were willing to do all kinds of work much cheaper. Even the rents of houses in bad conditions, which were not in demand before, have affected some of them. The fact that people under temporary protection create shopping areas suitable for their own culture in some neighborhoods of their cities may also have caused uneasiness. As a result of all these, the feeling of sympathy and pity, which was said before, by saying "no one leaves their homeland for trivial reasons", gave way to anger as time passed. The fact that these people, who were displaced and displaced, were not accepted by the West further increased this anger. The fact that the countries that are directly responsible for the wars in the Middle East do not accept these people, and that they are forced to look after and protect Turkey in exchange for small amounts of money that can be considered as "bribes" deepens the accumulated anger.
In the near future, the unrest in our country may increase as they start to demand basic rights such as residence permit, work permit, education or citizenship. It may even be said that the modern capitalist order has developed new tactics, such as refugee crises, so that some countries are preoccupied with internal turmoil and remain dependent on rich states. It would be useful to know that a discourse such as "Muhajir-Ansar" was emptied as a result of these abuses.
As a result, we must first accept the fact that we are faced with an actual situation that has been going on for 10 years, which we expect will improve tomorrow, but which is unlikely to improve in the short term. In order to carry out this process in a healthy way, first of all, Turkey should take urgent steps regarding issues such as racism or xenophobia. But more importantly, instead of trying to use these people as leverage against the West or the European Union, Turkey should take initiatives at the international level so that these people can return home safely. Meanwhile, it is unrealistic to expect all of them to return. In addition to all these efforts, taking into account that this is a long process, necessary studies should be carried out to integrate these people into society. The statements that they will have to go, saying that they will raise their water bills tenfold, and the statements that the economy will collapse if they go have nothing to do with reality. Both are emotional, both are nothing more than playing to the stands. Together we need to get rid of the generalization sickness. At the same time, the state must show that everything is under its control. It should also be noted that plans such as the Greater Middle East Project specifically designed population movements and demographic changes in this geography.


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