Mustafa Kaya: "The issue of asylum seekers and immigrants"

Mustafa Kaya: "The issue of asylum seekers and immigrants"
Date: 18.1.2022 17:00

Milli Gazete columnist Mustafa Kaya writes on asylum seekers and immigrants. Here is the full article.

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The issue of immigrants/refugees is still on Turkey's agenda. The developments in Syria, especially in the process of the Arab Spring, constitute the main source of the problems we face today. It has emerged as a result of the inevitable process of people fleeing from a country where protracted violent conflict has taken place, or the region in a wider sense, to places they consider safe to save their families and their own lives. Turkey and Jordan, in particular, have been places where these people can take shelter. Countries like Turkey, which did not wait for these millions of people, did not fully understand what was happening at first and defined them as “guests”. However, this situation has spread over a wide area that cannot be described with a mere guest's view. Both their stay here and their return formula have moved to a thorny point, which cannot be resolved with instant policy changes. At this point, it should be stated that; According to the latest data, 48 percent of asylum seekers living in Turkey are between the ages of 0-18. In other words, these people have no direct interest or knowledge about what is happening in Syria, in general terms. Because when the events started, they were either not born or they were too young to understand the problem. Therefore, it is not technically possible to think that all asylum seekers will return until there is not one person left, and it is not suitable for the nature of the goods. On the one hand, it is necessary to work for their return, on the other hand, it is necessary to focus on the integration of those who remain.
For this reason, wholesale approaches such as "they will all stay here now, we have to accept this" or "we will send them all back" while approaching the issue will not contribute to the solution. A broader perspective is needed to resolve this issue. Of course, it is necessary to ensure that the people who have to live here can safely return to their homeland as much as possible. However, this is not a development that can happen from today to tomorrow. When the political and social atmosphere eliminates the security problem, all these processes can only come to a state that can be operated.
However, the hate speech developed against Arabs in general and especially against Syrian, Iraqi or Afghan refugees, which is gradually coming to light in our country, seems to lead to the questioning of the hospitality feature, which is one of the most obvious characteristics of the Turkish nation. A social media post by a stage performer in the past week has also revealed that there is now a sharp polarization in the attitude towards refugees. The hate crime committed by these people, who were so crazy to call a race "degenerate", was not ignored and the job went to the deletion of the post by the social media platform. Of course, it is unacceptable to accuse all of the crimes such as sexual harassment involving asylum seekers or the killing of a stray dog ​​by an alleged Qatari driver in his car. The crime is individual and the offender should be tried and punished. Again, just as it is unacceptable for a group called 515 to walk the streets with their doner knives in their hands and make a show of strength, similarly, harassment and attacks on the workplaces of asylum seekers are unacceptable.
On the other hand, the point reached by a crowd saying, "If the state does not take action in Esenyurt, we will take our own measures" in a video frequently seen on social media, now clearly reveals the gravity of the issue. The footage of them chasing a few refugees they had fought to a shopping mall where they fled and beating them with stones and sticks is blood-chilling. The deepening economic crisis and increasing unemployment cannot be the only explanation for these behaviors. Unfortunately, we can't help but feel as if we are being forced into a tunnel that smells of provocation, which is difficult to return to. With such attacks, the issue is gradually brought to the dimension of racism and if necessary precautions are not taken - God forbid - an internal conflict threat appears. Especially in a video circulating on social media, the fact that an elderly person attacked the house of their tenants, who were learned to be Syrian, with an ax in his hand, is not just about ruthlessly increasing the rent from 1,200 lira to 4,000 lira. The danger of turning into a society that is alienated from its traditions, values, and most importantly, even itself, beyond greed, must be the last point that can be reached.
As a result, the actual situation in Syria was aimed at the total instability of the region. The fragile sociology created by the problem of asylum seekers and the inability to manage this issue correctly also bring to the agenda the clues that a disaster scenario is being planned, such as fueling internal conflict in our country. An understanding such as being careful, ending the problems before they start, and fighting the crisis without calling it a crisis should prevail. After all, a country with a remnant of empire certainly has the capacity to solve and manage such problems. It is clear as daylight that we need common sense, not populist rhetoric, under the conditions we are in today. This is the mission that both our humanity and our faith impose on us.


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