Following the recent events and the humanitarian crisis that is currently taking place in Afghanistan , there is a fear of a large wave of migration to the Turkish and Greek – and therefore European – borders, perhaps similar to that of 2015 from Syria.
Already, initial estimates put the number at more than 500,000. As a result, Greece, Turkey and the European Union are on red alert.
Indicative of the prevailing concern is the fact that the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will have a telephone conversation this afternoon, at 19:30, with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in order to discuss the latest developments in Afghanistan.
It is noted that the Greek authorities at the border are in full readiness for the possibility of a new wave of refugees. Patrols have increased and the armed forces, police and other services are on high alert, with the Minister of Defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, and the Minister of Civil Protection, Michalis Chrysochoidis, going to Evros today
What will the EU (and Erdogan) do with the refugees?
Speaking on Thursday in the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs and Development Committees, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell spoke of a “wide range of implications” for regional and international security, but also of a key role. Ankara in managing a potential new refugee / migration wave.
“I will be clear. This is a nightmare. For a disaster. “A disaster for Afghanistan and our Western values and credibility,” he said, referring to the situation in Afghanistan.
The concern, however, remains. The British Telegraph article is typical of the European Union's efforts to prevent Afghan refugees from passing through Turkey. But he noted that Ankara is reluctant to play the same role it played in 2015, saying it would not play the Union's “border guard”.
They come to Europe via Iran, Iraq or the Eastern Mediterranean, admitted Josep Borrell. “This shows that we need to work hard with the transit countries. “A new humanitarian crisis must be avoided and Turkey will play a very important role,” he said.
European leaders want to make every effort to avoid a repeat of the 2015 immigration crisis in which more than 1.2 million people sought asylum in the EU. Angela Merkel and Emanuel Macron call for protection for thousands fleeing Afghanistan host countries – which are not, of course, EU member states.
“We are intensifying our cooperation with host countries, such as Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, as well as with other countries such as Turkey,” said Home Affairs Commissioner Ilva Johansson. “We will not wait for these people to reach our external borders. We have to help them sooner, “he added.
However, Turkey, which agreed to host millions of refugees from Syria in exchange for a 5 billion euro aid package from the EU in 2016, does not seem so willing to play a similar role today. Against the backdrop of the 295km wall along Turkey's border with Iran, Tayyip Erdogan himself vowed to prevent Afghans from entering Turkish territory this time around.