«Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, 3(4), 2015, 37-45 DOI: 10.15604/ejss.2015.03.04.004 EURASIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES ...»
5. Refugee Policy in Turkey
Turkey has received refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran, nearly 2 million in total. 1.7 million of these refugees come from Syria and over 100,000 from Iraq. This is not the first refugee wave Turkey had to face: the country receives more than 1.5 million refugees as the time of the revolution of Iran, later, during the conflict in Iraq, a new wave arrived to seek shelter in the country (Ihlamur-Oner, 2013). Turkey has established 22 camps and 2 more are under construction to help dealing with the refugee flow. The migrant impose a high pressure on Turkey, since the nearly 80 million population of the country is not ready to receive this number of refugees (Baird, 2012).
Turkey is part of the Geneva Convention; however, the country still maintains the 3 geographical limitation of the convention. In April 2014, the Law on Foreigners and 2 Recognising the issue, UNHCR is urging to prevent and reduce statelessness and support relevant national legistlation and procedures.
3 The geographic limitaion added to the Geneva Convenition states that Turkey accepts application for refugee status from either European citizens or those of Turkish origin. In other cases the country doesn‟t recognise it‟sauthority in connection with such applications.
40 Esztella Varga / Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, 3(4), 2015, 37-45
International Protection has been passed and entered into force. It established the Directorate General of Migration Management which has become the sole institution responsible for asylum matters, thus granting the equal treatment of the refugees within Turkey.
Turkey is also supporting the refugees with certain grants like temporary protection status, identity document, and work permit, making it easier for the refugees to integrate into the host society and helping them to individually finance themselves.
6. Refugee Policy in Jordan
With a population of 6 million, Jordan also faces a large number of refugees, nearly 700,000 from Syria as well as 30,000 from Iraq. Jordan has two refugee camps (at Azraq and Zaatari), however most of the migrants (approximately 80% of them) live outside of the camps, mainly in larger cities. Jordan is not part of the Geneva Convention either, but has shown hospitality towards the migrants and recognized their refugee statuses (UNHCR, 2015a).
In 2014, the Jordan Government published the National Resilience Plan 2014-2016, presenting "proposed priority responses to mitigate the impact of the Syrian crisis on Jordan and Jordanian host community” (UN, 2014). Since Jordan has limited resources, the increasing number of refugees may cause solving the refugee crisis is more a pressing issue for the country.
7. Events Resulting Migrants Flow to the Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan
In 2011 the Arab Spring has reached Syria, and a revolt has broken out, which resulted in 4 million people forced to leave their home country as well as the death of hundreds of thousands.
Besides of the external migrants, nearly 8 million Syrians had to leave their homes and became internal migrants. According to the 2015 statistics of UNHCR, approximately 4 million Syrians has left the country, their main destination is Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq (UNHCR, 2015b).
In 2015 the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) has been introduced as a response to the Syrian crisis. Its aim is to address the socio-economic as well as humanitarian needs of the neighboring countries which are facing the increasing number of refugees and therefore suffer from the impacts of the crisis the most. The plan has a USD 5.5 billion funding appeal.
On 15 December 2014, the European Commission and Italy signed the constitutive agreement known as the Madad Trust Fund in order to launch the first ever EU Regional Trust Fund as a new strategic financing tool to mobilize more aid in response to the Syrian Crisis. The Fund has a 5 years long time frame. There is also an inter-agency framework of the Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP).
8. Failure of the “Soft Power” Elements in the Refugee Crisis
Based on the theory of Joseph Nye (first introduced in 1990), the soft power elements are connected to foreign affairs, economic means and culture. “The soft power of a country rests primarily on three resources: its culture (in places where it is attractive to others), its political values (when it lives up to them at home and abroad), and its foreign policies (when they are seen as legitimate and having moral authority)” (Nye, 2004, p.11). While hard power means using military, economic means (sanctions) to influence others. From the analysis of the methods of dealing with the refugee crisis we can say that the soft power elements are not sufficient to solve the problem on their own. Some of the elements of the hard power had to be used as well in order to address the issue efficiently. Just by the means of soft power, the huge refugee crisis can‟t be addressed.
Since the root of origin is the revolt in Syria, which erupted in 2011 when the Arab Spring has reached the country, the resolution of the problem should be also found there. Due to the chaotic opposing powers and lack of governmental power, the situation may also require the usage of the elements of the hard power in order to restore stability to the area. At the
41 Esztella Varga / Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, 3(4), 2015, 37-45
eruption of the conflict, only soft power was used, mainly from fear: the civil war could easily spiral into a regional conflict (Walker, 2012). Different sanctions, economic and diplomatic pressure (e.g. Turkey), negotiations were implied; however, they weren‟t successful (Kouskouvelis, 2013). On 21 August 2013 in Ghouta chemical weapons were used by the government forces and the attack claimed the lives of 1,429 civilians.
9. Role of the ISIS
There is a new player in the international relations in the Middle East: the Islamic State. The ISIS has been founded in April, 2013 on the grounds of the former Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Although not a formal state, it has all the means to act like one. Also influencing a very large territory as well as escalating the already existing tension in the region between the Sunni and Shia Muslims. The ISIS aims to introduce Islam law and form Islamic emirates. They are applying particularly brutal means in their process, destroying historical monuments as well as introduction torture, executions, terror and slavery (BBC, 2013). The ISIS has achieved military success: it has captured the Syrian city of Raqqa in 2013, but the main territorial gain was the conquest of the second largest Iraqi city, Mosul in June 2015.
The financial background of ISIS are the donations from wealthy individuals/groups from mostly the Arab states of the Gulf region, but with the territorial expansion of the Islamic State, the group has also reached certain resources (e.g. oil) in the region, therefore they have the economic basis to support their military activism (BBC, 2014). The ISIS was originally an opposing force of the Assad regime, but they are gaining influence at the expense of other rebel groups (mainly the Free Syrian Army, which has Western allies).Therefore ISIS has gained the support of many Arab states who wished to act against Assad, but now it has recruited many supporters and even volunteers from all over the world (from the Western countries as well).
In order to expand its influence, ISIS has started an aggressive recruitment campaign in Libya as well, according to Aref Ali Nayed, Libya's ambassador to the UAE (Engel, 2015). There is a belief that the ISIS is trying to gain more influence in Libya in order to gain more control over North-Africa as well as have a good access to the sea and the other neighboring countries in the region (e.g. Nigeria).
10. Problems to be Addressed
The refugee problem is a complex issue, it consist of several components. First the basic needs of the migrants have to be addressed (food, safety, shelter), then the financial means need to be provided for their lives (right to work or access to social aid). If the basic needs are satisfied, then the host country can focus on integration: education, social integration for the migrants.
There are many challenges in the process, a list of the main issues and some details are as
illegal border crossing: we don‟t know the exact number of migrants crossing borders illegally, but the illegal border crossing is also an increasing phenomena, particularly at the border countries of the Schengen area, mostly South and Eastern Europe. Most of the illegal migrant are from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan.
smuggling: there is a large web of smuggling network that provides help to migrants to reach Europe or any of their desired destination. However, their service is very expensive as well as very risky: many of the migrants don‟t live to see their destination.
The most recent examples are the shipwrecks on the Mediterranean or the Aegean Sea and the truck left on the highway in Austria. It is not uncommon for the smugglers to show the refugees the way, escort them to the ship/boat/truck and leave them. Many of the survivors mentioned that they had to navigate the boat on the sea towards Europe.
xenophobia: the host society is no longer tolerant towards the increasing number of refugees. They fear for their work (since new and cheap labor force is flowing in in huge masses), their property.Even if the societyis accepting, they have limited resources to spend on social issues like refugees.
42 Esztella Varga / Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, 3(4), 2015, 37-45
long-term problem: the refugees are not planning to return home, since they don‟t see the issue to be solved in afew weeks/months/even years. They try to adjust to the current situation and build their lives in their host country, just like Palestinians do. It also raises the issue of integration: if the large number of migrants is planning to stay, would their first/second/third generation be able and willing to integrate into their host society? Or would they create an isolated island of Muslims in e.g. European societies?
financial: although the host countries receive annual support from different international funds, the percentage of funds raised to match the calculated requirements for the year is not sufficient in many host countries. This leaves them alone in this situation, forcing them to apply harsher means or less than standard treatment with the refugees. Turkey itself has spent approximately 6 billion dollars to aid the refugees (Council of Europe, 2015). Since most of the refugees face difficulties finding a work place, their financial resources are depleting fast, they are not able to support themselves on a longer term.
food: 75 percent of refugees experiencing problems with the food supply (Pierini and Hackerbroich, 2015). According to various reasons (inability to work, not enough education, and depleting financial resources) the refugees experience crucial difficulties. Even those living in refugee camps mention lack of food.
work: according to the Geneva Convention (1951), the right to work should be provided to those who have gained refugee status. However, most of the refugees are still seeking asylum, therefore don‟t have any status yet. They could find work only on the black market, mostly seasonal work in the agricultural sector.
education: 50% of the Syrian refugees are under 18 years old, they should attend school. However – depending on the state they currently live in – 50, 70, 80% of them don‟t go to any school (Pierini and Hackerbroich, 2015). Since most of the refugees don‟t live in refugee camps, the young refugees are not forced by the government to further their education. Most of them are not able to read and write properly.
Analphabetism will cause inability to integrate into the host society, inability to find workwill result in poverty, hunger. Therefore education in host countries should focus on educating the refugees as well, and try to reach as many migrants as possible.
local integration: in connection with xenophobia, education and work problem, local integration is also an issue for the refugees, especially if they are not living in refugee camps.Integration is even harder for those who don‟t speak languages other than their mother tongues.
international solution: since the migration is an international issue (worsened by crossborder migration and illegal migration), the solution should also be international.
Refugee problem is no longer a short-term regional issue; a few countries can‟t deal with the increasing problem. Since a large number of migrants (legal and illegal) are flowing towards the region, an organized, international cooperation has to be introduced in order to deal with the issue. New ways had to be found in order to help re-settlement as well as encouraging return once the stability of the area has been reached.
Many countries implement tighter border control in order to prevent migration, but this could only be a temporary solution, especially with the new phenomena: cross-border migration rising. This problem requires closer partnership between neighboring countries.
The regional conflicts are escalating since a new force; the ISIS became more aggressive and continues to attack. There should be a common answer to the threat of the ISIS in order to achieve regional stability.
Refugees are considerable security risks as well: they may cause instability in their host country as well as shortage of resources and specialized staff who could handle their case.
43 Esztella Varga / Eurasian Journal of Social Sciences, 3(4), 2015, 37-45
Closer cooperation between international organizations (e.g. UNHCR) and other humanitarian organizations as well as stakeholders and governments is required in order to achieve an effective way to deal with the issue of the refugee flow.
Based on the struggling of the host countries shown in the analysis, it can be stated that the elements of „soft power‟ are not enough to deal with the refugee problems, means of hard power should be used as well to address the issue.