If you follow EU, Turkey news....about every other week, there is some comment made by one side or the other on the path to Turkey entering the EU.
Two years ago, any entry into the EU by Turkey would have been easily regarded as "fantasy". You could watch various intellectuals line up and do some brilliant three-minute debate comment which would convince you that it just never would happen.
So, along came the 2015 year of immigrants flowing into Germany, and the only 'faucet' from which this massive flow (spoken at the time of 1.1 million that flowed into Germany)....was getting Turkey involved and shutting down the pipeline.
Yeah, this smugger route came down to two paths....one marginal path from Libya to Italy and one major path from Turkey to the isle of Lesbos, Greece. Once you got to Lesbos (maybe a 20 mile separation of water)....you'd get some transit papers....hop on a ferry and make way to the Greek manland. There, you'd board buses or trains and get your way to the north border....crossing a couple of countries, and easily reach Germany in a matter of two to four weeks (depending on how much cash you had left after the Turkish smugglers).
Somehow, the Germans convinced the EU to hype up talk of entry and the free-visa program for Turkey, and shovel three billion Euro a year to support the camps in Turkey. Almost overnight, the Turks shut down the smuggler routes. Roughly four weeks later....the flow lessen because most everyone in the 'pipeline' had finished their part of the trip.
So, we've been waiting now....roughly 10 months, for phase two to occur....this EU entry or the free-visa business.
Movement? There's been a lot of talking and virtually no movement. Most countries have avoided public commentary. Austria? Well....they've been kinda vocal. You can pick up any German or Austrian news service and find the comments. It's straight and to the point....the coup business, all the actions since the coup....make any movement on EU entry or the free-visa deal impossible.
What is the free-visa deal? If you are among the 28 EU members....you go from country to country without any visa. If you are a foreigner within the EU and hold a German visa....you can travel from country to country within the EU. The Turks want this....instead of the paperwork or the limits put on their entry at present.
This morning, N-TV in Germany reported that the Turkish President (Erdogan).....always for dramatic speeches....laid out his threat. "If promises are broken, Turkey will no doubt have a Plan B and a Plan C,"
Plan B? Unknown. He didn't want spill the beans at this point. Plan C? Unknown, and probably worse for the Germans than Plan B.
Economic issues brewing? Well....yeah, ever since the coup business, there's been negativity with Germans going to Turkey for vacations. For those who aren't aware, a fair number of Germans go to the beach resorts in Turkey. Price comparisons, safety, and great weather made practical sense and Turkey built up a huge income over the past twenty years with this element of their economy. I would take a guess in the Anatalya region (south coast), that one out of every four people working in the region has some connection to tourism. It's absolutely stagnate since the coup, and nothing indicates that things will improve in 2017 at present.
So you gaze at this comment....plan B or plan C.
There's probably some German political folks sitting there and contemplating what either action is, and just what might occur.
My guess is that plan B is a short period where they allow a hundred-thousand refugees....Syrian/Iraqi in nature....to pay off smugglers and make way to Lesbos. Upon arrival in Greece, the smuggler group discovers that various fences have been erected along the Macedonian border. Even if you did get past those fences, then you come to Serbia, and more fences.
The Greeks don't have the ability handle massive numbers of stationary refugees....not unless the EU establishes another line of money to support this. But even if you pay the Greeks to hold the hundred-thousand....then what?
For the Germans, to have any type of new problem brewing with immigrants in 2017....you start to mess with the 2017 election (September).
Plan C? If we make it to early summer with just one short 'blast' of plan B in effect....who says that Turkey couldn't just open up the gates entirely and let 500,000 to a million make way to Greece and onto Germany.
The whole election would then be executive action by the coalition government and how to avoid public frustrations.
The insight you might have as a German....that for almost a year....you had a chance to ratchet down the war in Syria...stop ISIS...defund their situation...and bring stability back to the region. Nothing has really occurred other than some pretender-good-hats worn by Syria, Assad, the Russians, the Turks, the US, and some charity organizations.
Erdogan? He's basically a blackjack dealer and holds not just the four aces in his hand for this round, but he's got four more aces for the 2nd round, and four more aces for the 3rd round. In this type of game, unless you change the rules and recognize how you've been played.....you will never win.
The amusing part of this entire game is that no EU membership will likely occur at this point for Turkey. The free-visa thing is a remote possibility at best. The continued spiral of the Turkish economy for 2017 will drive a very harsh reality. And sadly, some Syrians will be played as pawns in this whole game.
A plan D? Well....don't bring this up to a German. They'd admit behind the closed door that they themselves would have gone to build up a plan D, plan E, plan F, and maybe even a plan G. Germans are that way....you know.