Scènes quotidiennes du désastre-Erdogan à la frontière syrienne

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Scènes quotidiennes du désastre-Erdogan à la frontière syrienne

Nous avons pensé qu’il serait intéressant, pour nos lecteurs, de lire deux articles, l’un en partie, l’autre complet, extraits de la presse turque, concernant la situation dans et autour des camps de réfugiés syriens en Turquie. Ils permettent d’avoir une bonne idée de la détérioration de la situation, – non pas en Syrie mais bien en Turquie, – paradoxe des paradoxes, sans aucun doute.

On ne sera pas étonné d’apprendre, à la lumière de ces deux articles, que le mécontentement ne cesse de grandir en Turquie. Le site Today’s Zaman indiquait, le 29 août 2012, que 60,4% des personnes interrogées dans un sondage expriment l’opinion qu’il faut un nouveau parti politique et de nouveaux dirigeants, un peu plus d’un an après avoir donné à Erdogan (le 12 juin 2011) un mandat pour poursuivre son action et sa politique. (28,9% sont satisfait du parti politique au pouvoir et des actuels dirigeants.) D’autre part, 67,1% des personnes interrogées désapprouvent la politique syrienne d’Erdogan, contre 18,3% qui l’approuvent.

Voici les deux articles…

• Sur, sous le titre «Turkish MPs Denied Entry At Controversial Refugee Camp», un texte de Aydin Hasan le 28 août 2012

«Apaydin Camp at Hatay, close to the border with Syria, houses Syrian military and security personnel who have rebelled against Bashar al-Assad and taken refuge in Turkey with their families. About 500 military and security personnel, including 30 generals and their families, totaling 4,000 in all, live inside.

»Recently, opposition parliamentarians have been denied entry to the camp. That, along with allegations that the camp is used for training, have created an aura of mystery around it.

»From the outset, Syrian police and military officials have been placed in camps separate from civilian refugees. They were first placed in Karbeyaz Camp and later moved to Apaydin. The camp is under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Disasters and Emergencies Directorate (AFAD). All services, accommodations and food are provided by the Turkish Red Crescent Association. The camp has 1,122 residential tents, 17 multi-purpose tents, 25 ablution units and a total of 1,100 beds.

»The number of refugees has climbed to 4,000 as more and more officers are bringing their families with them. Security in the camp is provided by the police. Officials from the Turkish Foreign Ministry and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) operate in the camp. Turkish officials say: “As required by [the United Nations] refugee legislation, we have to keep security personnel in a separate camp. As most of the soldiers have served in Assad’s army, they and their families are vulnerable to lynching in civilian camps. For their safety, we have to keep them here. This is not a training but an accommodation camp.”

»Initially, officers were allowed to go shopping in town on certain days, but things are much more controlled now. Officials say that no one is allowed to carry a weapon in the camp. “Allegations of military training here are baseless,” they add.

»The denial of entry to Apaydin camp to opposition parliamentarians Hursit Gunes and Suleyman Celebes placed the claims about the camp squarely on the national agenda.

»Celebi spoke to Milliyet: “We were at a public meeting at Yesilpinar township. In our conversations with the people and representatives of civil society, we heard many claims about this camp. We observed that people were seriously disturbed. We were told there was training going on in the camp and that the camp residents were threatening local people, saying, ‘One day, the turn of Alawites here will come too.’”

»“People wanted us to go the camp and see it ourselves. We called the governor’s office, but were told that the authority was with AFAD. An AFAD official informed us that we could go to other camps, but not this one at Apaydin. We went to the gate of the camp. They didn’t let us in. One person who identified himself as a Syrian officer said he was an authority. He said he was in charge of training in the camp. There were some young refugees near us. When speaking between themselves in Arabic they were saying, ‘These guys deserve to be chopped to pieces right here.’”

»Celebi continued: ”When we were denied entry, we became more concerned about what we have been told about this camp. Local people say camp residents are threatening them because of their sectarian affiliation. I also heard that the refugees don’t want to be treated by Alawite doctors in hospitals, and doctors are now assigned accordingly.”» […]

• Dans, d’après le journal du même nom (Hurriyet Daily News) et sous la signature de Semih Idiz, le 31 août 2012, sous le titre «Turkey’s Syrian debacle»…

«As this piece was being written, the U.N. Security Council had not yet heard Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's appeal in New York yesterday for a U.N. sanctioned safe zone to be established in Syria to protect refugees. Those close to the matter, however, felt his appeal would get nowhere, since Russia and China oppose the idea, which they consider a violation of Syrian sovereignty.

»The impression one gets is that other members of the Security Council who have sided with Turkey on Syria are also hiding behind the Russian and Chinese objection, since they do not appear to be prepared to enforce such a safe zone militarily, as it no doubt will have to be. This leaves many looking to Ankara to act, but this is a hollow expectation since Turkey is not capable of doing it on its own for a host of objective reasons. Mr. Davotoglu's appeal yesterday can also be looked on as a desperate one since the number of Syrian refugees will most likely be over the 100,000 predicted as a “worst-case scenario.” Ankara has said that is the limit for it, but it is hard to see what can be done if desperate people continue to arrive with their families.

»In the meantime, unease is increasing in Turkey, and particularly in Hatay province, where people are unhappy not just about the number of refugees, but also over the question of whether PKK elements, or “Jihadist militants,” are also coming into Turkey in the guise of refugees, as many media reports suggest they are. Locals in daily contact with the Syrians also complain increasingly about unruly behavior. For example, there are reports about Syrians eating at restaurants and buying from shops and leaving without paying, telling the proprietors “to send the bill to [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan.” What compounds the dilemma for Erdogan and Davutoglu is that they are faced with responsibilities now that will also turn international attention on Turkey. First there is the welfare of the refugees, especially given the fact the both Erdogan and Davutogl have consistently said those fleeing Bashar al-Assad can come to Turkey.

»But this will require well-guarded camps that are kitted to meet the requirements of thousands of families in terms not just of housing and medical facilities, but also in terms of all the necessities of life for a minimum humane existence. Recent rioting in one of the camps suggests that Turkey is not fully prepared for all this. Then there is the security issue that cuts both ways, meaning that Turkey not only has to ensure the security of people in the camps, but also its own security, given the fact that it is not clear exactly who is coming across the border, or who has come from other parts of the world in order to use Turkey as a staging ground for the “Jihad against Assad.

»There are many indications that Hatay province has in fact become something of a gathering spot not just for radical Islamic fighters, but also for the secret services of all those countries in the West, and Israel of course, that are concerned about Islamic terrorism. These are not things the Turkish public is prepared to stomach. The upshot is that Turkey faces a potential debacle such as it has not had before due to Syria. The question is how much of this is the result of the government’s hasty and overambitious Syrian policy, and how much of it is the product of an inevitable chain of events.

»Clearly, Turkey would have faced a refugee crisis anyway, as it did after the first Gulf War for example, but critics feel that it should not only have moved more realistically from the start and allowed international agencies in much earlier, but also that it should have had a more regional approach which did not alienate Iran and Iraq and millions of Shiites in the Middle East. Not having done that, Turkey is forced now to issue futile appeals as the refugee problem grows and the Syrian crisis deepens along sectarian lines. In other words, the government is facing a crisis for which it has no answers, and a public at home that is growing increasingly uneasy over this. If this is not a debacle, then what is?»


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