Visa – free travel and the “Kurdish problem”

By Robert Fisk

Just why is the Sultan of Turkey so impatient to get hold of that visa-free EU travel for his people to visit Schengen Europe? If the EU doesn’t jump to it, he orated last week, the Turkish parliament would scupper the whole deal and – for this was the implication – let that army of Arab refugees set sail again across the Aegean for Greece. And where was the €3bn Turkey was promised?

What few Europeans asked, however, was whether this travel stuff just might have something more to do with a particular group of Turkish people: the Kurds.

The Europeans, who are engaged in a massive campaign of bribery to stop the hordes of Middle Eastern poor arriving in their lands, fluffed on about Erdogan’s desire to keep his vicious anti-terrorism laws. Angela Merkel, who drew up this awful deal to avoid a repeat of her finest hour last year, tut-tutted away in the background. But in the Arab world – from which so many of the teeming masses are coming – the great and the good have taken a rather more cynical view.

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