Ferda Çetin writes in Yeni Özgür Politika about a controversial residential project of 50,000 houses in Idlib and on the massive housing complexes built in the Syrian Mashhad Ruhin region in Syria nearby Turkish border.
The mountains and everywhere are full of these newly built brick houses, but there is serious doubt as to whether or not to be able to call these newly built structures ‘homes’ or not, as what they have built are not homes.
The pro-governmental media in Turkey, close to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) have been widely reporting the brick (briquette) houses built in Idlib, giving plenty of space for the builders to brag about their “services” and “products” with great joy.
Most of those brick houses are 4mx4m square, single rooms, their roof, a stretched tarpoline, with no toilet nor bathroom. The spokesperson presenting a veneer of a “charitable enterprise” explains that there are public toilets for men and women, explaining that “The widows, who lost their spouses in the war, will live here.” There is no sewage or water systems built into those ‘brick house’ districts, since there there are no kitchens or toilets inside the ‘houses’.
It is obvious that they have taken into consideration a certain “hierarchy” when building these houses. For the gang leaders and their relatives, more ‘luxurious’ houses were built. Yet the justice is served by building all houses of briquette, because all the houses in those residental complex are made of brick.
‘Luxury’ homes of 32 square meters, built for those “amirs” or “the right hand men of the amirs”, who showed “outstanding heroism” and managed to survive in Kobane, Raqqa, Libya and Karabagh. The roofs of those houses are not a streched tarpolin, but a concrete platform. There are kitchens, restrooms and bathrooms inside these houses on this “site”. Tayyip Erdoğan and his wife Emine Erdoğan “undertook” to finance 50 and 57 of these houses, consecutively. The governors of the 81 provinces of Turkey donated 5,000 brick houses. How and from where Erdoğan, his wife and all those governors get this money is another profound issue for further discussion.
Whilst the United Nations (UN), European Union and Germany has given no serious reaction to Turkey, when they invaded and occupied the lands of Syria/Rojava and hundreds of thousands of people have had to migrate, they have given explicit support for Turkey to “built secure residential districts” to maintain its occupation over those lands.
Looking at developments, one can easily see that this brick house town has been built step by step as part of an international plan, Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has been the coordinator of this consortium and Turkey and Tayyip Erdoğan can only afford to be the subcontractor of this plan.
The chief of the AKP Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, “If there is no secure zone in Syria, we may have to open the doors,” in a meeting on 5 September 2019, stating that Europe has not kept its promise with regard to the help and support they were asked to supply.
Tayyip Erdoğan, with a map of Syria in his hands, announces that the coloured borderlines will be turned into a “Security Zone” in the UN General Assembly 74th Session held on 23 September 2019.
Reading The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir Hardcover, authored by John Bolton, we learn that his map had actually been prepared by James Jeffrey, the United States Special Representative for Syria in November 2018, and approved by the US President Donald Trump.
Tayyip Erdoğan speaks with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, explaning to her the zones, in which the refugees -to be sent back to Syria- will be relocated in a meeting held in New York on 24 September 2019. Merkel says,”We support the efforts for a Security Zone. We should give an effort to decrease Turkey’s burden and accelerate the refugee fund.”
On 24 September 2019, the Turkish state occupied the lands of Rojava, 120 kilometers wide and 35 meters in depth from the border.
Germany has been making calculations over the social, political and cultural cost of the refugees. When it is all about trade and financial benefits, the right to sovereignty, international law and morals evaporate.
The Federal Republic of Germany and the Chancellor Angela Merkel has always objected to the proposals of the EU to halt the flow of funds to Turkey and have continued to back Turkey politically and financially.
The EU paid Turkey 780 million Euro, the last installment of 6 million Euro funds as part of the Refugee Agreement, paid on 17 December 2020.
With this fund, the EU helped Turkey during a period of time when relations with the country have been historically the worst due to the tension in Libya, Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean including Cyprus. In addition, the EU paid Turkey an additional fund of 485 million Euro to be used for Syrian refugees. (Deutsche Welle, 23.12.2020)
Angela Merkel has been having troubles to convince the EU states regarding the financial aid to be given to Turkey due to the tensions, but a solution to solve this inconvenience has also been found. This solution was that the financial resources would not be directly handed out to the Turkish government, but distributed to the non-governmental organisations, who deliver the projects. The Turkish state had already completed its preparations for this possibility.
The financial aid from the EU given for Syrian refugees was to be distributed to various NGOs such as the Turkish Red Crescent, Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), Deniz Feneri Association, Turkish Religious Foundation (TDV), Aziz Mahmut Hüdayi Foundation, Istanbul Conquest Community (Fetih Cemiyeti) as such. These foundations were to conduct the building of the brick town of 50,000 houses in Idlib under the coordination of Disaster And Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) of Turkey.
What all these foundations had in common was that they were all close to the Turkey’s coalition government parties Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and that they all send help to the gangs of Al-Qaida, Al-Nusra and ISIS. Another thing all these foundations had in common was that they all joined the support campaign launched for the The Ensar Foundation, which was frequently involved in child abuse and rape scandals.
The financial aid coming from the EU has been distributed to those foundations and associations over the Turkish government. It is a matter of inspection and accountablity to query the amount of money coming from those funds and spent to those 50,000 brick houses.
Especially when you understand that the materials used to build those jerry-built brick houses are of the cheapest and the poorest quality materials of the construction sector and that they are not even fit for the basic standards of a decent human life and human health expectation, one does not need to be en expert.
Videos and photos published reveal it all so explicitly.
Is it possible for AKP government in Turkey, such a state that sets their own national budget using national lotteries (reference to a recent scandal in Turkey) and has such a mentality that even steals iron and sand from construction sites of the buildings they build for themselves, not to steal from the humanitarian aid given for Syrian refugees? Aid that was given to build houses that supposedly should be suitable for human habitation and in compliance with international housing standards and the law.
“Let the European Union come, see the houses in Idlib,” wrote a news outlet to their headline.
The headline hits the spot, yes, they are definitely right, because the real creator and the financier of the brick houses in Idlib is the European Union, which made Turkey build the “Security Zone”. The chief-architect of the ‘brick town’ is the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.
If there is to be found a title for this “town” consisting of 50,000 houses made of brick, the best title would be “Merkel Town.”