Five memorable events in the refugee crisis that shook the EU

The European Union (EU) is facing the refugee crisis, which has been remembered since 2015 and alarmed all its member states. The closure of borders, the lifeless body of a baby washed ashore and the sinking of inflatable boats carrying dozens of people in the Mediterranean made the headlines of the world’s leading newspapers. Finally, hundreds of refugees were left without shelter due to the fire in Moria camp in Greece. To new tragedies still and every day; We have compiled the events that can be called the cornerstones of the refugee crisis, which is the subject of human dramas, in the European Union:

1) April 2015: 800 dead

The heaviest tragedy of recent years took place on a ship sailing from Libya in the Mediterranean. On the night of April 18 to April 19, 2015, a ship carrying more than 800 illegal immigrants capsized. While hundreds of migrants lost their lives, only about 30 were saved.

Prosecutors investigating the incident in Italy said the captain, accused of ‘murder’, accidentally crashed into the rescue ship.

The extent of the tragedy and the chilling revelations of the survivors shocked the world. Thereupon, the European Union decided to strengthen its presence in Libya. The Tunisian captain of the boat was sentenced to 18 years in prison at the end of 2016.

2) Alan Kurdi shocked the world

The lifeless body of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi, who fled the conflicts in Syria with his family, was found in Turkey. The photo of his lifeless body found on the shores of Bodrum shocked the whole world. Alan Kurdi took the debate on the refugee crisis to a new level.

It was understood that Alan Kurdi drowned in the Mediterranean with about 10 people, including his 5-year-old brother, while trying to reach the Greek islands.

The lifeless body of Alan Kurdi made headlines in newspapers all over the world. This situation led to an increase in aid to those seeking asylum. The refugee crisis was no longer just numbers, Alan Kurdi had become a symbol.

In 2015, a total of one million people, 850 thousand of whom were from the Greek islands, entered Europe by sea. Many were fleeing the conflict in Syria.

3) Germany opened its doors to refugees

In the summer of 2015, the influx of refugees reached its peak. European Union countries had differences of opinion on the issue. German Chancellor Angela Merkel signed a decision called a historical period out of concern for the humanitarian crisis. At the end of August, Germany announced that it would not send refugees to the countries they first set foot in the European Union by not following the rules. On September 5, it was announced that the country was ready to open its doors to thousands of refugees.

While the Syrian refugees expressed their gratitude to “Mother Merkel”, some argued that it is the pride of Europe. However, Merkel was heavily criticized by both citizens in her own country and other European countries.

Difficulty in controlling the situation, Germany re-introduced tight control at the borders in mid-September. Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic soon took decisions in the same direction, free movement in the Schengen area was suspended.

4) Beginning of the ‘placement’ process

On October 9, 2015, about 20 Eritreans rescued off the coast of Libya and brought to Italy were boarded a plane preparing to take off from Rome to Sweden under the flash of photographers.

This event was recorded as the first step taken to ease the burden of Greece and Italy after months of debate. Within the scope of the Resettlement Plan, it was envisaged that European countries would distribute 160,000 refugees in line with the quota system within two years. However, the plan did not work. Many countries, especially Hungary and Poland, announced that they would not comply with the program imposed by the European Union. Only a total of 35 thousand refugees were resettled in member states. This step, which is supposed to represent the solidarity of the European Union, has become a symbol of division.

5) Balkan road was closed in 2016

In the spring of 2016, the course of events completely changed. The ‘Balkan corridor’, which opened in 2015, allowing refugees to advance from Macedonia to Austria, was blocked after the countries closed their borders.

18 March 2016: EU signs refugee agreement with Turkey

On March 18, 2016, a refugee agreement was signed between Ankara and Brussels, which caused discussions on whether it was legal or not. The agreement includes the systematic return of refugees who set foot in Greece to Turkey. There has been a significant drop in refugee flows to Europe, but thousands of refugees are blocked in Greece. This situation brought along the concerns of the humanitarian crisis.

Waiting for more help from the European Union, Ankara opened its doors to refugees who wanted to go to Europe last March. The conflict at the border became the agenda of the world.

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