In Turkey, Afghan Migrants Will Create a Political Catch-22

MIN READAug 19, 2021 | 18:08 GMT

A picture taken on Aug. 16, 2021, shows the landscape of Iran behind a section of the newly completed wall on Turkey’s eastern border in Caldiran.

(OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

Amid the coming wave of Afghan migrants, the Turkish government will be forced to choose between exacerbating anti-refugee unrest at home or creating humanitarian crises elsewhere -- either of which would threaten the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s hold on power. Since encountered waves of refugees from Syria and Afghanistan in 2014-15, the AKP has focused on hosting refugees in exchange for EU aid, while also playing up the party’s pan-Islamist ideological credentials by hosting fellow Muslims from war-torn countries. But nativism is on the rise in Turkey, as evidenced by anti-Syrian riots that broke out in Ankara on Aug. 11. And as a result, the AKP is now finding its refugee strategy outdated, and a growing threat to the party’s prospects in the scheduled 2023 national elections. ...

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