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Amid Global Coronavirus Epidemic, a Migrant Crisis Confronts Europe

As if worries and fears over a growing number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and deaths in Europe are not enough to consume the full and undivided attention and concerns of the continent, Europe, thanks to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is facing a possible onslaught of tens of thousands of Syrian war refugees out of Turkey.

First, to give credit where it is fittingly due, Turkey has served as an exemplary host of millions of Syrian refugees while other nations turned their backs upon the war displaced people. Turkey's housing of Syrian refugees has been under humane dignitary conditions. 

Yet, as the Syrian war has plagued on for far too long, President Erdogan has often threatened to use the unfortunate people as political pawns to illicit demands and  concessions of western allies and fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members. Up until last week, compromises between western allies and Turkey have kept a bulk of Syria's refugees within Erdogan's no-passage-to Europe Turkey.

However, a recent Syrian government attack and killing of Turkish troops operating within Syria has brought the ire of Erdogan, who has lamented on the absence of western support for his motives within Syria. Then, last Saturday, Erdogan's frustration with western allies boiled over as he opened his once closed borders for refugees to cross into Europe. 

Syrian refugees jumped at Erdogan's creation of an open border to Europe via Greece in spite of the deathly Coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading on the continent with alarming deaths in Italy and confirmed cases throughout the European Union (EU). 

But Greece slammed shut the border doors to the refugees, thus dosing the hopes of many displaced people to get to Europe. 

With the EU supporting Greece's action, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen has deemed Greece a "European aspida (shield)" and she has promised the Greeks $780 million in financial assistance toward migration management, the BBC-News reported.

And so its is that in these early days of March, 2020, amid a growing global Coronavirus epidemic, another humanitarian crisis beckons with thousands of refugees amassing at an unwelcoming European border.

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