Citing Syrian Refugee Influx, Turkey Pushes (So Far In Vain) For Buffer Zone

More than 100,000 Syrian refugees are thought to be in Turkey
More than 100,000 Syrian refugees are thought to be in Turkey
Razi Canikligil

NEW YORK - Turkey intends to keep up its diplomatic efforts to establish a buffer zone in Syria, despite the United Nations’ failure last week to reach a resolution at the Security Council meeting on Thursday.

“How long are we going to sit and watch while an entire generation is being wiped out by random bombardment and deliberate mass targeting?" Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu asked after last Thursday’s meeting ended in deadlock.

"I was expecting this meeting to produce tangible solutions to the suffering of the Syrian people," he said. "We don't have anything new to say to thousands of Syrians who suffer at the hands of the regime as the UN is entrapped by inaction."

Davutoglu’s remarks come on the heels of a statement he made earlier in the week urging the UN to create a safe haven within Syria. "We will emphasize that this burden now needs to be shared by the whole international community, not just by Syria's neighbors," he said.

If a buffer zone were to be implemented, it would require a UN resolution for a no-fly zone -- a measure that is unlikely to be approved since Security Council members Russia and China consider it a violation of Syria's sovereignty.

The council said that no contingency plan would be ruled out, but at the same time no new details were revealed about when such plans would be considered seriously.

Turkey has seen a mass influx of refugees seeking asylum from the bloodshed in Syria. Ankara said it is now housing as many as 100,000 refugees and cannot handle any more, even as streams of people continue turning up at the border. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees anticipates that the number could soon reach 200,000.

Terrorists training in the camps?

Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari also took a stab at Turkey, calling it “Syria’s Executioner.” He accused powers within the Security Council of "promoting imminent military intervention under humanitarian pretexts."

"It is clear that certain states do not see the issue of humanitarian aid in any way other than as part of a biased political agenda," he said.

Following the meeting, he went on to accuse Turkey of training terrorists within the refugee camps and sending them out against the Syrian government with weapons and war tactics.

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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