by Compiled from Wire Services
Sep 18, 2015 12:00 am
Hundreds of migrants continue to demonstrate in Edirne near its border with Greece. More than 1,700 refugees are demanding that authorities allow them to cross the frontier. Despite food aid and clothing support from Turkish relief organizations, including the Turkish Red Crescent and the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, some refugees have rejected the food and pledged to start a hunger strike until their demands are met. Elsewhere, the refugees at Grand Istanbul Bus Station continue to wait for a bus to Edirne, and have been for four days. Upon the general instructions of the Interior Ministry, the refugees are denied bus tickets to Edirne.
While refugees are trying to get to Europe by land, some are still getting on boats to realize their hopes of reaching Europe. Some 260 Syrian refugees who were trying to land in Italy illegally with a fishing boat were captured off the shore of Manavgat in Antalya. Antalya Coast Guards received a report of an illegal refugee transportation and began monitoring a fishing boat. Three boats belonging to the Coast Guards warned the fishing boat to stop; however, the boat was filled with refugees and continued to sail, endangering the lives of everyone on board. Despite the efforts and warnings of the Coast Guards, the boat continued its journey until the guards managed to get near the fishing boat. Soldiers got on board while it was still on the move. It was announced that the boat was carrying 260 Syrians including women and children. The fishing boat was brought to Manavgat River and the Syrians were taken to Manavgat Atatürk Stadium following their registration process. The District Gendarmerie Command initiated an investigation into find the owner of fishing boat.
The Coast Guard conducted five different operations off the coast of Bodrum and captured 180 refugees who were trying to land on the Greek island of Kos. During the operations, İlyas D. was arrested for human trafficking and a boat was seized as it had previously been used for smuggling Syrians to Greece. Although the number of Syrians in İzmir who want to cross the border via sea has diminished, refugees still pay money to human smugglers to land on one of the European countries. The gendarmerie in İzmir also captured 72 Syrians and arrested two men who are allegedly smugglers.