Amid the migrant influx to Europe, one Turkish family realized their dream of a better life in the EU by taking advantage of a wave of sympathy for Syrian refugees.
According to a report in Habertürk daily, the family of five bearing false Syrian passports was granted asylum in Germany.
The couple and their three children from the southeastern city of Mardin currently live in Germany as "Syrian refugees," one of their relatives told Habertürk.
Although there is growing anti-immigrant sentiment in Germany especially after a string of sex crimes during New Year's celebrations, which were blamed on Middle Eastern migrants, Germany is known for being welcoming to Syrian refugees displaced by the war in their country. Syrians account for the majority of those registered as asylum seekers in Germany. Last year, more than 428,000 Syrians registered for asylum out of nearly 1.1 million asylum seekers from around the world. Economic opportunities and generous benefits for migrants make it a favorite destination for refugees from around the globe. Syria is currently among the largest sources of migrants heading to Europe. Rumored priority for Syrians in Germany and other countries among asylum seekers push migrants from other countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to obtain false Syrian passports, according to media reports, as asylum requests for Syrians are apparently processed quicker than for those from other countries.
The relative of the unidentified Turkish family said they bought fake Syrian IDs and passports from a forger in Istanbul and paid 15,000 euros to smugglers for a journey in the back of a truck to Bulgaria. From Bulgaria, they walked to Greece on foot and they were sent to Germany from there. The relative told Habertürk that they were initially rejected by authorities in Bulgaria, as they had arrived on tourist visas and failed to produce any document showing they booked a hotel in Bulgaria. But they succeeded in their second attempt and arrived in Germany in the last week of December.
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