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22 mars 2011 2 22 /03 /mars /2011 12:19

The exiles are now entering Greece mainly through land border between Greece and Turkey, the passage through the islands are virtually deserted - a situation that can still change with the strengthening of controls over the land border.

 

Once past the border, the exiles are most often taken by police, and often voluntarily. They are then placed in detention for a term which is in part completely arbitrary, partly related to carrying capacity. They come out with a paper bag in which enjoins them to leave the country within a month, but also allows them to move without risk of arrest for a month. This is the document that allows them to continue their journey. But their arrest was also the opportunity to take their fingerprints - for the benefit of other European states that may well refuse to take their asylum applications (at least until the decision of the European Court of man last November), bosses who exploit their work, and they depend on smugglers until they can access their rights.

 

From there, they generally join Athens. Some of them spend large sums to buy false identity documents and try to go by air to other European countries, often without success. Other disperse in the country based on their contacts and opportunities to work illegally, particularly in agriculture. Others remain in Athens until they find a chance to go further. But living in Athens means money, leaving Greece too, and the crisis is a vise tightens on the less wealthy exiles.

 

The Balkan route is difficult, several borders to cross by foot, cross countries where foreigners are easily identified, and the European Union will finance complacently detention centres where the rights of individuals is not necessarily primary concern - we have one current example in Bosnia where the exiles are detained for months without knowing for how long they will still be without access to counsel, information about their rights and to a translator, and where they are abused.

 

And the transition takes place in dribs and drabs from Patras and Igoumenitsa. Patras is a major city that still offers opportunities for odd jobs to survive, but Igoumenitsa can hardly offer those who come running out of money that the contents of his trash for food.

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Published by exilesingreece
22 mars 2011 2 22 /03 /mars /2011 11:58

I directed my steps towards the bazaar and the area Kumkapi. This is an old Armenian quarter, which in the 90's became the place of the exiles from the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. Its upper part is a pile of various stores, while its lower part is a residential area quite poor. There are about ten years, the top was littered with many Cyrillic signs. We still find, but rare, as we always hear speaking Russian or Romanian in the streets. But what are the signs in Arabic that thrive today. The many pay phones, showing the countries to which they provide telephone calls, give an idea of ​​their customers, wide range of Arab countries, Central Asia, some African countries, and a choice of Asian and Eastern European countries.

 

Istanbul-Kumkapi-2.jpg

 

But new exiles are barely visible. A group of Afghans, including children, near the top of the bazaar, some Africans crossed in the street, a few words of Pashtoo heard at a street corner.

 

These exiles are hiding. Reflex of people illegally. But also fear of racist attacks, which are not uncommon, even if there is no organized racist groups here as in Greece. Especially afraid of the police, in a context where not only it can be violent, but where there is arbitrary and where the police simply rob the exiles.

 

A young exile pay their purchases in a grocery store with a banknote of 200 lire (about 100 euros). The merchant does not give him his money back. He protests. Bystanders beat him. He goes to the police station to complain. The police took him away in a remote area and beat him again.

 

Or the police arrest an exile, he took the money he has on him, and if he protests they put him in jail for various reasons - the judges generally follow the police.

 

The exiles, however, tend to be more visible - or less invisible - even outside their neighborhoods - a sign perhaps of an early installation. Some of them, who have not had the opportunity to continue their journey, have been there for many years. So it's a fairly close to that seen in Greece, except in Turkey even after 10 years the exiles always design their stay as temporary. The installation becomes a fact, but is not assumed.

 

Their presence does not debate in Turkish society, where there is more discussion on internal migration, including Kurds, a more sensitive topic.

 

Applications for asylum are processed by the UNHCR, in a rather slow, the prospect being the resettlement of those who are recognized as refugees in another country - Australia, Canada, United States. These countries set quotas and criteria that bring about the relocation can occur after a few months for some or years for others. In the meantime, the refugees are relegated in outlying towns where they have few opportunities for integration.

 

For them the prospect is also to leave.

 

Istanbul-vue-3.jpg

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Published by exilesingreece
22 mars 2011 2 22 /03 /mars /2011 11:46

They arrive in Turkey looking towards the West, even if they have to stay ten years they are still hoping to leave.

 

Arriving in Greece, given the situation: never mind, Greece is not Europe, it is enough to go, and it's Europe!

 

You know the rest, from the squats in Rome to the streets of Paris, the "jungles" of Calais to the retention / detention camps which are flourishing across the continent.

 

Are we really sure that the Europe which host them like that is the Europe we want?

 

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Published by OverBlog

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