One hundred forty-six “fugitives”. Yes, Hurriyet, the main newspaper here in Turkey calls them fugitives, have been “captured” in their attempt to escape Turkey in their attempt to get to Greece, and from there further into Europe.
Of those caught, one hundred twenty-six of them are Syrians, ten are Afghani, five from Burma and five from Pakistan. These refugees are spoken of as criminals simply because they have given up living a life in limbo as they are endlessly waiting for the system to process them, while Europe and America allow only a small trickle to enter the “lands of the free”.
Considering the fact that there were virtually no immigration laws in the US before 1875 and practically no limits on immigration until after WW1, how many people now living in the States have ancestry that came here without the ridiculously hypocritical and restrictive laws that prevent these refugees, these victims, from doing the same? but I digress.
Last week, photos of Aylan shocked and shamed the world into confronting the tragic cost of the first world barring its doors and ignoring these victims. There is another side. When people are desperate enough they will do anything. When all hope of achieving their goals legitimately have been shattered, they will turn to illegitimate means.
These 146 victims caught trying to get into Greece were all individuals who gave away pretty much everything they had to a trafficking ring that has been exploiting refugees to the tune of over eight million dollars. This same sting also arrested eleven legitimate trafficking criminals, 260 fake passports, and about 68,000 in cash. (64,000 Euros)
Also in the news today four traffickers responsible for a boat that sunk back in 2013 killing 24 refugees were sentenced to thirty years in prison each. Also in the news today, an Italian truck driver was arrested in Hungary on suspicion of trafficking Syrian refugees. Also in the news today, a Bulgarian citizen becomes the fifth suspect arrested in the case in which seventy-one Syrian refugees died after being abandoned in a refrigeration truck. Also in the news today, Syrian “migrants” are no longer allowed to be anywhere in Turkey except the province listed on their migration card (which they are issued while waiting for the UN to grant them official refugee status). Any public transit official (read “bus drivers”) transporting such refugees in areas that are now “illegal” to them can also be arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.
This is all today. I wonder what stories, what tragedies, will be reported tomorrow? Because these stories aren’t accompanied with heart wrenching photos such as those of Aylan, they are barely a blip on the radar. Because such stories are pretty much a daily occurrence, they barely qualify as being news anymore. In the meantime, first world politicians keep hoping for another celebrity scandal to make the front pages so that they can go back to ignoring the issues that truly matter.