Thousands of refugees crossing into Turkey via Iran face the harsh winter conditions and the mercy of human smugglers. According to the information obtained by Serhat News, it was stated that 3 of the refugees brought to the Çaldıran District of Van via the Iranian border died of breathlessness and the other refugees were also taken under treatment.
An official from the Van Migration Management, who did not want to be named, shared interesting information with Serhat News regarding the death of 3 refugees and the injury of many refugees. According to the information received, refugees brought to Van Çaldıran District from the Iranian border by smugglers were put in a truck box. Refugees, who were left without air after a short journey, fainted and faced serious health problems. It was reported that 3 refugees who lost their lives in the incident were buried in the mountainous area of the Iran-Turkey border line.
Special diet for captured sick refugees
After the events, it was stated that the refugees who were faced with serious health problems in the operation carried out by the gendarmerie to catch the refugees in question were detained and brought to the Van Migration Management, where they were treated. It was reported that the refugees were fed with special diet food.
It was claimed that 3 people were caught in connection with the incident. It was claimed that 3 human traffickers were caught in the operation carried out jointly by the gendarmerie and the police after this incident, two of them in Çaldıran and one in Doğubayazıt district of Ağrı. On the other hand, it is stated that the bodies of the 3 refugees who lost their lives are still buried in the mountainous area.
160 refugees died in Van in the last three years
These are the information we have learned about the incident and the claims made by local sources. The fate of the other refugees whose names we have not yet reached is unknown. We only know that the names list is in the Immigration Administration. However, this is not the first incident in Van. In the last three years, 160 refugees have lost their lives in Van. For the majority of migrants and refugees, it is critically important not to be caught by law enforcement in Turkey. Because the asylum system is based on refoulement. This causes immigrants and smugglers to prefer steep and dangerous roads where there is no gendarme or police control. Many of the deaths are due to taking on this challenge. For this reason, as in the case of the boat sinking in Lake Van in recent years, the number of immigrants who lost their lives is increasing.
Funerals in the cemetery of the orphans
Deaths occur not only in Lake Van, but also in other stages of the migration journey. Refugees who want to pass through the mountains and steep cliffs far from the checkpoints, especially during the winter months, lose their lives due to the extreme cold and blizzard and occasional avalanche. The bodies of those who cannot be identified are buried in the cemetery of the orphans. Many immigrants lost their lives as a result of traffic accidents in vehicles organized by smugglers.
Immigrant smugglers earn around $100,000 each time
Immigrant smugglers receive $500 to $1,000 per immigrant crossing the border. Therefore, a smuggler who crosses 100 immigrants can earn between 50 thousand and 100 thousand dollars at a time. Even if they are caught, there is no financial loss. This excessive gain is read by many NGOs as the main reason why smugglers put large numbers of migrants on boats in Lake Van, beyond their capacity.
Penalties are heavy but not enforced enough.
Another important factor that encourages smuggling is the policy of impunity. Although there are relatively heavy provisions in the Turkish Penal Code regarding smuggling of immigrants, it is seen that detention measures are generally not applied or there are short-term arrests in the investigation and judicial process regarding the smugglers who are detected and caught. When migrant smugglers are punished, the penalties are applied at the lowest limit.
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