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Notes from #Pazarkule/ #Evros, Twentieth Day

Pazarkule. Turkey. March 19, 2020. Since our rotation can no longer be maintained, we only get information about Pazarkule from the refugees who are there. Many people go by bus to different provinces. The arrival of the refugees continues at Istanbul Esenler bus station. Those who stay in Pazarkule cannot even meet their basic needs. We learn that a woman who is in the last stage of pregnancy in the border region has been taken to hospital in Edirne with the support of the citizens’ groups and gave birth at 4 am.

Originally published by GÖÇMEN DAYANIŞMASITranslated by Enough 14.

Local authorities in Pazarkule claim that people are informed about where to go. On the contrary, the refugees who come to Istanbul have no idea where to go or how to register when they get to the city. Some were even told that they would receive 300 TL when they arrive in Istanbul. But this is not true.

Although the days of the return to Esenler Otogar are becoming visible in the media, there is still no institution that informs those who arrive here what to do and where to go. Throughout the day we have tried to urge NGOS, communities and various public institutions to provide assistance at the places where the refugees were dropped off. When we reached one of the main NGOs coordinating the situation at the border, people said that their teams were at the Esenler bus station and were monitoring the situation during this process. However, our friends who were at the bus station for two days explained that this is not true. They are also helping to provide the UNHCR with the identity information of people who are registered in different provinces and to get the return tickets.

There is no support for refugees who are not registered. They are forced to travel to one of the cities around Istanbul to find a place or register. However, it is doubtful to what extent the migration authorities in these provinces will continue their services because of the corona virus. Due to the corona virus, many NGOs are also unable to direct their existing capacities to the Esenler bus station or want to avoid this risk by directing their staff there. There is a lack of coordination between all public and non-governmental organizations that have to take their responsibilities in this situation. As a result, the situation of the refugees behind the corona virus agenda is not visible.

We have been informed that the municipal administration is now in Esenler and a wedding hall has been opened for the temporary accommodation of refugees. The hall has been equipped with heating devices and various supplies.

No Border Pazarkule/Edirne, March 19, 2020.


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