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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.

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Notes From #Pazarkule/ #Evros, Nineteenth Day

Pazarkule. Turkey. March 18, 2020. In the morning we learned that some people were taken to the immigration office, which was 4-5 km away from the area where they were held at the border. In addition, some of our friends who were active in the region explained that the refugees who were brought to the immigration office had no money and needed support for water and food. According to our local friends, they were a group of 90 people and were held at the immigration office without being able to meet basic needs.

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Notes From #Pazarkule / #Evros, Eighteenth Day

Pazarkule. Turkey. March 17, 2020. Today, refugees are no longer allowed to leave the camp, and all cafés in Karaağaç have been closed. We have heard from our friends in the area that up to 300 special forces were in the area, the administration has announced that this night will be the last day because of suspected corona virus.

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Notes From #Pazarkule/ #Evros, Seventeenth Day

Pazarkule. Turkey. March 16, 2020. The police, who stopped our car at the entrance of Ipsala, asked if there were any refugees in the car. There are no traces of refugees in the city. The nearby Greek border crossing was active. The customs officers we spoke to said that there were no problems at the border fence.

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Notes From #Pazarkule/ #Evros, Sixteenth Day

Pazarkule. Turkey. March 15, 2020. We started the day by passing by Uzunköprü Turkuaz gas station. There were around 80-100 migrants waiting at the car wash section of the station. We have learnt that they were pushed back from Greece. There were some busses waiting to transport those who want to go back to Istanbul. While an officer was trying to convince them to take seats in the bus, other two health officers were distributing clean and dry clothings.

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Notes From #Pazarkule/ #Evros, Fourteenth Day

Pazarkule. Turkey. March 13, 2020. There were very few migrants in Karaağaç today. In addition to the day restriction for them, we have learned that no more than 200 people will be allowed to leave the side where they’ve been kept, in one day.

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Notes From #Pazarkule/ #Evros, Thirteenth Day

Pazarkule. Turkey. March 12, 2020.  This morning, Karaağaç was a little busier than the previous days. The migrants, who gave their fingerprints and left the border area, were lining up at the A101 supermarket to do their shopping for the day or approached cafes individually to charge their phones but were send away.

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Notes From #Pazarkule / #Evros, Twelfth Day

Pazarkule. Turkey. March 11, 2020.  We woke up to a morning as cold as the night we left behind. Around 8:30 a.m. there were sounds coming from the border but we couldn’t distinguish whether they were shootings of guns or gas canisters. Number of migrants at the village center was lower than the previous days. According to what have we heard, those who left the camp yesterday were barred from leaving today. Nonetheless those who wanted to leave the camp have formed a queue around 5 a.m.

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Notes From #Pazarkule / #Evros, Eleventh Day

Pazarkule. Turkey. March 10, 2020. Karaağaç’s central square was filled with a crowd of migrants early in the morning. There was a long queue of people waiting for the market to open. The counter of the pastry shop was emptied, and the daily bakery supplies were exhausted by early morning. Alongside the migrants that we had established an intimacy with, we had started to develop a general familiarity with this crowd.

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