Police zig-zag begging Syrian migrants across Istanbul’s Bosphorus
ISTANBULSyrian refugees begging in the Eminönü neighborhood of Istanbul were caught by the city’s municipal police on July 7 and offered a free bus trip to the Anatolian side of the city, only to be sent straight back to Eminönü by Kadıköy’s municipal police hours later, according to witnesses.
Witnesses in Eminönü said they were used to seeing the municipal police send the refugees across to the other side of the city.
A municipal police officer also admitted to daily Hürriyet that this was common practice, adding that the refugees were sent away because they were “disturbing people.”
A source told Hürriyet that there is a refugee camp in Tuzla, a suburb of Istanbul on the Asian side of the city, to which the refugees are usually sent, but they often choose not to stay there for a number of reasons.
The number of illegal Syrian refugees that have entered Turkey has surpassed 1 million, according to official figures. Many of them are victims of the ongoing conflict in Syria and once in Turkey they often leave the refugee camps located on the Turkey-Syria border, in a bid to find better living conditions for themselves and their families.
Big cities such as Istanbul have started to experience increasing numbers of refugees begging on the streets, as only a few are able to find full-time employment. The relatively lucky ones work as undocumented migrants and are sometimes underpaid, daily Hürriyet reported last week.