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Trade in life vests for immigrants in Izmir

14 August 2014 / 18:08:50  GRReporter
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Tradesmen in the Basmane neighbourhood in Izmir have found a particularly profitable business, their customers being the illegal immigrants who are preparing to reach Greece by sea, as reported by the Greek media that refer to the online edition of the Turkish "Hürriyet" newspaper. For at least seven years, the neighbourhood has been one of the meeting points of illegal immigrants aiming to reach Europe.

Local tradesmen have become aware of the increased smuggling in the region and respectively adapted the goods they sell. The sources of the author of the article are residents of Basmane. According to them, the people who buy life vests and similar goods are immigrants. They reside in the neighbourhood and try to go to Western Europe through Greece. According to them, the majority of the people are from Iraq, Somalia and Syria.

The article in "Hürriyet" reports that, since the beginning of the year, the Turkish authorities have seized 5,789 immigrants who tried to reach Greece by sea. Their number seems minimal compared to the data on Greece, since, this July alone, the authorities seized 4,175 immigrants who arrived by sea from Turkey.

In statements to "Kathimerini" newspaper sources from the Greek Coast Guard indicate that the pressure on Turkey to take more effective action in order to tackle the problem of illegal immigration is continuous. Although the cooperation between the two countries in this area is not as good as it should be, they say that the situation has improved compared to previous years.

According to the article in "Kathimerini" newspaper, in recent months, the Greek authorities have directed their efforts to improve the infrastructure and the operational readiness of the units, both in terms of migrants arriving by sea and refugees who have managed to reach the Greek coasts.

Every day the units carry out operations to find and save immigrants, the majority of them being concentrated in the eastern Aegean Sea. Particularly intense is the work of the Coast Guard units on the islands of Chios, Lesbos, Agathonisi, Samos and others.

Two nights ago, a Coast Guard ship found a boat with 11 passengers en route from Turkey near Agathonisi. That morning 18 other foreigners were found in Ermioni on Chios. On Wednesday morning an inflatable boat with 24 other people on board was discovered in Agathonisi. The immigrants were arrested on charges of illegally enetering the country.

Tags: SocietyIllegal immigrantsIzmirTradeLife beltsCoast guardAegean SeaIslands
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