Search...

Τρίτη, 15 Δεκεμβρίου 2015

[EN] CROSSING NO MORE

Samir Dathi & Marienna Pope-Weidemann report from the Greek-Turkish border and the deadly fence forcing refugees to cross the perilous Aegean sea
December 2015

Evros Fence Edit 2
Photography by Marienna Pope-Weidemann 

'The Monument for Refugees?' the bar woman frowned. 'Sorry, I do not know this place.' Apparently none of the locals did, and it wasn’t on the town map. We had just crossed the border from Turkey and arrived in Orestiada, a small Greek border town founded by Turkish refugees in 1923. The Monument for Refugees commemorates those families who left Turkey for Greece—often under duress—as part of the population exchange between the two countries.

Greece and Turkey are divided by the mighty Evros river, a fierce natural barrier for those seeking to cross the border. But northeast of Orestiada, where the Evros bends, 12.5km of that border is dry land. Since time immemorial, this ‘gap’ in the river has provided safe passage for refugees through Turkey into Europe.

In recent years it’s been trodden by 100,000s refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. They pass through in search of asylum from countries wrecked by 
war, poverty and climate change. But that’s all over now. Greece has raised the drawbridge and Orestiada has become a bastion of Fortress Europe.

The Evros fence 

The fence was built by the right-wing Samaras administration in 2012. 12.5km of 13ft tall razor wire fencing complete with heat sensors now block this entry point, and over a thousand special police officers have been deployed to guard the Evros border. Clearly the austerity regime spares no expense when the threat of immigration is concerned. The land on both sides is designated a ‘controlled military zone’ and when we visited we were under constant scrutiny by our police escort and two stern-faced soldiers. 

Δευτέρα, 7 Δεκεμβρίου 2015

[EN] THE NEW IRON CURTAINS: WHERE THE FENCES ARE GOING UP ACROSS EUROPE TO KEEP MIGRANTS OUT

EUROPE is fortifying its borders with barbed wire fences in response to the migration crisis engulfing the continent.

Macedonia Greece borderGETTY
A quarter of a century after the iron curtain fell Europe is building walls again

Barely a week goes by without another European nation erecting a partition, signalling what many believe is the end of the Schengen zone and the dream of free movement. 
One week ago Macedonia joined the long list of countries that have buckled under the strain and installed a barrier to halt the huge wave of migrants fleeing war, poverty and persecution.

Here we detail the border fences shooting up across Europe…


Macedonia border fence GETTY
Macedonia soldiers guard their border with Greece

November 2015

Macedonia is the latest country to erect a border fence.