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DR DAVID CLEVELAND
CLEVELAND78@LIVE.COM                          APPTRAIL@ICLOUD.COM

Lesvos Greece, Macedonia, Germany, France, Provincetown MA.. Providing Hope and loving support through safety; food; water; clothing; shelter; First-Aid and assisting where and how we are needed. We are providing equipment and filming to the U.N. and to document the needs of these fellow Humans.

LIVE TURKISH CRIMINALS
These are the Smugglers sending
Migrants off to sea, 40 to a rubber raft, at $1000- $2000 US,
for each person.
8000 Men, Women, Children and Infant migrants have
drowned thanks to these Criminals. Look closely, and
you'll see no POLICE.

Aksaray district in Istanbul is the place where many asylum

seekers go to find smugglers to travel to Europe.

Abu Khaled is a smuggler from the Syrian city of Dara’a. He

oversees a network of 15 smugglers and brokers who take

migrants by land to Greece and Bulgaria.

Abu Khaled, who asked for his identity be concealed, is meeting

one of his brokers who brought him a migrant that wants to

travel to Greece.

If the price is right…

“I want to go, me, my wife, my 4 children, my brother and his

wife and their 2 children,” says the migrant.

“We can take you from here to Istanbul till the border, and you

will not walk more than 2 hours maximum,” says the smuggler, making it sound easy.

“What’s your final price?” says the desperate father.

“We calculate it’s 2,300 euros”.

“But for the children it shouldn’t be so much. I have sold my

wife’s jewelry and my brother’s as well to able to migrate,” he

says, trying to haggle.

“Ok, Ok, for the children it’s impossible, I told you I deduct only

the children under 2 years old. When you
make sure you have arrived in Greece and that you will not be

sent back then let me know, from thereon,
you’re on your own.”

*A dangerous business*

Abu Khaled refused to elaborate on his ring of smugglers for

security reasons

“No one can detail his work. Smugglers can’t give information

about my work, it’s bullshit, then I will
be arrested.” His broker chips in:

“You can’t film, it’s not fair, you are doing something illegal.

If people see that, they’ll say he wants his own demise. Even

if only his voice is recognizable, because here the police can

arrest you for even tiny things. Plus, people will wonder how

much money he
makes from smuggling.”

Aksaray Square in Istanbul has been called “smugglers square”.

It is there that migrants gather almost every day at sundown in

the hope of buying a place on a boat to Greece.

Their belongings are stuffed into plastic bags so too are life

jackets which they buy at the square..

The park is central to the human trafficking business and the trade is good despite pressure on Turkey to crack down on it.

Among the smugglers are Syrians, including Ali.

“Smugglers agree on the place where the buses are and ask the people to go there to avoid any problems or to avoid the police capturing the bus. They take them to places where there are no police. They monitor the area and when there is no police they

will make phone calls among themselves then they gather and

leave on the bus. Within 15 minutes everything is ready and the

bus is on its way,” he explained.

Sometimes the buses are intercepted on the road. A fine is

imposed, the bus and passengers turned back. But mostly the journeys end in Turkish coastal towns which lie a short risky

boat trip away from the Greek islands. Ali admits some

smugglers don’t care about the dangers to life.

“There is mostly pressure on the departure points at the coast because the Turkish coastguard in particular has upped the ante.

Of course there are smugglers who do not care if there are high waves or no waves. The moments the migrants get to him, he

wants to send them off in any way possible,” he said.

The average fare is around the equivalent of 900 euros for

departures from those prime locations which are short distance

from the Greek islands.

Those caught smuggling face between three to eight years imprisonment while the sentence for human trafficking can be

up to 12 years. Ankara has stepped up law enforcement and introduced a raft of measures in cooperation with the EU in a

bid to stamp out illegal migration.

“Right now it’s winter, between January and February and despite unfavorable weather conditions, compared to the same time last

year the number of apprehensions, the number of migrants

rescued, the number of smuggler arrests is much higher,”

Bahadir Yesiltepe, Izmir Police Department, anti-smuggling

crimes branch said.

It’s believed legislation is likely to be amended to introduce more severe penalties. But despite the current efforts the large crowds which gather at smuggling hubs in Istanbul or Izmir is proof the deterrents are at the moment ineffective.