Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Syrians Dream of Crossing Turkish Border to Get to Europe

Syrians Dream of Crossing Turkish Border to Get to Europe

Monday, 20 September, 2021 - 08:30
The Turkish border seen from the town of Al-Darbasiyah, north of Syria (Asharq Al-Awsat)

For Syrians, crossing the border into Turkey has become a core solution to escaping the hell raised in war-torn Syria. Running away from a decade of war, many Syrians hope that by crossing into Turkey, they will have a better life in their final destination, Europe.

In some cases, monitored by Asharq Al-Awsat, Turkish border guards showed unmatched cruelty in their methods used to stop Syrians from crossing into Turkey. Dozens of Syrians, including women and children, were subject to beating and torture.

Turkish guards have even resorted to tossing Syrians off high altitudes while they were trying to cross the border.

Last August, civil bodies and human rights organizations documented the killing of six Syrian civilians, including a child.

According to data collected by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, at least 26 civilians, including a woman and six children, have been killed in Idlib and Hasaka governorates since the beginning of 2021.

This brings the death toll to about 500 civilians who have died trying to cross the border into Turkey since the spring of 2011.

On the eve of August 30, Salar Adnan Othman, who is a local from Qamishli, a city in northeastern Syria on the Syria-Turkey border, was killed by Turkish guards, leaving his parents with nothing but pictures to remind them of their son.

“That night, after 45 minutes had passed, the (Kurdish) Autonomous Administration’s border security forces called us and said that they had taken Salar to the hospital in the town of Amuda,” Othman’s father told Asharq Al-Awsat.

After taking x-rays and doing tests, Othman evidently was found to be severely beaten at the hands of the Turkish gendarmerie.

Because of his critical condition, he was immediately transferred to the central hospital in Qamishli, where he died because of his severe injuries.

Despite the danger involved in the journey, the Syrian-Turkish border has recently recorded a spike in the number of civilians attempting to smuggle their way into Turkey.

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