An Afghan refugee’s illegal journey from Iran to Europe Maybe you can sit comfortably in your home and tell this story to be absurd, you can ask that why you were going, but the war will ruin everything. If you are forced, you will be ready to die a thousand times to live one time.
I’m an Afghnan refugee.I have borned and raised in Iran, but I don’t want to tell about my problems in Iran. I just want to say that I have come to Turkey in order to live in safely and freely. In Iran and Afghanistan there is no place for me, even in my own country I have no place, can I tell, because I have no safety and all the events that should not happen live there.
I want to tell you about what I see and do in Iran from Europe
An acquaintance had gone to Turkey, of course, illegally. . I found that person and after I got the information about the way, I got the smuggler’s number. The next day we came to the Iranian capital city Tehran and he brought us to the border city Urmiye by private car from the Azadi square.
I have difficulty in understanding my feelings because I did not know where and to whom I went. I was very curious about what happened, and I started to miss where I live and acquaintances. Anyway, the smuggler took us to a house, came back half an hour later and said “we will pass the Turkey-Iran border tonight”.We were both excited and horrified, at midnight, at 24:00 pm, about 1000 – 1500 people were waiting to cross the border, there was an officer at the border gate, allowing them to cross the border gate one by one. That night an agreement was reached between the smuggler and the people on the border, the door would be opened and some money would be taken for each person. So we ended up lucky people, we gave a lot of money passed comfortably.
We did not know the language and everything was new, I was like a newborn child.
Smugglers are a big group. After we arrived in Turkey, cars and tickets were prepared for us to go to Ankara. There have been a lot of things going to Ankara. More than 25 people were put in a car for 16 people and we were leaving the roads that the police did not see. At that point, we were going to enter a great valley, but we came to Ankara safely. We didn’t know language and everything was new, I was like a newborn child, because I couldn’t speak. I could speak English a bit, so I found UNHCR and registered.
Satellite City and Disappointment
I had to go to the satellite town and I went. I had to go to the satellite town and I went. I remember those days, I felt very happy myself. I thought Turkey was what the smugglers described, I thought I left bad days behind. However my bad days started and I did not realize. . In the satellite city I had to do everything myself. I had to buy houses and furnishings. I found a job and had to work more than 10 hours a day. I have chosen to study Turkey and improve myself in sports, but none have happened. Everything I heard was lied and life got harder. I met with the refugees around me who came to Turkey in 2005 and still see the waiting, I began to live disappointed. I came in 2012 and as the days went on, we were getting worse. The UNHCR took the files of Afghan refugees and did not interview anyone.
Turkey was a nightmare for me and I even thought that sometimes to go off the deep end.
From the attitudes of the people, from their behavior to the violations of the rights at work, everything was supreme. I gradually became as if I had forgotten to be a human, being treated like a slave at work. Because of that Turkey was a nightmare for me and I even thought that sometimes to go off the deep end. I have not been able to reach my goals, and I have been far away from them and I will be moving further away. After the Syrian war, many Syrians came to Turkey, so I was having difficulty finding work and houses. So I decided to leave Turkey, not an easy job, but it is very difficult; Everything on your way to the runaway may come and even the smuggler can sell you and take him money again and you can not do anything. I thought a lot, but all I could do was go to Europe.
A tough decision
I had two options to go to Europe, either to walk through the Bulgarian border or to reach Greece by crossing the sea. You have to not listen to the death hazard for both roads. The difficulties of the Bulgarian border are numerous, three months ago several thieves cut off the road to Afghanistan’s family; The women attempted an abortion, so the train came in during the fighting, but no one heard the ringing and 16 people lost their lives under the train. Organ traffickers and prostitution networks are also widespread on this path. In Bulgaria If the police are caught, they will be done because their behavior is inhuman. I do not want to tell them here because of respect for people, but they can do all kinds of things you can think of.
Comparing the two ways, I chose Greece and went to Istanbul. Holding policeman to reach the shore, it was necessary to overcome many dangers with unsafe cars of 10 people, where 50 people were put in too fast to get caught.
“This game was played with death, but I had no other way to escape”
Of course this game was played with death, but I had no other way to escape. When we tried to cross the border, we were caught twice, and each time we had many damages. In the first place, Greece was 10 minutes away, but Greece coastal security was caught us, and our boat exploded with arms. We were fighting with death on the waters, the coast guard saved us from the water, but in the personal research they took our precious possessions, money, telephone and whatever was like a thief. That night 4000 Euro was forcibly stolen from us. But we considered that money as charity. Because that night the sea was very angry, it was stormy and the wind was blowing so fast, the storm lifted us up to 2 meters and left it on the waters again. On the other hand, the smugglers gave the worst, the cheapest and the oldest boat to the refugees, the other night our boat’s engine was broken, so there was no alternative to the sank, if they were coast guard, maybe we all drowned and died, then someone else took that money from us.
Now, as I was writing to you, my fur was stabbed that night, and after two failed attempts, we went out again and left the Turkish coast at 8:00 pm, but we lost the way and we would go to the ocean instead of Greece. We saw the last lamp of the island and we started to go that way. At 4 o’clock in the morning, our boat hit a rock and burst immediately. We had children and women among us, and we hardly took ourselves out to the rocky mountain. Even now I wonder how those children and women will get out to that mountain. Anyway, the last land of Greece, we came to the island of Mitilini.
There are more smugglers in Greece than normal people, whom we can trust!
We were in town for two nights and then we went to the city of Atan and registered to the police. We had to leave Greece within thirty days. On the one hand it was hard to flee to Europe, we had to go by trucks on the road, the Arabs on the other side were able to go for a lot of money so the smugglers had raised the price too much, Everyone had to have at least 2 – 3,000 Euros in their pocket. There are more smugglers in Greece than normal people, whom we can trust! There are all kinds of smugglers there so it is more dangerous for children and families.
Living in Greece is very difficult, the more you stay, the more you sink. Also, if the police are arrested, they are taking you to 18 months of prison or jail. Not women but all men under the age of 18 will not take notice. I spent a few months in the city of Atan for a few months without money and very difficult, I was afraid of fear and hunger at night, I was afraid of people and organ smugglers, I was afraid of policemen because I had to lie in streets and parks all the time. At the moment I am in a country which I wanted and can benefit from any kind of lantern, I’m happy.
I saw and learned a lot in this exhausting and fearful journey, and I traveled shoulder to shoulder with death. I was a comrade with so many people, each of them was full of suffering, most of them lost their family, until they were drowned under the train in front of their eyes, and until they were drowned in the seas. I saw some women had to sell themselves for a bite of bread, or they had been raped by smugglers, but there was nothing they could do other than crying. They kidnapped children and people, then released them for more money than their parents. They were saying that too many women and children were missing.
Maybe you can sit comfortably in your home and tell this story to be absurd, you can ask that why you were going, but the war will ruin everything. If you are forced, you will be ready to die a thousand times to live one time.
Why is UNHCR discriminating against me and other Afghan refugees?
During my stay in Turkey, I met many people working for many institutions and refugees, but I did not get a satisfactory answer until now. Why is UNHCR discriminating against me and other Afghan refugees? Afghan refugees were discriminated against and files were suspended. No action has been taken for us by UNHCR for three years. I have heard and witnessed many suicides, but unfortunately no one has heard or seen it from the top authorities. No institution or organization helps Afghan refugees, they have no work permits, and they are completely forgotten as an oppressed group. Hell is humanity ….
Immigration has remained from old times. I have always been racist and prejudiced everywhere, whether or not I am willing or unwilling, but never forget that I can forget about Turkey, good and bad days there, discrimination against my friends, UNHCR, politics, discrimination by charitable institutions and very good neighbors.
This article was written by an Afghan refugee who arrived in Turkey in 2012 and recently illegally arrived in Europe on the way that the UNHCR did not place Afghan refugees in other countries.