The loss, the fight and the wait,

by Pedro Sousa Raposo


Turkey has today the largest refugee population in the world. The vast majority comes from Syria, immerse in civil war since 2011, but Iraqis, Afghans, Iranians and Somalis are also among the over 3 million people that waits, in camps or outside them, for a solution to their interrupted lives. This country has served as a "stopper" to the mass exodus of millions of people fleeing from situations of war, famine or persecution, and it’s from it, that much of the entry attempts to EU countries are made, by land, or by sea.

In March 2016, a Europe without valid responses to an escalating humanitarian crisis, chose to close borders and build walls, while agreeing with Turkey on its cooperation by retaining people, in return for a significant increase in funding. Thus, this is a one-to-one policy, where those who try to leave Turkey to Greece or Bulgaria and are intercepted, are pushed back to Turkey, while for every situation of these, EU is obliged to relocate a Syrian refugee in one of its member countries, although frequently reports are made that, contrary to the statutes and legislation in force, several people are prevented from applying for asylum on European soil when detained.

Thus, a huge number of people remains for a long time in Turkish territory, more or less dismembered families, elderly people who will never see their country again, many children and young people of school-age and without school, and also unaccompanied minors.

The work of Pedro Sousa Raposo The loss, the Fight and the Wait, it’s an important document because it reflects the beginning of what has become one of the largest flow of refugees, when Syrians and Iraqis flee to Turkish soil in a mass escape after the advance of ISIS, which at the end of 2014 threatened to assume key positions and conquer border towns with Turkey. It is also the beginning of the massive attempt to escape to Europe, when millions of desperate humans seek for protection, too often without success and losing their lives, creating one of the most serious humanitarian situations in European territory since the Second World War.

In this essay, the author documents in a directly and intimate way the everyday and the anguish of those who expect, whether on the front lines, in border zones or in more or less official camps, for a resolution to an unsustainable situation.

This great exodus, however, remains unresolved. All those who fled their territories still can not return. Perhaps, most of the faces we see here, have tried to escape to other countries with better life conditions, far away from the uninsured daily needs, lack of sanitary conditions and forced subjugation to the elements, increasingly harsh and frequent. Today, however, they can be part of the many thousands of lives that have been lost, drowned in the Aegean Sea, gone in the difficult route of the Balkans or succumbed to the hands of smugglers and their mafia organizations.


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