Illegal immigrant traffickers now set their sights on the Black Seaby Giuseppe Terranova - 2017.09.30
After the closure of the Balkan and Libyan routes, that of the Black Sea is opened. On the rise, in fact, is the number of foreigners who embark at Turkey to reach Romania via sea. These numbered 3,000 at the beginning of 2017 compared to 1,624 in 2016. Mostly Iraqis, Syrians and Pakistanis. A journey that costs 1,000 -3,000 euro directly into the pockets of the human traffickers. If all goes well, from Cide, a Turkish fishing village in the district of Kastamonu, you arrive in the Romanian port of Costanza, 200 km from the capital Bucharest.
A new route, indicative of the efficiency of the machinery of organized criminality. One that is destined to be more and more travelled even if not by the record numbers registered in 2015 in the Balkans (more than one million migrants) and that in the Central Mediterranean (Libya-Italy) that in the last three years has witnessed an average of 150,000-200,000 trips a year.
Compared to the previous ones, the new Turkey-Romania corridor has two handicaps.
The first: crossing the Black Sea is no day trip. Given that its very name comes from its danger. So much so that the ancient Greeks called it “inhospitable”. Compared to the Mediterranean, downpours and storms are sudden and violent. According to the Turkish Coast Guard, the last shipwreck, just a few days ago at 64,000 miles from Kefken (North-Western Turkey), took the life of twenty or so Iraqi immigrants. Numbers with which even the most pitiless human trafficker has to deal with because if word passes amongst potential immigrants that you leave but never arrive in Europe, the list of potential “customers” will take a nose dive.
The second: Romania is a member of the European Union but not of the Schengen area. Amongst bordering countries, the only one that is a member is Orban’s Hungary that is not an ideal destination for immigrants. Consequently, it is highly likely that many, after having spent a fortune to risk their life in crossing the Black Sea, end up in the Romanian dead end, without reaching the desired port of call. A contradiction that undoubtedly will discourage departures from Turkey in the long term.
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