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Image / Editorial

No shelter, no facilities: BBC producer’s Twitter thread illustrates the suffering of refugees at the Turkey-Greece border

by Erin Lindsay
06th Mar 2020

Cara Swift is a BBC Middle East producer and has experienced first-hand the level of tension at the border

With tensions between Turkey and Greece rising at their borders, a BBC producer’s first-hand Twitter account has shown that Syrian refugees, many of them children, are suffering greatly.

The situation began to escalate last month, when Ankara announced that it would no longer prevent refugees from crossing into Europe, under a deal brokered with the EU in 2016.

Greece then began to tighten its borders, and tensions between Greek and Turkish guards have risen. A Reuters correspondent reported seeing Greek forces use a water cannon in an attempt to disperse people crowding at the border, which was followed by attacks of tear gas from the other side.

Caught in the crossfire are the Syrian refugees attempting to enter Europe through the border. Fleeing war and destruction, many families and children have become stranded at the border, many of them without documents and identification.

BBC Middle East producer Cara Swift is currently stationed at the border and has seen first-hand the trauma that refugees are experiencing as a result of the escalating situation. She posted a lengthy thread on her Twitter profile yesterday detailing the stories she had heard.

Swift spoke to men like Ramez, who were detained after crossing the border into Greece and have been sent back. He told Swift that his money, IDs and belongings were taken by police.

Swift also mentioned that many of the refugees have been left traumatised by the conditions of war in Syria, and now react strongly to loud noises.

Swift also detailed that many of the children affected have lost vital parts of their childhood through the experience. Many have had to work to raise money for their families, as young as seven years old.

Featured image: Cara Swift BBC via Twitter

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