Engin Özmen - Ali Can Zeray / Edirne, Sep 17 () - Around 200 Syrian migrants who have been refused to enter Greece through Edirne since late Sep. 15 have been camping and waiting, after their attempts to reach Edirne on foot was blocked by gendarmerie and police teams, in three different points.
Hundreds have gathered at the city’s main bus terminal where they have staged a sit-in protest. Security forces have convinced a hundred migrants to return to Istanbul while the rest has remained in the bus terminal.
Police teams have been offering migrants food, however the group, waiting in the bus terminal, refused to take the food and baby Formula.
Representatives of the group warned the migrants not to take the offered food, defending, “We simply want to cross into Greece”.
Some of the migrants held cardboards reading, “We do not want any food” in Turkish and in English.
While the crisis continues in Edirne as around 2,000 Syrians has refused to leave the town, representatives of the group demanded to speak to Edirne Governor Dursun Ali Şahin. Şahin accepted two of the representatives.
Meanwhile, PM Ahmet Davutoğlu deployed his top advisor Murtaza Yetiş to convince the migrants waiting in Edirne and İstanbul Bayrampaşa bus terminal.
In respect to the “emergency meeting” held early on Sep. 17, Yetiş referred to statement of Davutoğlu and said, “The key source of this issue and the target of this issue is Europe. There has been an essential problem due to Europe’s refusal to open its gates to migrants has said Davutoğlu. The representatives among the Syrian migrants have told during our visits that they had no intention to cause trouble for anyone and they only wanted to make heard this distress they suffer."
Another group of 800 migrants has flocked to TEM highway near Edirne toll booths, and rejected the Municipality’s attempts to install portable toilets, after having refused to take the offered food.
Some of the migrants held a sit-in, by sitting into the potholes that were digged to place the toilets.
A young migrant chanted, “We are not here to stay permanently. We do not want food or toilets. We purely want the Turkey to open gates and let us cross into Greece, then Germany". Following the protest, municipality staff ended works to install mobile toilets.
While some of the migrants chanted slogans and unfurled banners to protest security measures, migrants keep waiting at roadsides, terminals, streets.
The recent decision of Germany to accept a high number of migrants appears to have sparked hopes among the group, according to interviews with the migrants.