Human smugglers ally with soldiers in Van to get refugees across the border

Despite the walls built on the border, watchtowers, outposts and police stations, hundreds of refugees cross into Turkey every day. With the cooperation of Turkish forces and human smugglers.

Refugees cross from Iran into Van and other Kurdistan cities carried by human smugglers who partner with the soldiers on duty at the border.

People who had to leave due to war, political and social pressures and economic reasons in Central Asia, Far East and Middle East countries, especially Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, arrived in the North Kurdish cities of Van, Iğdır Doğubayazıt and Hakkari and from there to Turkey. Hundreds of refugees die from cold weather and avalanches during the winter months. Those who manage to cross the border face new tragedies by falling into the hands of human smugglers.

With the spring months, migration increases in Van and other border cities. The Turkish government built a kilometer-long wall between Iğdır-Ağrı, Ağrı-Van and Van-Hakkari. It is known that the main purpose of the wall, is actually to separate North and East Kurdistan, where there are no refugees, and to prevent the Kurds from doing business.

However, despite the walls built on the border, watchtowers, outposts and police stations, hundreds of refugees cross the border every day. The crossings are actually made with the cooperation of Turkish forces and human smugglers.

Human trafficking has become a business in the cities of Van, Ağrı and Iğdır as well as in Turkey's Black Sea cities and Central Anatolian cities such as Yozgat and Kayseri. Human smugglers come to the Çaldıran and Muradiye districts in Van. Human smugglers coming to these cities normally work together with high-ranking soldiers at the border posts.

A person who transports passengers between the Çaldıran District of Van and the center of Van and does not want his name to be published for security reasons, told ANF about the smuggling activities in Çaldıran and Van. “Almost every day, people from many cities in Turkey come to Çaldıran. We all know that they are human smugglers. Most of them come from the Black Sea and Central Anatolian cities. They cooperate with the soldiers. Some smugglers tell us this without hesitation. These people have contact with the soldiers serving in the district. On certain days, they take people to cars in the district center and take them without any difficulty. Human smuggling has become a business for Çaldıran. The state also knows this, but does not intervene. There's a lot of money going around. That's why human smugglers and some soldiers do this together.”