Lost Refugees from the Lost City
Istanbul is the most popular city among illegal aliens and asylum seekers in Turkey. In Turkey, there are more than 100,000 illegal aliens. Among this illegal population, about 25,000 asylum seekers who are registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), live in the country. According to unofficial statistics, at least half of them live in Istanbul because they can hide easily and find illegal jobs in the city. Among them, some have lived there for 10 years. Problems with their health, education, and residence are snowballing, though.
Chechens who are demanding asylum from the Turkish government have lived in unofficial refugee camps in Fenerbahce, Beykoz, and Umraniye in Istanbul for 10 years and number about 450. The ones who are not registered live in Fikirtepe and Zeytinburnu in Istanbul, and they number about 1000. Neither of the groups can obtain an education or access healthcare because of their undefined situations. Also, they feel unsafe and uncomfortable because of the assassinations occurring against Chechens in Istanbul. They make their living by selling things or being street traders.
Source: Radikal Gazetesi – 09.04.2012
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco