ISTANBUL/BELGRADE - This investigation uncovers that young Turkish citizens are increasingly using the Balkan route as a transit point to enter the EU illegally. The growing trend is due to crumbling purchasing power, high unemployment, and tense political environment in the country.
Using court documents and interviews with migrants, smugglers, police informants, taxi drivers, and human rights experts, the team has reconstructed the paths taken by Turkish citizens – from their first contacts with smugglers on social media, to ‘safe houses’ in Istanbul where payment changes hands, and the wilderness of northern Serbia where they reach the EU’s external border at Hungary and Croatia.
Illustration: ©Igor Vujcic/BIRN
- Istanbul to Illegality: Visa-Free Serbia a Hub for EU-Bound Turks, Balkan Insight, 04/05/2023.
- Mladi Turci preko Srbije do EU: Bezvizni režim i krijumčarske mreže, Balkan Insight, 04/05/2023.
- Mladi Turci preko Srbije do EU: Bezvizni režim i krijumčarske mreže, Birn.rs, 04/05/2023.
- Kaçakçılar ve Umuda Yolculuk: Avrupa hayali kuran genç Türklerin adresi vizesiz Sırbistan, T24.com, 12/05/2023.
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