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Latest update : 2014-01-27

Immigration into Europe: Trapped in Turkey

To escape war or poverty, thousands of migrants try to enter Europe illegally via Turkey. Our reporter discovers the hazardous journey of these would-be exiles, whose dreams often come to an end in Istanbul.

Turkey has become the main point of entry for illegal immigration into the European Union. Citizens from many countries in Africa and Asia can easily enter Turkey with a simple tourist visa. Tens of thousands of migrants seeking to enter the Schengen zone arrive in Istanbul every year.

Risking their lives, they then join networks of people-smugglers who send them to Greece, Bulgaria and the Mediterranean islands. In recent years, several hundred of them drowned during night crossings on the river Evros, on the border between Turkey and Greece.

Up until 2011, this border was the most porous in Europe. Controls have been strengthened and today, most illegal immigrants trying to cross it are arrested by Greek police, and sent back to Turkey. They then find themselves trapped in Istanbul, without money or work. Our reporter infiltrated the networks of the Turkish smugglers and travelled with these migrants who dream of a European Eldorado.

By Romeo LANGLOIS

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Archives

2014-07-25 Islam

Halal tourism on the rise

The race to corner France’s Muslim market, which has already seen the development of such products as halal candy, cosmetics and clothing, has extended to holiday packages.

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2014-07-18 Hong Kong

Hong Kong in rebellion against the 'motherland'

In 1997 Hong Kong was proud to re-establish its Chinese identity after more than 150 years under British colonisation. But the atmosphere has changed and Hong Kong is now in open...

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2014-07-11 Pakistan

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

In the wake of the 9/11 terror attack, questions have been asked about the tactics used in former US president George W. Bush's "War on Terror". Extraordinary rendition saw many...

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2014-07-04 Italy

Italy: Toxic Naples

Industrial sludge, all kinds of garbage and even nuclear waste... For years, organised crime dumped millions of tons of toxic waste on the outskirts of Naples. This contamination...

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2014-06-27 Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Old wounds reopened in Belfast

Northern Ireland’s Good Friday agreement, signed in April 1998, put an end to thirty years of conflict between Nationalists and Republicans. Since its signature, traditional...

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