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Wednesday, 20 June 2018 00:00

Suspected illegal immigrants detained by Coast Guard at Gerenlik Beach

Coast Guard Coast Guard KTLN archive photo - Fatih Tunalı

A group of 56 suspected illegal immigrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan were detained by the Kalkan Coast Guard at Gerenlik Beach yesterday Tuesday 19th June. 

This is the mud bath beach visited by many Kalkan day trip boats that lies between Fırnaz Bay and Patara.

It is understood that they had been dropped off at this point by smugglers having been told they were in Greece.

As it would have been logistically difficult to reach them by road, the Coast Guard asked for help from local day trip boat captains to get the men, women and children back to Kalkan.

The detainees were subsequently taken to Antalya where their legal status will be assessed.

Yesterday’s events come just a couple of weeks after a tragic incident near Kekova where a boat sank resulting in nine fatalities.  Six people were rescued.  It is thought that these people were Syrians who were trying to reach the Greek island of Meis.

Perilous journeys
The number of people attempting to make such perilous journeys in this part of the Mediterranean Sea has reduced since its peak in 2015.  However it is reported that the number of interceptions so far in 2018 for all attempted sea crossings from Turkey is in excess of 10,000, which is a significant increase on last year.

It’s a human tragedy that sadly afflicts this part of the world.  In yesterday’s incident at least no lives were lost.  

According to official UNHCR figures Turkey is home to 3.5 million Syrian refugees.  The real figure is likely to be much higher than this.



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