VAN- The deceased bodies of hundreds of refugees is buried in the orphanage cemetery in Van. The gravestone with the names of "Afghan baby, Pakistani youth, Syrian citizen, Iranian..." is left from the "journey of hope" that they started kilometers away.
Afghan baby, Pakistani youth, Syrian citizen, Iranian... Hundreds of funerals were placed next to each other in the cemetery of homeless people with similar inscriptions on gravestones. Even the names of the refugees, who had to crossed many countries and ended their "journey of hope" miles away from their homelands, are not known. The cemetery of the orphans in Van returning to the "refugee cemetery" is a photograph of the city. Just two days ago, the funeral of two refugees were buried in the snow-covered cemetery. Empty graves digged in the cemetery await the next funerals! In the cemetery where there are hundreds of funerals, those, who have their names on their stone do not exceed 5 graves. The families of the refugees, who lost their lives cannot reach their funerals because their identities and names are not known.
'THEY WANT LIFE WORTHY OF HUMAN DIGNITY'
Işıl Erçoban, Coordinator of the Association for Solidarity with Refugees stated that the condition of the cemetery reveals th severity of the refugees' circumstances. Mentioning that refugees die at the borders, at sea and all over the country each year, Erçoban said, "They are buried before they are identified. Even the relatives are not given information. The main question that should be asked is that why people face this risk in the most harsh conditions in winter. They set off to cross the sea in the weather or in a stormy weather. Which conditions force them to do this? This is not an adventure that people seek for. They want a life worthy of human dignity."
'RELIABLE AND LEGAL WAYS SHALL BE OFFERED'
Stating that people face even bigger difficulties in the countries they arrive as they escape the cruelty in their own lands, Erçoban said, "People prefer these difficulties because there are no legal and reliable ways. The money that refugees pay to human smugglers is the amount that they can easily go by aplane. If a refugee could arrive from Afghanistan by plane in a safe way, would they prefer the hard way and diying? Reliable and legal ways shall be offered. As long as countries do not offer these legal ways, these deaths of the refugees will continue. The immigration policy of the countries is based on closing the borders. As long as countries implement these policies, people will continue to pursue the current way. And hundreds of people whose names we do not know will continue to die at the borders.”
MA /Adnan Bilen