Survivre entre deux rives

On February 28, 2020, when Turkish President Erdogan announced the opening of the borders to refugees, at least 13,000 people, according to the International Organization for Migration, flocked to the Greek border and found themselves, for example, in the buffer zone of Pazarkule. In Doyran, where the Evros River forms a natural border with Greece, the Turkish authorities organized the transfer of the refugees by requisitioning buses. As the Greek government announces the suspension of asylum applications for a month, the stranded refugees find themselves in huge, unsanitary camps. Lack of food, water and sanitation are their daily routine. On the island of Samos, 7,000 people live alongside the 6,000 inhabitants of the town of Vathy. In Mytilene, the main town on the island of Lesvos, 18,000 are crowded in Moria, the largest refugee camp in Europe. Over the months, these hot spots, quickly saturated, led to the formation of huge camps around official structures, close to towns. A trap for these women, men and children (40% of the population) which generates many cases of distress, both physical and psychological. The condition of the refugees is no longer tenable, especially as, among the local population, the reactions are explosive and reinforced by dozens of far-right members who have come to prevent the refugee boats from docking. A few months later, the Moria camp will go up in smoke in a fire. The Greek authorities responded by building a new pop-up camp and announcing the construction of new camps on several Greek islands.