Flowing from Bulgaria to the Aegean Sea the River Evros forms a natural border between Greece and Turkey. The river is sprinkled with small islands formed when the waters recede after floods. During the summertime the larger islands are visible from Kastanies in northern Greece and Edirne in northwestern Turkey. At this time of year the water separating these cities is just one or two metres deep. At night the shallow waters and islands provide a lifeline for the irregular migrants and asylum seekers using the river as a passage into Europe.
Despite the river’s relative calm, many drown attempting to cross. This summer Edak, a Turkish volunteer search and rescue group based in Edirne, retrieved dead bodies at a rate of one or two a day; mostly refugees.
The danger posed by the Evros has always represented a barrier to those seeking asylum in the EU. But this year…
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