13th July 2015
I went to Karatepe twice today. Which means I basically spent my day there. I am very tired now.
But how can you explain a place like that?
Firstly it is the place the port police sends all (? we are not completely sure. again: chaos.) refugees to after they arrived.
Ironically it is set on an old bike driving school. (but of course the area is a lot bigger and people spread all around it. it just wasn´t enough space.) the abandoned traffic signs give an almost theatrical athmosphere. There is something very scary and out of place to it.
When it was built the port police brought some military tents, big white tents. But then there came a lot more people than expected. Some tents were given by an organization. But most of the other tents were bought by the refugees´ theirselves. Can you believe that?!
When I first saw it at my first day on 9th July, it was – in a way – a lot worse than today. It was crowded and people were desperate, extremely stressed and nervous. There was more than 2,000 people there back on thursday. It got worsened by exhausted and aggressive policemen trying to get a chaotic registration process done in front of the camp.
The only thing that changed is that the principles of the island have decided to decrease the number of refugees to 500. And that´s what happened during the weekend. when i came today i was almost shocked by the emptiness of the camp.
but keep in mind that 1,500 people don´t just disappear. people i know (and i believe so, too) think that they have been sent to Moria. The next “station” for most people of the island (syrians get different treatment, we tend to call it “fast track” they can leave the island without giving fingerprints). Moria is said to have been already full before they did so. It is not supposed to be a detention camp but because no one is allowed to go inside and people cannot get out it is pretty much exactly that. for those reasons it is hard to find out about the 1,300 (or something like that, the situation is messy) that had been taken there. I will give more specific information about that. I have been kind of in front of Moria on 10th July. Back then there was already a camp in front of the camp of people waiting to get inside. It was horrible! It was much like Karatepe. I will write about it more another day.
I filmed some bits of the area and took some pictures. But they will never catch the desperation, the dirt and the sickness of the people in that place. Many people have problems with their stomachs or fever. Pretty much everyone seems to have a cold. Most people lost all they had while they were in the boats.
There are snakes and rats. But the snakes are the bigger problem. They do bite and people have to be sent to the hospital. there are two ambulances on the island. and of course the ambulances do not like to come to a place where almost everyone is in desperate need of a doctor so it may very well happen that they do not come at all. (this is not what I assume, this is what does happen!)
CLICK HERE to see the toilets of Karatepe to get a rough idea of what I am speaking about. These were the women´s toilets. The first time I came it was up to 2,000 people and those were the only facilities they had.
walking on the ground of Karatepe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TXASMBGM0E&feature=youtu.be
I took pictures of smiling afghan boys. smiling and happy because they finally got their papers to leave to athens. finally leaving Karatepe. finally.
Sorry, no German today. Too tired.