30/03: Around 35 travellers stuck at the land border between Turkey and Greece, found on the Turkish side

31.03.2018 / 17:39 / Aegean Sea

Watch The Med Alarm Phone Investigations – 30th of March 2018

Case name: 2018_03_30-AEG358
Situation: 30-35 travellers stuck at the Turkish-Greek land border, rescued by Turkish military.
Status of WTM Investigation: Concluded
Place of Incident: Aegean Sea

Summary of the Case: On Friday the 30th of March, at 8.55pm, the Alarm Phone shift team was alerted by a contact person to a group of between 30-35 travellers, with many children amongst them, stuck at the land border between Turkey and Greece, close to the Maritsa/ Evros River. We were not able to establish direct contact to the travellers, but at 9.37pm we called the international emergency service (112) who took our information, and told us that they would alert the Turkish emergency service to the distress of the travellers. Furthermore we sent an email to UNHCR in Turkey to inform them about the situation. At 11.51pm we reached the local Turkish police and passed on the information to them. They said that they would inform the military, who would be in charge of the search and rescue operation. When we later called the military at 01.25am, they told us that they could not carry out the operation in the dark, and that it would have to wait to the following morning at dawn. Throughout the night we stayed in contact with the travellers, who were stuck in the cold, without blankets, food or drinking water.
The following day we neither we, nor the contact person were able to reach the travellers anymore. Only at 9.35pm did we get a confirmation from the Turkish military, that the travellers had been found. We were not able to get a final confirmation from the travellers themselves.
Credibility: UP DOWN 0
Layers »
  • Border police patrols
    While the exact location of patrols is of course constantly changing, this line indicates the approximate boundary routinely patrolled by border guards’ naval assets. In the open sea, it usually correspond to the outer extent of the contiguous zone, the area in which “State may exercise the control necessary to prevent infringement of its customs, fiscal, immigration or sanitary laws” (UNCLOS, art. 33). Data source: interviews with border police officials.
  • Coastal radars
    Approximate radar beam range covered by coastal radars operating in the frame of national marine traffic monitoring systems. The actual beam depends from several different parameters (including the type of object to be detected). Data source: Finmeccanica.
  • Exclusive Economic Zone
    Maritime area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea in which the coastal state exercises sovereign rights for the purposes of exploring and exploiting, conserving and managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, the seabed and its subsoil and the superjacent waters. Its breadth is 200 nautical miles from the straight baselines from which the territorial sea is measured (UNCLOS, Arts. 55, 56 and 57). Data source: Juan Luis Suárez de Vivero, Atlas of the European Seas and Oceans
  • Frontex operations
    Frontex has, in the past few years, carried out several sea operations at the maritime borders of the EU. The blue shapes indicate the approximate extend of these operations. Data source: Migreurop Altas.
  • Mobile phone coverage
    Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network coverage. Data source: Collins Mobile Coverage.
  • Oil and gas platforms
    Oil and gas platforms in the Mediterranean. Data source:
  • Search and Rescue Zone
    An area of defined dimensions within which a given state is has the responsibility to co-ordinate Search and Rescue operations, i.e. the search for, and provision of aid to, persons, ships or other craft which are, or are feared to be, in distress or imminent danger. Data source: IMO availability of search and rescue (SAR) services - SAR.8/Circ.3, 17 June 2011.
  • Territorial Waters
    A belt of sea (usually extending up to 12 nautical miles) upon which the sovereignty of a coastal State extends (UNCLOS, Art. 2). Data source: Juan Luis Suárez de Vivero, Atlas of the European Seas and Oceans

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