Europe

Serbia: Turkish policeman saves migrants from freezing

Turkish police teams serve in Serbia border crossing as part of project agreed in 2019

Aykut Karadag and Sertac Bulur   | 20.01.2021
Serbia: Turkish policeman saves migrants from freezing

ANKARA 

Thanks to the attention of a Turkish police officer on duty in Serbia, four irregular migrants who were about to freeze under the trailer of an 18-wheeler have been saved.

As part of a project between Turkey and Serbia, the Turkish police in Serbia’s land border crossings serve both to facilitate the process of expatriates and to prevent irregular migration and travels with fake documents.

According to the information obtained by Anadolu Agency, the Turkish police officer working at the Batrovci Border Crossing noticed the illegal migrants who were planning to cross the border gates by holding on to the bars at the bottom of trailers of two 18-wheelers belonging to a private Turkish company that will cross to Croatia.​​​​​​​

The migrants, including two Moroccan and two Somali nationals, were saved before freezing to death. They were referred to the Serbian police after receiving first aid.

Drivers of the trucks were let to pass without a fine.

In February 2019, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and then-Serbian counterpart Nebojsa Stefanovic agreed on a project called Road to Home (Sila Yolu) to deploy Turkish police to border crossings in Serbia where Turkish citizens use intensely.

As part of the project, a total of 321,435 problems of Turkish citizens were resolved in 2019, while the number was 421,556 in 2020.

Turkish police, working with the Serbian police, intervened in illegal crossings of 175 irregular migrants in or under truck trailers in 2020. The attention of the teams led to the capture of 10 irregular migrants since the beginning of this year.

*Writing by Sena Guler

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