J.’s testimonial

“Each person has their own way to experience and to bear the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea…
They put us in a covered pick-up truck, we were a lot and really squeezed together. Four hours later we arrived in a very dark place. They put us in an abandoned house without any water or food all day long until 7 pm. Then we walked 5 hours up and down in the Turkish hills. Finally, we arrived on the shoreline. They inflated the dinghy in front of us. We left close to midnight. 1.5 hours later the Turkish coastguards stopped us on the sea and they brought us back to Turkey. We were 29 people on board. When they released us we went back to Izmir. I didn’t have any strength anymore. The smugglers told me ‘you have to leave.’ Two days later we tried again. Same group, same way. Five hours of walking again. And again, we couldn’t reach Greece. The big boats came close to our rubber boat to make big waves and they were yelling at us to leave and go back to Turkey. This time we spent one week in the police station. The third time, we arrived in Greek waters and called the Greek Coastguard, that came to pick us up. But we had to throw away our personal belongings because the boat was filling up with water. There was complete disorder on board, no organisation. After we had called them for the first time, we still waited three hours until they came to pick us up.”