‘You Don’t Want To Get Stuck In Turkey’ from Paul Webster on Vimeo.
By Mark O’Brien
Two Irish filmmakers have just returned from the island of Lesbos in Greece where they spoke to a number of refugees who are facing deportation to Turkey because of the new deal that has been struck with the EU.
Conor Maguire and Paul Webster launched a gofundme campaign
so that they could travel to Lesbos to document the greatest migration of people since World War II.
They arrived at the same time as the European Union agreed a controversial deal with Turkey that is intended to stem the flow of illegal migrants into the EU.
Under the terms of the agreement, Turkey will take back all migrants and refugees, including Syrians, who enter Greece illegally.
In return, the EU have agree to take in Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and reward the country with money, early visa-free travel and faster progress in EU membership talks.
However this new deal means that migrants from other countries, such as the men from Pakistan interviewed in the above video, will become stranded in Turkey – a country with a questionable human rights record.
The men will be stuck in Turkey because they do not have the required paperwork to re-enter Pakistan.
However, these men have no desire to return to Pakistan. In the video, one man, whose house was destroyed in the Kashmir earthquake of 2005 describes the situation in his homeland:
My house is completely damaged. My mother is dead, my sister is dead. There are no medical facilities, no educational facilities, no infrastructure, no cities and life is not very easy.
Amnesty International has strongly criticised the new European deal with Turkey, calling it a “historic blow to human rights”, adding that:
Turkey is not a safe country for refugees and migrants, and any return process predicated on it being so will be flawed, illegal and immoral.
Mr Webster and Mr Maguire expect to release the full version of the documentary online later in the year and it is hoped it will feature in movie festivals.