Rebecca Harms / Flickr (CC by-sa 2.0)
Report

Erdogan's new Kurdistan

For months already, heavy fighting wreak havoc in the Kurdish cities of Turkey, without any sign of appeasement, on the contrary. Yet, the Turkish government and the politicians of the governing AKP are already planning how to redraw the southeast thoroughly once the guns silenced. For the ravages of war offers the government an opportunity to rede ...
© Toon Lambrechts
Report

Behind the barricades in Nusaybin

Nusaybin is likely to be the next battlefield in the struggle between the Turkish army and Kurdish militants. In the border town, plenty of digging to erect new barricades is going on in the neighbourhoods that have declared themselves autonomous. Because with the beginning of military operations in the neighbouring town of Idil, a confrontation&nb ...
© Toon Lambrechts
Report

‘The old heart of Kurdistan is bleeding to death’

Since August last year, the violence in the Kurdish region of southeastern Turkey flared up again. Kurdish youth affiliated with the PKK engaged in battle with the state police and army. The fights struck Sur, the historic centre of Diyarbakir, under siege since December.
Daniel Horacio Agostini (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Report

‘Human traffickers never keep their word’

It took the Surian refugee Omar not less than even months and almost 7000 euros to travel from Turkey to Austria. In a coffee shop in the Austrian city of Linz, MO* listened to his shocking testimony.
Report

'Welcome to Hungary (But not wholeheartedly)’

Finally, Europe. But forget about a warm welcome. Hungary is notorious for its harsh treatment of refugees and an inhospitable political climate. The problem is, once arrested at the border, a refugee is obliged to ask for asylum and give his fingerprint. This cripples their chances of being recognised as refugees elsewhere seriously.
Laura Balcells (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Report

Why some refugees do return to the hell of their homeland

Nazim is not heading to some promised land in Western Europe. He returns, broken by misfortune and disappointment. He will literally get back on his steps from Germany to Syria. His story reads like a list of all the things that can go wrong on the way to Europe.
© Toon Lambrechts
Report

‘Do you know the way to Hungary?’

Unlike neighbouring Macedonia, Serbia seems to opt for a more humane approach to the flow of refugees crossing the country. Serbia has something like a working asylum system, partly built on the legacy of the reception of Serb refugees from Bosnia, Kosovo and Croatia. But the country remains only a stop-over on the way up north.
© Kohavision
Report

‘I saw on TV how everyone was leaving Kosovo, so I went myself’

Only recently the Balkans became a transit route, but migration is certainly not new to the region. For the last two decades, the Balkans were important countries of origin. Still, last year tens of thousands of Kosovars left  their country in a time span of only few months. This migration wave stopped as suddenly as is has begun, and the reas ...
© Toon Lambrechts
Report

Bulgaria: Exquisite back door to the Balkan

Bulgaria does not exactly correspond to the image of a new life in Europe that refugees carry with them. But the country shares a border with Turkey, and is therefore an excellent loophole to avoid Greece on the way to Europe. The last two years the influx of refugees has tenfolded, an increase Bulgaria was not prepared for..
© Toon Lambrechts
Report

MO*reporter undercover in human trafficking in Macedonia

Macedonia is the link in the Balkan route which frightens migrants the most. The two hundred kilometres from the Greek border to Serbia are regarded as the most difficult. The migration routes through the country are almost completely controlled by criminal groups, while the government looks the other way. The biggest victims are the refugees, left ...
© Vasilis Tsartsanis
Report

Greece: The starting line

The harsh stand on migration of the two previous governments in Greece and the festering economical crisis causes many migrants who have been living in the country for years to leave Greece behind. At the same time, Greece is a stop-over for mainly Syrian and Iraqi refugees on their way to Western Europe. And so, the small village of Idomeni became ...
© Toon Lambrechts
Analysis

‘Europe, still one country ahead’

When it comes to migration, all the eyes have been on the Mediterranean recently. The sheer scope of the human tragedies off the European coasts and the indifference of our continent are hard to grasp. But the sea isn't the only gateway to Europe. Thousands of people are making their way up north by land, across the Western Balkan.