Children of asylum seekers hang on to hope

AFP Photo

Thousands of families seeking are stranded at the - border for the past 26 days in the hope of entering and the excruciating wait is taking its toll on .

Among other hard realities of everyday life, the children have to brave the gas canisters thrown at them by the Greek border forces. The cold weather coupled with sporadic rain, often makes it impossible for them to lie down for a rest as the tents often fill with rainwater.

All the day the children are seen roaming around the tents in the camp and try to invent games with whatever they find. The best playmates they have for now are security forces, police or government officials deputed at the camps on official duty.

Though there are some accouterments available for children to play with like swings and footballs, but, they are not enough, so many of these children loiter around the premises of the camp and play imaginary games to pass the difficult time.

But the anxiety and sense of apprehension in their innocent faces is unmistakable. They seem to be well aware of their families' plight.

Edirne Governorate, Immigration Authority, Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Authority (AFAD), Turkish Red Crescent and other civil society organizations provide the asylum seekers with food and basic needs. From time to time, they offer the children sweets to raise their spirits.

Turkey currently hosts some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, more than any other country in the world.

Meanwhile, due to incessant attacks on civilians in Idlib, , one million refugees moved toward Turkey's borders in the recent past.

Ankara says it cannot absorb another refugee wave.

Last month, it opened its borders to Europe for asylum seekers, accusing the EU of failing to keep its commitments of a 2016 refugee deal.

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