Nearly 700,000 illegal migrants were apprehended in Turkey within the period 1995-2007 while the number of apprehended human smugglers in the same period was 1,242.

Migrant Deaths Highlights Problem with Illegal Immigration in Turkey, Greece

700,000 people tried to cross through Turkey in the course of 12 years. I think it is time we stop enabling the current framework in the European Union that addresses all cases of undocumented migration as “asylum seekers” or “refugees”. This is not merely the result of political and or war related struggles. This is also inherently connected to poverty, the rule of corporations, centuries of colonial interventions and the depletion of resources, the imposition of institutions like the World Bank and the IMF and the economic measures that only bring poverty and decimate communities.

The EU presents the issue in an hegemonic manner (i.e. everyone trying to reach the continent is a “refugee” or an “asylum seeker”), avoiding to address this situation for what it is: a humanitarian catastrophe borne out of centuries of exploitation by the very same structures of power that now criminalize these people.

Every undocumented migrant is a political immigrant. Just because the EU refuses to acknowledge it doesn’t make it less so.

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