From 2008-2012, large numbers of migrants crossed between Turkey and Greece via the so-called Eastern Mediterranean route, border management agency Frontex reports.
In response, Greece bolstered border controls with an additional 1,800 police officers.
However, Frontex suggests that the area remains problematic, and points to “uncertainties related to the sustainability of [Greek] efforts, and evidence that migrants are waiting in Turkey for the end of the operation”.
– BBC News
The BBC recently attempted to map the paths of migrants and asylum seekers into Europe from Asia and Africa. While some of these pathways see huge but temporary spikes, the “East Mediterranean Route” (that is, migrants crossing the border from Turkey into Greece – by land and sea) has been on the rise since 2005. Almost 60,000 migrants were detected traveling this route in 2011. And these are just the detected migrants!
Here’s a helpful BBC-produced map of some of these main routes (click to enlarge).
Please pray for this European crisis (hundreds – possibly thousands – die making this journey each year). Pray for the situations (war, poverty, hunger, oppression) in countries that are causing people to flee. And please pray for Helping Hands (Athens) and others trying to help refugees and migrants around the Mediterranean: Rome, Turkey, Malta, and many more (here, and here, and here!).