“Trapped on a Greek island”

ClientYannis Kolesidis
PhotographerYannis Kolesidis
PrizeSilver in Press / Feature Story
Entry Description

What has been happening on the island of Kos, in the eastern Aegean, has no precedent. Every night, at least 5 to 7 boats loaded with Syrian and Afghan migrants start their journey from Turkey’s Bodrum, and head to the Greek island of Kos. Dozens of migrants piled into boats which barely remain afloat and are equipped mostly with small engines or even with oars approach the island. Some of them will be detected by the Coast Guard, while the rest can be seen with a naked eye as dots in the horizon. Almost all migrants arriving on the island of Kos are hosted in an old abandoned hotel without electricity and without appropriate hygienic conditions for about 15 days, which is the required time for their documents to be issued that will allow them to continue their journey to Athens and then from FYROM to a northern European state. The living conditions are extremely hard and as there is not enough space and beds for everyone. Migrants are forced to sleep on the floor and in makeshift tents.Those of them who have some money stay in rooms, but as they say the prices are high, since they need to pay about 15 euros per day. This amount quickly multiplies considering these people are trapped for at least two weeks on the island, until they receive their documents. According to the Greek coast guard, the number of undocumented migrants entering Greece by sea reached 10,445 people in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 2,863 people for the same period last year.