No country for migrant stowaways caught on ferry between Ukraine, Turkey
Twelve migrants, apparently from North Africa, have been sailing to and fro on a Danish passenger ferry between Istanbul and Odesa for the last seven weeks locked in four cabins, with no country willing to take them, according to Reuters.
The Danish DFDS ferry operator says, Turkey and Ukraine both refuse to accept the men, who have been violent and threatening suicide, Yahoo News reported citing Reuters.
"There has been a tendency to violence and aggressions and they have threatened to jump overboard... so there is no alternative to locking them inside the cabins," a DFDS spokesman told Reuters on Thursday.
DFDS has hired Turkish guards and invited authorities from the United Nations aboard to question the men of which they believe at least six are Moroccans and four Algerian. The origin of the remaining two is still unknown,
"The problem can be solved. All it takes is a quick decision from Ankara or Kyiv," a source in the Danish Foreign Ministry with knowledge of the negotiations told Reuters.
A spokesman for the Ukrainian border guard service said the men wanted to go from Turkey to Romania but got on the wrong ferry and ended up in Ukraine, where they cannot be taken in because they have no travel documents on them.
"The problem is that Turkey doesn't want to take them, but Turkey should take them because they sailed from Turkey," he said, adding that in accordance with the bilateral agreement, the country that delivered these people should take them back.
"That's why they've been cruising about on that ferry," he said.
A Turkish foreign ministry official said the case was being followed "with all related institutions".
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According to the ferry operator, the best solution would be if Ukraine or Turkey agreed to take the migrants, or to get final confirmation as to where the men are from, so they can be sent back to these countries.
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