Turkish human smuggler says ready to help refugees reach Greece

A Turkish human smuggler has said he is ready to help refugees and asylum seekers get to Greece via Turkey, Turkish news site T24 reported on Saturday. 

Mehmet S. said he expects heavy traffic at the Greek borders after Thursday’s airstrike in neighbouring Syria, which killed 36 Turkish soldiers, and is ready for the task, T24 said.

"I came here after hearing our president's announcements. Greece is not allowing entrance through its gates, so we came here,” Mehmet S. said.

Ankara on Thursday announced that it would no longer stop refugees from going to Europe after a deadly airstrike against the Turkish troops in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, the last rebel-held stronghold.

The cost of transfer is about 7,000-8,000 thousand euros, and he and his team keep 2,000-3,000 euros for their services, Mehmet said.

A boat can hold up to 45 people, and provides life jackets and spare fuel tanks. It takes 25 minutes to get to the Greek shores, after which the boat does not return, he said. 

"We expect transitions in the evening hours, provided the sea is calm. We consider this work a matter of the heart. We fulfil our duty until the last person is taken care of," he said.