Tag Archives: Edirne

A tale of rivers and borders

Eastern Thrace, near the Evros river - P.Martino

8th post. Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece. Three separate nations united by the Evros-Meriç-Maritsa, today the last door for the muhajirins attempting to land in Europe. Maybe Mussa Khan has already passed here, but more and more of his traveling companions are losing their lives in the dark meanders of the river

The coming of twilight blows out the metal chirping of the cicadas, leaving the dominion of the valley to the wind. Edirne, Eastern Thrace, ancient Adrianople. It is my last sunset in Turkey.

I observe the night taking turns with the day sitting at a rest stop on the E80 state road, which makes its way in Bulgarian land in less than a kilometer. To the West, the continuous line of leaves behind which the sun falls reveals a bend of the Evros River. Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria all at one glance.

A driver slows down. There is nothing around here that could attract a passer-by. He has white hair and wrinkles on his forehead. The man gets out of the car. Turkish music echoes from the radio. Without saying a word, he comes closer. I do not realize it until he is close enough for me to read his gaze: in that precise moment, in his eyes I see the same undefined look I had been given by the merchants of Izmir who had mistaken me for a migrant.

Pointing the finger at me, he utters words that dispel all doubts: “Afghanistan ? Pakistan? ”. I remain still, appalled. The man makes an effort to communicate, but he only speaks Turkish. Nervously, he keeps repeating “Jandarma, Jandarma” pointing at the river. I pretend not to understand, so he shouts louder: “Jandarma! ”. Then, suddenly, with his index finger he mimes an imaginary gun. He points it at my head: “Jandarma, boom! ”. Continue reading

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