Following the path of a stolen passport

An eye opening story from Buzzfeed News on how the wars in Syria and elsewhere have effected Turkey, and even unsuspecting tourists that get their passports stolen.

Neher had been surprised at how little of all this he saw. Istanbul buzzed with its regular charm, the captivating city that welcomes around 10 million tourists annually. Yet the moment he lost his passport he was drawn into the conflict — or the passport version of him was, at least.

From the thief who stole it, the passport traveled into an underworld, fueled by Syria’s war, that pulses beneath the city most tourists and residents see.

In this world — one of smugglers, criminals, refugees, and spies — stolen passports are a valuable commodity. Syrians die by the crowded boatload trying to reach Europe’s shores, but a Western passport offers a chance at salvation far removed from the dehumanizing journey by sea. With a passport like Neher’s in hand, a Syrian whose own identity has been shattered in the conflict can take on a new one, for a few hours, and board a plane. Though the scheme doesn’t always work, the hope that it will can fetch a steep price.

This is one of the more enlightening, and sad, things I’ve read in a long time.

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