Dawn breaks across the Orontes river, a natural border separating Syria and Turkey, and already dozens of Syrian refugees congregate along the riverbank, eagerly waiting to cross into Turkey. Women, children, and men, young and old, have traveled for days on end through war-torn areas and cities under constant bombardment to reach this crossing point. A single rope, spanning the breadth of the river, is all there is to help pull each of them across on a makeshift floating device. One by one, families load themselves and the few belongings they can carry onto variously styled rafts, and tediously drawn across the river to Turkey. The window of opportunity to cross the border is slim, as the Turkish military will quickly arrive to stop the crossings.
Once across, individuals, families, and goods are loaded into smuggler’s trucks and brought deeper into Turkey. These refugees don't know what life has in store for them, or their children in this new country, but they cling to the hope that whatever the future holds, it surely must be better than living a life under endless shelling.
Crossing the Syrian Border-A Smuggler & His Son
Copyright 2018. Kyle Merrit Ludowitz - Photojournalist. All Rights Reserved.