Turkish police are taking bribes of just £8 to allow refugees access to Europe – despite its government raking in £2.5 BILLION to stop the migrants.
Syrians, Afghanis and Iraqi nationals have all told media they paid backhanders to corrupt officers so they can cross the Aegean, despite the controversial deal between Ankara and the European Union.
EU officials last month agreed to give billions to Turkey for it to keep Middle East refugees. It also gives Turkey’s hopes of inclusion in the Schengen zone a huge boost.
But media reveal problems within the police runs so deep officers turn a blind eye for just a few pounds, making the deal pointless.
Mohammed Miresh, who is travelling to Europe with his wife and sons from Syria, said: “There is so much corruption in the police in Turkey. They catch you and you give them money and you can go.
“The guards in the sea, if they want to catch you they will send you back. But if you give them money you can go on.
“We hear about the corruption in Turkey, so it was not a surprise to us.”
Those who had made the journey said the price they have to pay depends on the officer stopping them, but it is often as little as 10 Euros.
Shockingly, families stuck in a refugee camp in Presevo, Serbia, close to the Macedonian border revealed they have even seen the smugglers in close contact the police.
Mohib Njar from Syria said: “The big guy for the smugglers, the Turkish one who is running things, he turned up to meet them with us and he came in a police car.
“If the smugglers get caught they can give them the money and then they leave them alone.
“I think the police and the smugglers are working together because they see what is happens and they don’t even react.”
Ahmad Dahik, 25, who came from Hamas in Syria, also thought they were working together.
He said: “Police and traffickers are like close friends. They make a business together.
“You can pay them to pass. It just depends what they ask – 10, 20, 100 euros, it depends.”
Another, Syrian man Ahmed Darozi, 20, said: “The smugglers are everywhere, they are so easy to find. They want to find you.
“The police don’t stop them. They know what they are doing and they don’t care.”
The shocking allegations come as even David Cameron admitted the heavily criticised EU deal with Turkey was “imperfect”.
Under the agreement Turkey would be given free access to Europe, allowing its 77 million citizens to eventually come to the UK. Under the terms any migrant found to arrive in Greece from Turkey by boat can be sent back.
Migrants who make it to Turkey, however, are determined to leave.
Mr Miresh said he and his family may have stayed in Turkey but there are no opportunities.
He said: “In Turkey we tried hard and my son was working, carrying 50 or 60 kilos of stuff
around, for a farm but he was barely getting any money.
“He’s so young. I want him to go to school.”
Deportations from the Greek village of Idomeni to Turkey are expected to start this week but migrants in the Serbian camps said the refugees would not stop coming until they reach their desired destinations in Western Europe,