From Cyprus into Turkey…
After I got onto land in Tasucu, the little Turkish town which I had left two weeks before, I met some Syrians and they helped me to get to the city of Mersin. There I began speaking to people about what I am doing and they helped me to get to Mersin port. By this time it was too late to speak to the port authorities, so I spoke to the guards and told them “I don’t have anywhere to go, so where is a good place that I can camp until I can speak to the authority of the port?” and they showed me a place and afterwards they kindly helped me with dinner, then I went and rested in my tent until the next day.
About 7am the police wanted me to clear the area. Without me knowing there had been a dispute between the port authority and the workers and every day the police were coming into the port area to defuse the tension between the two parties, and I was caught in the
middle. Some of the police officers were joking and telling me that if I am a man of peace I should go and sort out the dispute, and I told them I’d need to hear the story from the two parties and then I could give my opinion, but they didn’t get back to me and I didn’t want to interfere with the problem, I just left it for the men who are involved to sort it out.
Anyway, there were no ships going to Lebanon but there was a ship going to Egypt, so my mission was to convince the port authority to let me get onboard this ship. I started talking to people but unfortunately there was no way that anyone could get me on the ship that day. In the end I found a helpful Syrian who worked in an agency and was sending people to Egypt, I went to his office and spoke to the director of the agency and he very kindly promised to book me a ticket to Egypt on the boat which had just left, which would be back in three days. He also asked me to stay in the office overnight.
I thanked him very much and stayed in the office overnight and then the next day I went to the Mersin governor’s office. I explained that these kind Syrian people have helped me to book a ticket to Egypt and now all I need is a place to stay for few days until my ship is coming back and I go to Egypt. They told me I have to leave my details and they’ll get back to me, and then I may be able to make an appointment. I told them “I’m not here for months, just for a few days!”.
Next I went to the municipality office and told them what I am doing and they took me to the traffic police, who checked me out, asking questions and making sure what I say is true, and then they told me to set up my camp nearby. After a few hours another branch of the police arrived and told me I can’t stay there after all, so I have to pack everything up and go back to the port. I told the port authority that I am tired of setting up my camp and every time a different branch of police is coming and asking me to move, without talking to the other branch of police. I said “I need to stay here until my ship is coming back,” and so after some talking they asked me to stay in the port. Then I asked for food and water from the port resturant and they gave it to me, so all I had to do then was stay in the departure area and talk to all the different people who were coming and going.