NEWS

Refugee Crisis: Child Hands Flower To Turkish Riot Police Officer In Symbolic Gesture Of Hope

21/09/2015 16:01 | Updated 21 September 2015

As millions of refugees escaping from war-torn countries are displaced across the globe, small signs of hope can still be found.

One little girl has been caught in one of these moments - in a powerful photograph - offering a singular flower to an officer in a wall of heavily armoured Turkish police.

The unknown child, caught at Istanbul's Esenler Bus Terminal, is symbolic at a time where more than half of those fleeing as refugees are children.

migrant flower

A small child hands out a flower to riot police in Istanbul

Riot police at the scene were blocking the access to the road and the ticket office for the Turkey-Greece border towns when the photo was taken on September 15.

Scenes in Turkey's capital are still tense as the police have continued to block hundreds of refugees, mostly Syrians, trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey outside Istanbul.

The group has been stuck for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station.

Because of this halt, a group of refugees started to march towards the north-western city of Edirne, which is 150 miles away.

The destination of Edirne is just six miles from the Greek border and 12 miles from the Bulgarian frontier and because of this it has become the new crosspoint for desperate migrants trying to reach Europe.

a migrant child

Another child gives flowers to an officer of the Turkish riot police, making him crack a smile in Istambul

Demands of free travel to Europe has been met with violence by riot police, who used batons to repel a group of people chanting "open the door" while trying to break through the lines, according to the IBT.

Despite their efforts Edirne's governor has warned that any refugee trying to smuggle their way into Europe will be returned to refugee camps in southern Turkey.

In 2014, the country hosting the largest number of refugees was Turkey, with 1.59 million refugees.

By the end of 2014, Syria had become the world’s top source country of refugees, overtaking Afghanistan, which had held this position for more than three decades.

Today, on average, almost one out of every four refugees is Syrian, with 95 per cent located in surrounding countries.

  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    A child cries in front of a police barricade after migrants were blocked by Turkish riot police while walking towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on footfor the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    Migrants and refugees face Turkish riot police officers after they were blocked while walking towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on footfor the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    A child cries in front of a police barricade after migrants were blocked by Turkish riot police while walking towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on footfor the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    Migrants and refugees try to push a police barricade after they were blocked by Turkish riot police while walking towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on footfor the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    Migrants and refugees walk towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on footfor the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    Migrants and refugees try to push a police barricade after they were blocked by Turkish riot police while walking towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on footfor the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    A man carrying a child on his shoulders walks towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on footfor the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Migrants, who were blocked at a bus station, walk down a highway towards Turkey’s western border with Greece and Bulgaria, early Monday morning, Sept. 21, 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey. Hundreds of migrants were stopped Friday by Turkish law enforcement on a highway near the city of Edirne, causing a massive traffic jam. (AP Photo/Omer Kuscu)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Migrants, who were blocked at a bus station, walk down a highway towards Turkey’s western border with Greece and Bulgaria, early morning in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. Hundreds of migrants were stopped Friday by Turkish law enforcement on a highway near the city of Edirne, causing a massive traffic jam.(AP Photo/Omer Kuscu)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Hundred of migrants, who were blocked at a bus station, walk down a highway towards Turkey’s western border with Greece and Bulgaria, early Monday morning, Sept. 21, 2015, in Istanbul, Turkey. Hundreds of migrants were stopped Friday by Turkish law enforcement on a highway near the city of Edirne, causing a massive traffic jam. (AP Photo/Omer Kuscu)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Migrants, who were blocked at a bus station, walk down a highway towards Turkey’s western border with Greece and Bulgaria, early morning in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. Hundreds of migrants were stopped Friday by Turkish law enforcement on a highway near the city of Edirne, causing a massive traffic jam.(AP Photo/Omer Kuscu)
  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Hundred of migrants, who were blocked at a bus station, walk down a highway towards Turkey’s western border with Greece and Bulgaria, early Monday morning, Sept. 21, 2015, in Istanbul, Turkey. Hundreds of migrants were stopped Friday by Turkish law enforcement on a highway near the city of Edirne, causing a massive traffic jam. (AP Photo/Omer Kuscu)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    Migrants and refugees try to push a police barricade after they were blocked by Turkish riot police while walking towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on footfor the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    A migrant rests in front of a police barricade after Turkish riot police blocked the road towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on footfor the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    A man and a child wait after Turkish riot police prevented migrants from walking towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on foot for the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    A migrant woman with her children wait inside a bus transporting migrants back to istanbul city center after Turkish riot police prevented them to walk towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on foot for the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    Migrants and refugees walk on a highway towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on footfor the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    A woman carrying a child react after Turkish riot police prevented migrants from walking towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on foot for the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)
  • OZAN KOSE via Getty Images
    Migrants and refugees walk on a highway towards Edirne on September 21, 2015 in Istanbul. A new march by migrants trying to reach Europe overland from Turkey was blocked by police outside Istanbul today. Around 700 mostly Syrian men, women and children from a group that had been blocked for the past week at Istanbul's main bus station set out overnight on footfor the northwestern city of Edirne, 250 kilometres (150 miles) away. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE (Photo credit should read OZAN KOSE/AFP/Getty Images)

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