They fill their tomorrows, hopes, and dreams into a boat. Many of them board a boat for the first time, just as they see the sea for the first time. They are called “boat people.” The hopes of people from different nations are squeezed into a tin can.
Each of them sets sail for freedom from their dark countries where freedom is impossible, for a bright tomorrow. The boat people are immigrants from various nations. In these poorly equipped ships, which include women and children from Turkey, Syria, Africa, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, a human trafficking market takes place.
In addition to these boat people, there are people from different classes. While their compatriots lose their lives in the Aegean Sea for freedom, two Pakistanis also lost their lives in an accident in the Atlantic Ocean. Prince Davut and his 19-year-old son Süleyman Davut were two passengers on the submarine Titan, which dived to see the wreckage of the Titanic.
More than a century ago, in 1912, the Titanic, the world’s most luxurious ship at the time, sank into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg on its maiden voyage to New York.
Since the discovery of its wreck at a depth of 3,800 meters in 1985, the Titanic film, which broke box office records in 1997, made these remains popular. After the success of the film, the wreckage of the Titanic became a tourist attraction for wealthy tourists. Those with thick wallets who wanted to see the wreckage up close and take a snapshot queued up. However, this attraction also posed great danger.
However, they could only build a high-tech submarine capable of withstanding the immense pressure at the ocean floor for this tourist trip. This adventure, which can only be experienced once in a lifetime, was not only expensive but also inherently dangerous. Only people belonging to a certain class became privileged to benefit from this by paying $250,000 per person. For this, you needed specialized knowledge of navigation, technical expertise, and a significant amount of accumulated wealth.
Prince Davut and his son went to Canada from London for a month. Businessman father Davut had made a reservation to board the Titan submarine with his son Süleyman during the week of Father’s Day, driven by his passion for exploration that had lasted for years.
The planned dive to a depth of 3,800 meters began on the morning of June 18, 2023, and was expected to last eight hours. Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes after descending into the depths of the ocean, Titan lost its connection with the surface ship Polar Prince. Search and rescue teams requested naval and air support from the United States, Canada, and France.
On June 22, 2023, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that those on board the Titan had lost their lives due to an explosion caused by a loss of pressure. The passengers in the submarine, including Davut and his son, Hamish Harding, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate, had died.
The whole world became aware of the developments regarding the Titan submarine and the five people inside. The subject created a wide echo in the global media.
After the news about the Titan started appearing in the world media, the tragic accident off the coast of Greece was forgotten. At least 78 people lost their lives, and hundreds of people went missing in a boat accident near Greece. However, many people, especially on social media, reacted by saying that this incident did not receive the same attention. The question “Where did humanity die?” emerged in posts questioning the value given to human life.
Only four days before the tragic end of the Titan, at least 78 people had lost their lives and hundreds had gone missing in a boat accident off the coast of Greece. However, nobody paid attention to this incident after the news about the Titan started appearing in the world media. More than 200 Pakistanis lost their lives in this tragic accident while crossing to Europe in search of a new hope. However, these people were not as fortunate as the Davut family. Nobody could learn their names. It was written that the $250,000 paid for one person on the Titan could have fed these 200 Pakistanis in their own country for a year.
Mourning was declared in their home country for the nameless Pakistanis who lost their lives on migrant ships off the coast of Greece. Flags were lowered to half-mast. However, this mourning was not enough to remind everyone that the very flag and the empty policies it represented were the root cause that pushed these unfortunate migrants to flee.
The period when brain drain was most intense in Pakistan was between 1970 and 2000. Not only Pakistan but also Turkey experienced its largest brain drain after 2016. The doors to safe havens were constantly being opened with different methods for hope and profit.
Pakistan hosted the largest migration in history in 1947 for freedom from India. Turkey also opened its doors to more than 6 million people, mostly from the Balkans, after the Republic was established.
Now, like tens of thousands of people, I left my own country. Because neither Pakistan nor Turkey seemed like safe havens to us, millions of people left their countries behind.
In the 1970s, the migration wave to Europe was facilitated by the state free of charge, but now human smugglers who put people’s lives at risk for an unknown future have taken over. The deadliest accident occurred in April 2015 when a ship trying to reach Italy capsized off the coast of Libya, resulting in an estimated 1,100 deaths.
The days-long anxious search for the Titan ended as a result of costly searches by the U.S., Canadian, British, and French navies.
I wish the “boat people” of the third world in death boats could have seen half of this interest so that we would know where humanity died.
*Yuksel Durgut is a journalist and columnist at TR724. com