“Money Flows with Refugees, and Life Jackets Fill Shops,” by Ben Hubbard for the New York Times:
For months, Ahmed Abdul-Hamid, a Palestinian from the Syrian city of Aleppo, tried and failed to cross the sea to start a new life in Europe. The Turkish police detained him. Smugglers tricked him. Once, his boat stalled and he had to swim back to shore, leaving him stranded and broke.
But his fortunes changed this summer when a Turkish smuggler hired him to recruit passengers from among the refugees and migrants flooding into this port city. Soon, his phone was ringing nonstop with people trying to get to Europe, and the cash was pouring in for him — as much as $4,000 per day.
“Some weeks I get nothing,” Mr. Abdul-Hamid, 21, said. “Other times, I’m so busy I can’t keep up.”…