An Afghan refugee's journey from bitcoiner to fugitive

Muhammad Ali dreamt of building a cryptocurrency business.

He posted videos on YouTube like this one, with tips on how to make money online.

Then the Taliban swept through his home country Afghanistan, and forced him on a daunting journey through Iran and Turkey.

"I was deciding to have a mining, a bitcoin mining or ethereum mining (business). I was planning like that. I was planning a big business there, in Kabul. But the situation has suddenly changed. Therefore, I decided to leave Afghanistan and Taliban took over all Afghanistan and Kabul.”

Ali is now sheltering in a drainage tunnel outside Turkey’s Tatvan district with around 50 others.

The Taliban victory in Afghanistan has raised concerns in Turkey about a new influx of refugees.

The country is a staging post for many migrants trying to reach Europe and is already home to nearly 4 million Syrians.

Mehmet Karakas is a retired shopkeeper in Van.

"I don't think that the government has taken enough measures against this migration. If they take really strict measures, we wouldn't have this much migration. With the flow of this migration, people no longer have peace. There is a rise in theft and unemployment."

Turkey has ramped up security on its border with Iran - but some Afghans are still getting through.

Many of the migrants trek for weeks to reach Turkey.

30-year-old Wais Muhammad Shehrzad said he left Afghanistan a month ago, paid traffickers $1,000, and walked for up to 50 hours at a time.

Ali said he just wanted peace:

“This is my request to Turkey government. Please don't beat us. We are not terrorists. We are not terrorists in your country. We will not fight your civilians. We will never do theft here. We will never rob (people) here. We are Muslims, like you, and we want peace."

A day after he spoke to Reuters, Ali sent a text message saying "We are arrested by police."

Turkish police have detained thousands of Afghan migrants in recent weeks.

There are an estimated 300,000 in the country.

Many were sent to a repatriation center in Van.

Afghans are currently not being sent back to their country because of the turmoil there.

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