Refugees and migrants flows increase again: 566 new arrivals in last five days

via Keep talking Greece – More migrants and refugees crossed to Turkey: In last five days, a total of 566 people arrived to the Greek islands on boat coming from Turkey. Most of them arrived on the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos. It is unclear whether the flow increase is due to fair weather conditions or whether Ankara started to make its threats come true. Continue reading Refugees and migrants flows increase again: 566 new arrivals in last five days

More refugee reach Greek islands through Aegean

Deutschlandfunk (Link in German) – More refugees than usual arrived on the islands in the Eastern Aegean during the last two days.

According to authorities in charge 360 people crossed from the Turkish mainland to the Greek islands. Lately, an average of 35 people per day crossed the Aegean. The Greek coast guards explain the rise of arrivals with better weather conditions. The Turkish government repeatedly threatened the EU with the resignation of the migration agreement. Continue reading More refugee reach Greek islands through Aegean

Bulgaria says ready to protect border with Turkey

Yahoo – Bulgaria said Saturday it was ready to boost patrols and finish a fence along its southeastern frontier with Turkey in an effort to hold off any new influx of migrants. The pledge comes as Turkey is in separate rows with Bulgaria and the EU, raising worries Ankara could allow a rush of asylum seekers across the border.

HarekAct Statement: One year after the EU-Turkey Deal

Today is the first anniversary of the signature of the EU-Turkey statement, commonly known as the EU-Turkey Deal, which aimed at stopping the arrival of asylum seekers and migrants in the EU. It was signed on 18th March 2016 as an answer to the “long summer of migration”1 in 2015, when thousands of people made use of their human right to freedom of movement and crossed from Turkey to Greece in order to continue further into Europe. The deal aims at reducing the number of migrants and refugees reaching Europe in return for certain promises to Turkey: visa-free travel for Turkish citizens, financial aid for the reception of deported migrants and accelerated EU membership talks. Continue reading HarekAct Statement: One year after the EU-Turkey Deal

The EU – Turkey Deal One Year On: The Rise of Walls of Shame

ECRE op-ed by Cavidan Soykan on year after the EU-Turkey Deal. She is a member of Mülteci-Der and an independent researcher working on the Turkish asylum system

This week marks the anniversary of the controversial EU–Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016. The Statement placed responsibility for halting irregular crossings and deaths in the Aegean Sea in the hands of two countries: Greece and Turkey.

The Statement is a prime example of externalization policy, an attempt to harden the borders of the EU against unwanted migration through readmission agreements and prevention of access to asylum in Europe. However, the fear generated in Greece and Turkey that their territory would become a buffer zone for asylum seekers and refugees who failed to reach other European countries has led them to imitate the same restrictive strategies. Continue reading The EU – Turkey Deal One Year On: The Rise of Walls of Shame

Report: EU-Turkey deal makes seeking refuge in Europe “mission impossible” for most vulnerable

Oxfam -In a new report “The reality of the EU-Turkey statement: How Greece has become a testing ground for policies that erode protection for refugees”the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and Oxfam showcase how vulnerable people are forced to live in degrading conditions, and it outlines the many ways in which asylum seekers are barred from exercising their right to a fair asylum process.

The EU-Turkey deal has turned Greece into a testing ground for European Union policies that are eroding the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, and expose people to risk and abuse, the three organizations said today. The humanitarian agencies warned the deal is causing human suffering and should under no circumstances be replicated with other countries. Continue reading Report: EU-Turkey deal makes seeking refuge in Europe “mission impossible” for most vulnerable

Erdogan threatens to scrap EU-Turkey migrant deal

BBC – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to tear up a key migrant deal with the European Union. He said the EU could “forget about” Turkey re-admitting failed asylum seekers who had reached Europe via Turkey, a key part of the agreement.

Mr Erdogan also said the EU’s top court was leading a “crusade” against Islam. His comments are the latest in a widening, increasingly acrimonious dispute with EU governments and institutions.

Read the full article here

Turkey having second thoughts about the Deal

Are you Syrious – Turkey has partially suspended the refugee agreement with the EU. At present, no refugees are withdrawn from the Greek islands, said the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu today. The main reason for this, according to him, is the lack of visa-free travel for the Turks in the EU, interpreting that as the Union’s not respecting of their side of the deal. There are a lot of doubts about these potential “threats” from the Turkish side.

According to the latest official statistics, 110 people have been returned to Turkey from the Aegean islands in 2017. In spite of the decision for Turkey to “ re-evaluate” the land-passage aspects of the EU- Turkey deal, he also said that Turkey would not reopen its Aegean border.

Turkey to put readmission of refugees on hold

Zeit Online (link in German) – Turkey is partly putting the refugee agreement with the EU  on hold. On Wednesday, Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said towards the TV-channel 24TV that no refugees are being admitted back from the Greek islands at the moment. At the same time, he threatened with a complete revocation of the deal. The Turkish government could end the agreement at any time, he said adding that ‘from now on, we could say that we will not put the deal into practice and it’s over.’

One year after the EU-Turkey deal: New MSF report

Médecins Sans Frontières – One year after the EU-Turkey Deal, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) released a report to expose the human costs of European policy failures in Greece and the Balkans. MSF calls on the EU and member state leaders to radically change their approach to migration and ensure a swift end to the unnecessary suffering of the thousands caught in the consequences of the EU-Turkey deal.

Continue reading One year after the EU-Turkey deal: New MSF report