All posts by harekact

Turkish asylum requests on the rise

Via Ekathimerini – An increasing number of Turkish nationals have been finding their way to Greece since the failed coup attempt in the neighboring country and the mass purges that followed. More specifically, 236 Turks requested political asylum in Greece from last July until February. According to official data from the Asylum Service seen by Kathimerini, the rising trend in the number of requests was already discernible by early 2016.

From the beginning of 2016 until the eve of the coup attempt in July, 51 Turks had requested asylum in Greece, while there were 43 requests in 2015 and 41 in 2014. In 2103, there were just 17 requests.

Five children among 11 Syrians killed as boat sinks off Turkey

Via LBC Europe – Five children were among 11 Syrians killed after their plastic boat sank off Turkey’s Aegean coast on Friday, the Dogan news agency said, the first such reported incident in months on an illegal migrant route meant to have been all but shut down.

Television footage showed rescue workers standing next to bodies washed up on a beach near the coastal town of Kusadasi. The boat, believed to have been carrying 22 Syrian migrants, had been heading for Greece. A baby in a critical condition was among the 11 people rescued alive, Dogan quoted district governor Muammer Aksoy as saying. He said 11 bodies had been recovered. Continue reading Five children among 11 Syrians killed as boat sinks off Turkey

Syrians in Turkey: The Human Smuggler and the Young Refugee

Via New York Times – Patrick Kingsley reports on the State of Emergency in Turkey and how people are dealing with hard times in a nation strained by war, terrorist insurgencies, a refugee crisis and a widening crackdown on dissent. This article is about two Syrians: a former smuggler and a child-labourer.

“After earning $800,000 in 2015 by sneaking migrants out of Turkey, a smuggler says he has left the guilt and complications of his business behind — mostly. And a Syrian refugee boy, homeless and out of school, must keep roaming the country to find farm work and help his family survive.”

Search and rescue operation for three refugees who allegedly tried to reach Chios swimming

Via Era-Aegean (Translated from Greek) – On Monday evening, the Greek coast guards were engaged in an operation to search and rescue three refugees who allegedly tried to swim from the Turkish shores to the island of Chios. The rescue operation took place close to the island Paspargos and Karfas. A helicopter was involved but the rescue operation remained without success. The three people could not be found.

The Greek authorities informed the Turkish Coast Guards regarding the three refugees, so that the latter proceeds to similar operations in the Turkish territorial waters.

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