All posts by harekact

Turkish coast guard vessel rams Greek patrol boat off Imia

Via Ekathimerini – A Turkish patrol boat reportedly rammed a Greek coast guard vessel that was anchored off the island of Imia in the Aegean at around midnight on Monday.

The incident did not result in any no injuries but only minor damage to the stern of the Greek vessel, yet it serves to illustrate the heightened tension in the area where Greece and Turkey came on the brink of war 22 years ago. Continue reading Turkish coast guard vessel rams Greek patrol boat off Imia

MEPs visit Bulgaria to inspect Frontex operations at Turkish border

Via the Independent Balkan News Agency – Members of the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee are on a three-day visit to Bulgaria to see first-hand how Frontex operations work at the border with Turkey.

The MEPs are to visit the region of the Kapitan Andreevo border checkpoint, where Frontex supports national authorities in carrying out border checks and gathering intelligence, the European Parliament said. Continue reading MEPs visit Bulgaria to inspect Frontex operations at Turkish border

Turkey’s quest for EU visa waiver more likely to cause strife than progress

Via Al-Monitor “Erdogan seems to realize that the political and economic price of breaking up with the EU is growing bigger. He has taken up the issue of EU membership anew, including during recent trips to France and Italy, amid growing talk of normalizing ties with the EU. On Feb. 7, Turkey submitted documents to the European Commission, saying it had fulfilled the outstanding criteria for the visa waiver. “The ball is now in the EU’s court,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.” Continue reading Turkey’s quest for EU visa waiver more likely to cause strife than progress

Investigation: Coercive ‘voluntary’ deportations leave refugees trapped in jail

The New Arab published a story on February 2nd on IOM ‘voluntary return programme’: “A scheme to repatriate refugees whose asylum bids have been rejected amounts to bullying and bribing desperate people to return to desperate situations, reports Matt Broomfield.” Valeria Hänsel also wrote on that same issue for HarekAct two weeks back.

Via The New Arab  A “voluntary” returns programme being heavily marketed to refugees is leaving them stranded in inhumane conditions in Greek and Turkish jails for months at a time, and facing imprisonment and torture once they return to their home countries – if they are ever able to get there at all.

For many refugees arriving in Greece and Turkey, whose claims for asylum are rejected, the International Organisation for Migration‘s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme is effectively the only alternative to brutal jail systems. They are forced to give up their right to appeal their asylum decision in order to escape six or 12 months of confinement by accepting “voluntary” return. Continue reading Investigation: Coercive ‘voluntary’ deportations leave refugees trapped in jail

January 2018 Report on Rights Violations and Resistance in Lesvos

The Legal Center Lesvos regularly publishes report on the current situation for migrants on Lesvos. Here is their latest report on January 2018:

VIOLATIONS OF RIGHTS EXPOSED AT EUROPE’S BORDERS

At the close of 2017 in the period since our last report, the inhumane treatment of migrants in Lesvos continues to be widely reported on and denounced by refugees and migrantssolidarity activists, the media, and human rights organizations. In response to this pressure, in November and December roughly 3000 asylum seekers were transferred from Lesvos to mainland Greece and Crete. However during the same time period approximately the same number of individuals arrived to Lesvos from Turkey. Continue reading January 2018 Report on Rights Violations and Resistance in Lesvos

New Study: “Dimensions of Polarization in Turkey”

The  study on “Dimensions of Polarization in Turkey” was conducted by Istanbul Bilgi University Center for Migration Research with the support of Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation – a project of the German Marshall Fund. The field studies took place in November-December 2017 and findings are presented on February 5th , 2018 in Istanbul Bilgi University santralistanbul Campus. Continue reading New Study: “Dimensions of Polarization in Turkey”

Politically polarized Turkey finds largest common ground in Syrian refugees’ return

Via Hürriyet Daily News – Although polarized on various political issues, the Turkish people share the most similar views over Syrian refugees in the country, a survey conducted by the Istanbul Bilgi University Center for Migration Research in partnership with the German Marshall Fund (GMF) revealed on Feb. 5.

Some 86.2 percent of the survey participants agreed that “Syrians should be sent back to their country once the war in Syria has ended,” according to the findings in the survey titled “Research on Polarization’s Dimensions in Turkey.” Continue reading Politically polarized Turkey finds largest common ground in Syrian refugees’ return

Concerns grow over conditions at migrant camps

Via Ekathimerini  – Concerns are rising about conditions at reception centers for migrants on the islands of the eastern Aegean amid delays in much-needed infrastructure upgrades and increasingly cramped conditions, with reports of a spike in cases of mental health problems.

Last summer, authorities completed a feasibility study for an upgrade of the drainage and sewerage systems at Moria, the main reception center on Lesvos. But the plan appears to have become mired in bureaucracy. Originally designed to house 1,000 migrants, the camp at Moria is currently hosting nearly seven times that number.

Continue reading Concerns grow over conditions at migrant camps

BREAKING: Syrian refugees fleeing violence shot at and beaten at Turkish border, HRW says

Via ABC News – Desperate Syrian refugees fleeing heightened violence in the north-west of Syria are being shot at and beaten at the Turkish border as they try to flee, Human Rights Watch says.

The human rights group said refugees who had succeeded in crossing to Turkey using smuggling routes told of Turkish border guards shooting at them during their crossing, while others reported asylum seekers being detained and denied medical assistance. Continue reading BREAKING: Syrian refugees fleeing violence shot at and beaten at Turkish border, HRW says

High underage pregnancy rates among refugee children rattle Turkey

Via Heinrich Böll Stiftung Türkei – On January 17, news about a state hospital in one of the largest districts of Istanbul hit the headlines.

It was reported that within a period of five months earlier in 2017, 115 pregnant girls under the age of 18 came to the Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Training and Research Hospital, yet the hospital administration did not report the cases to the police despite the official obligation to do so. A female social worker discovered the cases for the first time, after she came across an undocumented case about a 16 years old girl in July 2017. The girl was neither mentioned in the registration system of the hospital, nor in the documents of the social work unit. Thereupon she decided to search previous cases and looked at the period between January 1-May 9, 2017. She found out that there were 115 undocumented girls all under 18, out of which 38 got pregnant under 15 years. 39 of the girls were of Syrian origin.

Continue reading High underage pregnancy rates among refugee children rattle Turkey