All posts by harekact

The Migration Paradox and EU-Turkey Relations

The Italian research institute “Istituto Affari Internazionali” published a paper in January on the paradox in EU-Turkish relations regarding their migration cooperation:

“Since the beginning of the Arab uprisings in 2011 and as a result of growing instability in the region, migration transit through Turkey has become an increasingly pressing issue in Europe. The transit of migrants placed Turkey in a buffer position between the Middle East and Europe, and it soon assumed the role of guardian of the Schengen area, “protecting” it from irregular migration. This, combined with the exponential growth of irregular migration flows – soon dubbed the “migrant crisis” – resulted in migration management becoming a key to the ostensible rapprochement between Turkey and the EU. However, as a result of many paradoxes, migration can also hamper Turkey-EU relations, as is already becoming obvious as relations took a turn for the worse since the summer of 2016.”

Proceed to the paper here

Traces of migration flow at the Bulgarian-Turkish border

Via Bordermonitoring Bulgaria – Yesterday, on the 20th of October 2017 the Defence Minister of Bulgaria Krassimir Karakachanov stated that ladders had been used to climb the fence at the Bulgarian-Turkish border. On the same day the minister said to BGNews that the fence is 100% finished and has to be “upgraded with relevant sensors [and] cameras“. Days before, photos were circulating in the Bulgarian media showing a large hole underneath the fence, which were leading to a bigger discussion in the Bulgarian parliament and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has called for the resignation of the Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov. Since 2016, the Bulgarian parliament voted for using the army at the Bulgarian borders to guard it, but since then it was used only partly.

refugees climbing the fence

Continue reading Traces of migration flow at the Bulgarian-Turkish border

Returned and Lost: What Happens After Readmission to Turkey?

Via University of Oxford – Turkey was regarded as a safe third country for the purposes of the EU-Turkey Statement and on September 22, 2017, the Greek Council of State approved decisions of earlier Appeals Committees, which declared Turkey a safe third country; thus paving the way for more returns. However, little is known about the reception conditions of the migrants and asylum seekers who have been readmitted to Turkey. To fill this knowledge gap and to achieve a better understanding of the impacts of the Statement, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Migration Law Section conducted research that was funded by the Dutch Council for Refugees.

The following article is a summary of a report by Orcun Ulusoy for Free University Berlin, which you can find here.

Continue reading Returned and Lost: What Happens After Readmission to Turkey?

Old route, new dangers: Migrant smugglers revive Black Sea route to Europe

Via IRIN – An IRIN investigation exposes a rising trend of migrant-smuggling from Turkey to Romania over a notoriously dangerous body of water.

Advertised as a “tourist yacht” to Europe, spacious and loaded with food and water, it was in fact a stripped-down, rusty blue fishing boat lacking any supplies for two stormy days at sea. Almost 160 men, women, and children were crammed on board, sick and fearful as the boat rocked violently from side to side, its leaky hold taking on water.

Continue reading Old route, new dangers: Migrant smugglers revive Black Sea route to Europe

JOINT STATEMENT: Open the Greek islands – No more dead from cold

Since the EU-Turkey statement came into force on March 20th 2016, thousands of refugees became trapped on the Greek islands. Some of them will soon experience their second winter on the islands, waiting for the examination of their asylum claims or for their deportation to Turkey.

Last winter, in the European hotspot camp Moria on Lesvos alone, six people died. No one took responsibility for their deaths. This winter, people seeking protection and a decent life will again be forced to sleep on the ground in thin summer tents and behind barbed wire. Given the circumstances, it seems likely that more deaths will follow.

Grassroots initiatives and small organizations from the Greek islands and mainland have joined forces, supported by international solidarity groups calling together to “Open the islands – No more dead from cold”. HarekAct joins this statement, in which we demand the European Union and the Greek government to put an end to the restriction of movement to the islands, and let people move on at last to find safety! Continue reading JOINT STATEMENT: Open the Greek islands – No more dead from cold

Greece sees rise in refugee, migrant arrivals in September

Via Ekathimerini – Police in northern Greece are reporting a rise the number of refugees and migrants illegally entering the country’s land border with Turkey during September. Police in Thessaloniki said Tuesday 2,428 people were recorded to have illegally entered Greece over the land border in September, compared to 1,497 in August.

The uptick matches increased arrivals by sea from Turkey, which in September reached 4,886, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Continue reading Greece sees rise in refugee, migrant arrivals in September

Situation of Readmitted Migrants and Refugees from Greece to Turkey under the EU-Turkey Statement

Orçun Ulusoy from Vrije Univeriseit Amsterdam published a research report on readmitted migrants from Greece to Turkey. While many reports and academic papers have been published on the conditions of migrants and refugees in Greece after the unfamous EU-Turkey Deal, little is known about the conditions of the migrants and refuges who were readmitted from Greece to Turkey after the EU-Turkey Statement, he states. With his research paper – which you can read and download under clicking here – he tries to fill this gap.  Continue reading Situation of Readmitted Migrants and Refugees from Greece to Turkey under the EU-Turkey Statement