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
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
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
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
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.
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.’
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.
The New York Times on Turkey’s threats to review the EU-Turkey Deal again.
“We will review the migrant deal if necessary,” Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, warned on Monday night. In Europe, the announcement prompted fears of a repeat of the 2015 migration surges that saw 850,000 people leave Turkey for Greece in a single year. “I expect waves of people,” he said in a video call on Tuesday night. “The business will come back to the way it was, and maybe better.”
Göçmen Dayanışma Ağı – Recently, we hear often that as a result of police operations in certain district, people of “foreign origin” are “caught”, detained, and sent to camps or detention center. We only get the news that they will be deported, but there is no information on what were they accused of actually. In Istanbul, sometimes police and municipal police teams pick up migrants (mostly children) accused of getting involved in begging, and send them to Pendik Kızılay Dr. Kemal Demir Refugee Camp. At the target of all these operations, there are undocumented migrants, people of certain nationalities, or those who are accused of a suspicion of “terror” or other crimes. No information is made public other than the number (and sometimes nationalities) of people arrested. For instance, according to some news published on 1st of February it was declared that “203 people of foreign origin were detained”, and that they will be sent to General Directorate of Migration Management and deported. However, there was nothing else made public, but that people who were detained were processed according to “violation of document” and that such inspections will further continue in the following days. Continue reading Bilmek İstiyoruz! // We Want to Know!
via Handelsblatt (Link in German) – 84 people were rescued on Thursday night by the Greek coastguard and a cargo vessel off the Peloponnese peninsula. They were in distress at sea, so they had to call the Greek Coast Guards.
Officials from the Greek CG assume that the refugees had left from the Turkish coast in order to reach Italy. After the closure of the Balkan route they now tried to reach Italy by the much more dangerous journey from Turkey through the southern Peloponnese and Ionian sea, to avoid being practically imprisoned on the Greek islands. The Greek CG rescued more than 260 refugees south of the Peloponnese peninsula since the beginning of this year already.