Via Human Rights Watch – (Brussels) – Turkish security forces have routinely intercepted hundreds, and at times thousands, of asylum seekers at the Turkey-Syria border since at least December 2017 and summarily deported them to the war-ravaged Idlib governorate in Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. Turkish border guards have shot at asylum seekers trying to enter Turkey using smuggling routes, killing and wounding them, and have deported to Idlib newly arrived Syrians in the Turkish town of Antakya, 30 kilometers from the Syrian border.The Russian-Syrian military alliance’s December offensive against anti-government forces in Idlib has displaced almost 400,000 civilians, according to the UN. They have joined more than 1.3 million others trapped inside Idlib in insecure, overcrowded camps, and in makeshift camps in fields near the closed Turkish border where they are under constant threat of attack and lack food, clean water, shelter, health care, and aid. At a March 26, 2018 summit meeting in Bulgaria, the European Union should press Turkey to allow Syrian civilians fleeing fighting to seek protection inside Turkey and pledge increased aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey and the region.
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”
The International Crisis Group published a new report on intercommunal violence between Turkish host communities and Syrian refugees in Turkey’s three largest cities: Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.
Via MireKoc– The Turkish Refugee Council, IGAM, and Oxfam has launched an international policy consultation process to ensure that the views and perspectives of those most affected by forced migration across international borders are driving the development of international policy on refugees. You can start engaging in this process by filling out a short survey via the following links:
In the frame of a research project coordinated by the University of Utrecht on the impact of the EU-Turkey Statement for refugees in Turkey and Greece a new policy paper was published! This part focuses on the situation for refugees once returned to Turkey:
“This policy brief examines whether asylum seekers readmitted from Greece to Turkey after the EU-Turkey Statement as of April 2016 were able to access effective protection in Turkey thereafter. The EU has long collaborated with countries of origin and transit in the form of migration compacts, readmission agreements and Memoranda of Understanding. The EU-Turkey Statement is different from prior forms of agreements because of the use of the safe-third-country concept. As a result, Greece can reject asylum applications of people who passed through Turkey as being inadmissible and shift the responsibility of merit assessments to Turkey.”
In the frame of a research project coordinated by the University of Utrecht a new policy paper was published on the impact of the EU-Turkey Deal:
“The EU-Turkey-Statement proposes to reduce arrival rates and deaths in the sea by subjecting individuals who arrive on Greek islands after 20 March 2016 to fast-track asylum procedures and, in the case of negative decisions, to returns to Turkey. In exchange, EU member states have agreed to take one Syrian refugee from Turkey for every Syrian readmitted from Greece to Turkey. The Statement builds on the deterrent effect of returns and turns high return rates into an indicator for a successful border policy. This policy brief examines the impact of the Statement’s focus on returns for people seeking asylum in Greece. The analysis draws on interviews with asylum seekers and practitioners, phone interviews with people who were returned from the Greek islands following the EU-Turkey Statement, as well as on participant observations at refugee camps and inter-agency meetings on Lesbos and Chios in July and August 2017.”
Via Oxford Bibliographics – A newly released bibliographic article on “Syrian Refugees in Turkey” by Prof. Ahmet İçduygu and Eleni Diker from MiReKoc, published by Oxford University Press. The works cited in this section descriptively reports the issue of Syrian refugees in Turkey with an overarching approach. The circumstances faced by Syrians and the societal attitude toward them change constantly as do the numbers and regulations. Therefore, the publications in this section are listed in chronological order in order to draw attention to the dynamic nature of events.
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.”