Category Archives: Documents & Reports

Hope, Resilience and Uncertainty: A Day with Displaced Syrians in Southern Turkey

The conversations that figure in this text took place in October 2015 during a 18-months field research that extended from June 2014 to April 2016.

“Look! All the paths are closed!” Hanan says pointing at the drawings the coffee left in her cup. “There is no opening… This is not a good sign!” she continues while turning the small white coffee cup in her hands. It is early morning, Hanan and I are the only ones awake in the flat. The children are still asleep on the floor of the living room, where we are sitting drinking our morning coffee, and reading our future. Hanan has been obsessed with coffee reading for the last couple of weeks as she is looking for signs and answers about her future. Will she stay in Turkey? Will she go back to her parents’ village in Syria? Or will she cross to Europe? In this morning cup, rather than giving a possible direction, the coffee just shows that the future is dark and with no much hope. Continue reading Hope, Resilience and Uncertainty: A Day with Displaced Syrians in Southern Turkey

Loss and everyday life on the Syrian-Turkish border

The conversations that figure in this text took place in the summer and autumn 2015 during a 18-months field research that extended from June 2014 to April 2016.

What does loss mean for Syrians living in Southern Turkey in the aftermath of the 2011 revolution and in the midst of an ongoing war? How is this loss experienced, and how does it affect Syrians’ everyday in Turkey? Those are some of the questions I looked at during my PhD’s fieldwork (June 2014 – April 2016) among Syrians in the city of (Gazi)Antep. The loss experienced by Syrians can be defined as polymorphic. It is before all the loss of Syria: the loss of one’s home and homeland. The loss was also recounted as the loss of one’s past, one’s former life, the loss of relatives, of kinship ties and networks. Yet, Syrians’ loss is also the loss of a political project, of their revolution and the subsequent loss of one’s revolutionary self. Continue reading Loss and everyday life on the Syrian-Turkish border

Syrian refugees’ journey from Jordan to Germany

Written by David Lagarde, published in Anthology Hypotheses 15th February – This field report is part of a project of doctoral research into the networks and dynamics of Syrian exile to Jordan. This research is based on longitudinal monitoring of an ordinary group of refugees from Deir Mqaren – a village in the Rif Dimashq Governorate – and its aim is to analyze and understand the population’s “diasporization” process. Another of its objectives is to show how cross-border trade circulation initiated by the men of Deir Mqaren during the Ottoman era has influenced the migratory paths taken by all the families of the village since 2011. Continue reading Syrian refugees’ journey from Jordan to Germany

Report: EU-Turkey deal makes seeking refuge in Europe “mission impossible” for most vulnerable

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

One year after the EU-Turkey deal: New MSF report

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.

Continue reading One year after the EU-Turkey deal: New MSF report

The EU-Turkey deal: What happens to people who return to Turkey?

Forces Migration Review – Jill Alpes and Sevda Tunaboylu published a short articles on the deportations from Greece to Turkey since the EU-Turkey deal: “People who return to Turkey under the EU-Turkey deal are detained and many risk onward deportation without access to legal aid and international protection.” Continue reading The EU-Turkey deal: What happens to people who return to Turkey?

HRW publishes world report on human rights

Human Rights Watch published their annual report on the worldwide human rights situation. The chapter on Turkey contains a paragraph on refugees and migrants:

“Turkey continued to host large numbers of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants, primarily from Syria, but also from Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries. The number of asylum seekers transiting to Greece fell after the March EU-Turkey migration deal (see European Union chapter). Despite increased aid and some efforts by authorities, most refugees and asylum seekers lack effective protection, education, or formal employment, with high rates of child labor and a particularly precarious situation for non-Syrians. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian children are still not attending school. A January decree allowing some Syrians to apply for work permits has had little effect to date.

Turkey’s border gates and entire land border with Syria remain closed although people seriously injured in fighting are admitted to Turkey for medical treatment. Syrian refugees attempting to cross into Turkey at unofficial crossing points are summarily pushed back into Syria and some asylum seekers and smugglers attempting the crossing have been shot dead or beaten by Turkish border guards.”

Observations in Greece: The Right to Asylum and its Applications following EU-Turkey Agreement

Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione – Between June 15th and 19th 2016, a team of around forty people (lawyers, legal advisors and mediators), coordinated by A.S.G.I. , visited six different areas in Greece 3 , aiming at carrying out a juridical observation of what is happening in the country, following the Declaration signed March 17th and 18th , 2016 5 by the heads of state and the Government of the European Union and Turkey, and known as the “EU-Turkey statement”.

The legal position of the asylum seekers on the land is different from that of the ones “stuck” on the islands. The two geographical positions imply the application of different norms and practices.
Basically, those who arrived in Greece after March 20th , 2016, are the ones that are mainly affected by the agreement dated March 18th , 2016 (inadmissibility procedures and risk of re-admittance to
Turkey) and live on the islands (some in custody) by virtue of a government expulsion ban. The other ones, who reached Greece before March 20th , 2016, live on the remaining part of the Greek territory.


Q&A: Why the EU-Turkey Migration Deal is No Blueprint

Human Rights Watch – The EU-Turkey deal commits Turkey to accept the return of all asylum seekers who travelled through Turkey in exchange for billions of Euros in aid, visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, and revived negotiations for Turkish accession to the EU. The €3 billion funding is designated for projects to improve the lives of refugees as well as of host communities in Turkey. The deal also provides for the resettlement of one other Syrian refugee from Turkey for each Syrian returned to Turkey under the deal.

In a progress report on the implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement, published on September 28, the European Commission claimed that the deal is delivering results: arrivals from Turkey to Greece across the Aegean are down, millions of Euros have been disbursed to improve access to education and healthcare in Turkey, and returns and resettlement have been undertaken. Indeed, the commission and leaders of some member states cite the EU-Turkey deal as a model for agreements with other major transit countries.