Category Archives: In Depth

Second HarekAct Newsletter out!

** German version below / Deutsche Version weiter unten **

This newsletter has been published as part of the bordermonitoring.eu newsletter, which is – for now – available in German only.

EU-Turkey Deal 

The EU Commission has presented its 7th report on the EU-Turkey deal in September – and celebrates that, according to their estimation, still relatively few refugees arrive in Greece, while almost 10,000 Syrians have been resettled in the EU. In the light of the more than three million Syrians having found their way into Turkey, 10,000 people is a ludicrously little contribution of a political community of 500 million EU citizens. We have already reported on the negative consequences of the dirty deal in our first newsletter.

Continue reading Second HarekAct Newsletter out!

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

Is a new deadly route being (re-)established in the Black Sea?

Via Bordermonitoring Bulgaria – The escape route from Turkey via the black sea was rarely used in 2013 and 2014 before the so called refugee crisis in Europe reached its peak. Since the recent crackdown on the Aegean Sea route in the last months, more and more people are again trying to travel from Turkey via the Black Sea to reach Bulgaria or Romania. Since the beginning of 2017, already 649 migrants were caught, while they tried to cross via Black Sea. Continue reading Is a new deadly route being (re-)established in the Black Sea?

Authoritarianism and Xenophobia in the New Turkey

By Bediz Yılmaz

A very recent publication named The Great Regression cites Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s name among the politicians worldwide who replace the liberal democracy with a populist authoritarianism (Geiselberger 2017: 10). The others are, as one should immediately guess: Trump of the USA, Putin of Russia, Modi of India and Orban of Hungary. In many Western and Eastern European countries, we are witnessing a gradual rise of right-wing ideologies with considerable claims to power. Continue reading Authoritarianism and Xenophobia in the New Turkey

“Free us or be responsible for our deaths”

Author: Valeria Hänsel

For 14 days, refugee activist Arash Hampay has refused food. On the Greek island of Lesvos, he sits on the central square of the town Mytilini surrounded by shops, cafés and tourists, presenting a sign stating “Refugees are not Criminals”.

He is exhausted but determined to continue his hunger strike until the end. His open statement leaves no doubt:

“We shall continue our hunger strike until the prisoners in Moria camp are released, regardless of the consequences for us. A life without freedom is worthless and meaningless for us. You must release the refugees or we shall end our lives in front of your eyes and the people’s eyes. We are waiting for you. The people are waiting for you. You must free us or else be responsible for our death. We will keep waiting until the last drop of life falls from our bodies.”

Surrounded by tourists and cafes, Arash Hampay has started a hunger strike on the island of Lesvos. Photo by: Lorraine Leete, Legal Centre Lesbos.

Continue reading “Free us or be responsible for our deaths”

From Assos to Lesbos: In the Aegean Sea

by Didem Danış, 5.7.2017

I saw lightning in the east
in a wink
then west
I saw the sun dripping
in its blood
and the sea agitated
and the past robbed of its books.

•••

Suffering Syrians, beautiful Syrians, Syrian brothers fleeing death.
You won’t reach the shores on rafts but will be born on beaches with the foam.
Lost gold dust you are, melted gold dust, scattered, dulled.
From abyss to abyss in the hollow of the sea of the Rum, with the star fish and her brother, the roving squid, the waves convey you under the light of Ursa Major, the Daughters of Na’sh.

From ‘Boat to Lesbos’, by Nouri Al-Jarrah


I came across Önder Tokuç, an artist based in Assos, whose “The Aegean Sea” collection has taken me back to the epic poem “Boat to Lesbos” written by Nouri Al-Jarrah. The Syrian poet who lives in exile since 1986 describes the Aegean Sea like a huge bloodstain. This was exactly what pushed Önder Tokuç to produce his powerful art works, consisting of ceramic statues and oil on canvas paintings.

İnsani Yardım – Humanitarian assistance

Continue reading From Assos to Lesbos: In the Aegean Sea

Abstract from the borderline-europe newsletter on HarekAct

borderline-europe published a part about HarekAct and the developments of the last two month regarding the Turkish migration regime and the EU-Turkey Deal in their last newsletter. We translated it into English. Read the German version below.

Last July, we already presented the collective blog project HarekAct, which bordermonitoring.eu, GAR, kritnet, Mülteci-Der and borderline-europe maintain in collaboration. The blog has been online now for almost one year and is presenting critical and up-to-date information and analyses about the European-Turkish border regime, focussing on the migration collaboration between the EU and Turkey as well as on the realities of life of refugees and migrants in Turkey. Continue reading Abstract from the borderline-europe newsletter on HarekAct

Preparing for More – European ›Border Control‹ in the Backdrop of the New Migration Law in Turkey

By Fritz Rickert. Originally published in movements 3 (1) . Journal for Critical Migration and Border Regime Studies

This article analyses the background of measures taken at the EU-Turkey border that were part of the EU-Turkey deal in 2016 or came along with the latter. In doing so, it examines the new Turkish Law on Foreigners and International Protection and takes a closer look at its development. Hereby, the paper shows on the one hand that this national law was strongly influenced by the EU and that it constitutes an EU-orientated and often repressive migration policy in Turkey itself as well as at its borders. On the other hand, the text makes clear that the enforcement of the measures at the Turkish-European borders since 2016 would not have been possible without the establishment of this law on foreigners. To summarize, these current attempts at sealing European borders are not just the outcome of negotiations between the EU and Turkey in 2015, but rather a continuation of a long standing engagement of the EU with Turkey in order to control and decrease migration to Europe. Continue reading Preparing for More – European ›Border Control‹ in the Backdrop of the New Migration Law in Turkey

Call for the immediate Freedom for Gabriele Del Grande

We support the call for the immediate Freedom for Gabriele del Grande published by borderline-europe, borderline Sicilia Onlus and other anti-racist initiatives from Sicily:


We express our deep concern regarding the events which have effected the Italian journalist Gabriele Del Grande since April 10th. He remains detained by Turkish authorities in a detention centre for foreigners on the border with Syria. Gabriele was arrested for breaching an administrative law, following which Turkey wanted to deport him.

Continue reading Call for the immediate Freedom for Gabriele Del Grande