Category Archives: In Depth

“We are not looking for providing jobs at home. We are aiming to create a safe environment or safe jobs outside of our houses.”

Syrian Women’s multiple burden at the labour market and at home.

by Rejane Herwig

Often imagined to be Syrian women’s only profession in Turkey: sewing at home.

The living conditions of Syrians in Turkey are for a majority very poor and tend to have a negative effect on a psychological as well as a physical level. Looking at those through a gender lens renders visible that such circumstances often have even more severe effects on women. Continue reading “We are not looking for providing jobs at home. We are aiming to create a safe environment or safe jobs outside of our houses.”

Dubious Deportations to Turkey Prevented!

Author: Valeria Hänsel

On Thursday, 23rd November 2017, the deportation of two migrants was stopped last minute. The two men from Iran and Afghanistan were held in detention on Lesvos Island. Shortly before they were transported to the harbour of Mytilene to be quietly deported to Turkey via ferry, lawyers and activists managed to intervene and stop the deportation of the two men. Eight other people from Haiti, Tunisia, Afghanistan and Pakistan were however deported and will be detained in Turkey, among them a family with a small child.

For the two cases that were stopped, there were serious doubts about the lawfulness of the deportation practice. Alireza Kamran[1] from Iran is suffering from severe health problems while Tarik Chian from Afghanistan was prevented from exhausting his legal remedies in Greece. The names and cases of the other deportees were not known to the lawyers and activists monitoring the deportation. Therefore the legality of their deportation cannot be assessed but it is doubted that the persons concerned have received sufficient support to challenge second instance rejections.

Continue reading Dubious Deportations to Turkey Prevented!

Central Asian migrants in Turkey at risk of being labelled as terrorists

People in the neighborhood of Zeytinburnu, in Istanbul, Turkey on November 12, 2017. Photo: Oscar Durand

By Umar Farooq

Turkish police conduced more than 1,400 raids across the country in a single week this November, with officials saying 6,890 people were detained for undocumented immigration, and 1,167 for suspicion of belonging to terror groups, either the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Islamic State, or the Fetullah Terror Organization, which Ankara blames for an attempted coup in July 2016.

While more than 50,000 people have been charged with some crime related to that coup attempt since last year, little attention is given to what happens to thousands of those detained over suspected ties to the Islamic State, especially those who risk deportation back home to countries with a dismal human rights record. Continue reading Central Asian migrants in Turkey at risk of being labelled as terrorists

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