Category Archives: News

HarekAct offers a topical and chronological collection of news on the EU-Turkish border regime under this section. We link to external newspapers and websites and do not hold the copyright.
Views and opinions expressed in the articles published on HarekAct are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of all editorial board members.

Migrant Labour Exploitation at Increase, the Report Reveals

Birgün introduces the striking data on the migrant labour in Turkey as indicated by the report prepared by the Republican People’s Party (CHP) titled “Migrant Labour in our Country”.


Via Birgün – According to the “Migrant Labour in Our Country” report prepared by CHP (Republican People’s party) Labour Bureau, the majority of migrants, with Syrians at the first place, work irregularly, under heavy exploitative conditions, and dozens of them loose their lives in workplace homicides.

The report reveals that the the regulation prepared by the government on 2016 regarding the entitlement of work permit to migrant workers could not solve the problem. According to the data provided by the ministry, the numbers of work permits granted to migrants are: 17,466 in 2011; 32,729 in 2012; 45,825 in 2013; 52,295 in 2014; 64,521 in 2015;and 73,650 in 2016. Finally in 2017, the migrants who received the work permit have been 87 thousand. Continue reading Migrant Labour Exploitation at Increase, the Report Reveals

Police Controls in Adana Target 80,000 Syrians

Turkish police is clamping down on Syrian refugees who already face restrictions on travel and residency, Al Souria Net says

Via The Syrian Observer

Campaign by Turkish Police in Adana targets 80,000 Syrians

The Turkish police in the state of Adana has launched a security campaign which it carried out in cooperation with the Foreigners’ Bureau with the aim of searching for Syrians’ Turkish identity documents, in particular the Turkish temporary protection ID, the “kimlik.”

Continue reading Police Controls in Adana Target 80,000 Syrians

Syrians in Turkey face anger and violence

Tensions mount as displaced migrants experience attacks and difficulty finding work

Syrian refugees on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul: more than 3.7 million Syrians are registered in Turkey. Photograph: Bulent kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Via The Irish Times

Turkey is home to more displaced Syrians than any other country, but growing intercommunal violence between refugees and their hosts is straining relations.

Sanliurfa, a city of 830,000 people in southeast Turkey, is the latest to be rocked by unrest between Syrians and Turks. On September 27th, two Turkish youths were killed by Syrians following an argument between neighbouring families. In the days that followed, angry mobs of locals attacked Syrians and their businesses, confining many to their homes for much of the past week.

The discord prompted the governor and mayor of Sanliurfa to hold a crisis meeting with the city’s police chief and several NGOs to work out ways to ease tensions. Almost a quarter of the population of Sanliurfa province are Syrians and, Istanbul aside, the region is home to more Syrian refugees than any other province in the country. Continue reading Syrians in Turkey face anger and violence

Turkey empties Syrian border refugee camp

Via Ahval

The presence of 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey has become an increasing source of tension among Turkish people and the Turkish government also appears to be losing sympathy for those displaced by the conflict.

The Interior Ministry this month closed the Süleyman Shah Accommodation Facility, which was established by the prime ministry in 2012 in the town of Akçakale on the Syrian border. But some of its 22,000 residents complained they had not received promised payments and alternative housing, and said they had simply been kicked out. Continue reading Turkey empties Syrian border refugee camp

Sputnik News interviews Esenyurt Mayor Alatepe: “Until the end of the next year, 20 thousand Syrians will be returned home”

By Sputnik/ Elif Sudagezer. Esenyurt mayor posing proudly in front of the municipality’s busses to return Syrians. The banner in front of the bus reads: “Thanks for everything. We are going back home”

Here we are posting an interview with the mayor of Esenyurt municipality of Istanbul, Turkey. Esenyurt is a lower-class peripheral  district with one of the highest number of Syrians in Istanbul. The information was spread already a while ago that the municipality is organizing busses to drive Syrians back home, creating fear within the Syrian community that they will be picked from their houses and streets and forced for return. Below, the mayor’s statements quoted just as they were broadcasted by Sputniknews apparently demonstrate the perspective of the Turkish regime pretty well.


Via SputnikNews

Elif Sudagezer from Sputnik News reported that Esenyurt Municipality of Istanbul, Turkey repatriated 100 Syrians to Jarabulus and Afrin. By the interview he gave to Sputnik, Ali Murat Alatepe stated that 3500 Syrians were returned up until now and they are planning to return 20 thousand more until the end of the next year.

Continue reading Sputnik News interviews Esenyurt Mayor Alatepe: “Until the end of the next year, 20 thousand Syrians will be returned home”

Deportations as a Business Model

In a recent post, Deportation Monitoring Aegean reports about deportations as a business model. It describes the role of private companies facilitating deportations from the Greek Islands to Turkey, which are employed by the European Border and Cost Guard Agency FRONTEX. The post follows the financial flows surrounding the execution of deportations.


Via Deportation Monitoring Aegean – The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, better known as Frontex, supports the operational implementation of the deportations under the EU-Turkey statement. This means that the agency is responsible for deploying so-called “forced-return escorts” that support the Greek authorities with deportations. Furthermore, Frontex supports the Greek authorities with technical assistance in terms of organizing means of transportation, operational coordination and financial resources of return operations. In a previous post we discussed the trajectory of deportation and illustrated how commercial tourist companies play a key role in facilitating deportations. In this post, we will elaborate on the collaboration between Frontex and commercial tourist companies to illustrate how commercial interest and migration management coalesce. In order to excavate this relationship, we will first shortly discuss the role of Frontex in the deportation process. After this brief introduction, we will discuss the relation between commercial companies and European agencies, to unpack the social and political implications of this cooperation. Yet, it should be mentioned that the role of Frontex within the deportation regime is complex, and the presented text is not an all-encompassing description of their tasks.

Continue reading Deportations as a Business Model

Daily Sabah on Kartepe Summit: “Turkey, Greece show cautious optimism in light of summit on refugees”

Last weekend, a summit titled “Migration, Refugees and Humanity” took place in Kartepe, Turkey, bringing together state figures from Turkey and other countries, as well as INGOs and academicians. The tremendous gathering served to spread diplomatic messages on how the Turkish state is managing the so-called refugee crises, including the increasing efforts on refugee-returns, and the ever-existing expectancy of closer collaboration and financial support from the EU. The only cover in english we could find on the event is through the state-allegiant Daily Sabah, therefore it does not present a critical perspective on the content, but still is interesting to see a snapshot on key persons’ interactions.

” [Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu] said that in order to continue to do the best it can, Turkey must evaluate the successes and failures of its refugee integration policies, alluding to the fact that just as in Europe, many Turks are fearful of terror and the flooding of the job market by refugees. He said that in order to fix terror at home, one must deal with terror abroad first.”


Continue reading Daily Sabah on Kartepe Summit: “Turkey, Greece show cautious optimism in light of summit on refugees”

Queer refugees on Lesvos are crying out for help

Via The New Arab – Freelance journalist Matt Broomfield describes the situation of LGBTIQ refugees on Lesvos Island. Hundreds of queer refugees who came to Europe to live a free life now face the same discrimination as they did in their home countries: by police, the asylum service and other migrants forced to live behind barbed wire.


The self-organized group Lesvos LGBTIQ+ Refugee Solidarity supports queer refugees in group meetings and in terms of accommodation and legal advice.

For their work, they collect donations through: borderline-europe e.V. GLS Bank, Bochum IBAN: DE11 4306 0967 4005 7941 00 BIC:GENODEM1GLS Purpose: LGBTIQ Lesvos

Via The New Arab – From the gay Iraqi who saw Isis militants throw his lover from the tallest building in Mosul to the couple who escaped persecution to rendezvous for the first time in a refugee camp, each of the LGBTQI+ refugees trapped on the Greek island of Lesvos could fill a book with their own personal stories.

Continue reading Queer refugees on Lesvos are crying out for help

The Prison within the Prison within The Prison

Deportation Monitoring Aegean published a report about the detention complex of Moria camp on Lesvos Island.

The report describes the legal grounds for detention in Greece and the actual policy of detaining migrants, focusing on the situation in the pre-removal prison of Moria camp. It criticizes detention of migrants on arrival based on their national belonging and the conditions of detention, following individual stories of asylum seekers held in detention.

Continue reading The Prison within the Prison within The Prison