Amnesty International – The EU-Turkey refugee deal has left thousands of refugees and migrants in squalid and dangerous living conditions, and must not be replicated with other countries, Amnesty International said today ahead of the deal’s one year anniversary. Continue reading EU: Human rights cost of refugee deal with Turkey too high to be replicated elsewhere
Evimiz Neresi? – As of February 8th, refugees living in tents in the Torbalı and Bayındır districts of İzmir are being evacuated in accordance with district governorate decisions through the intervention of its gendarmerie State paramilitary force. The tent areas are being removed. Thousands of refugees, who left their countries because of the civil war in Syria, have been struggling to survive as seasonal agricultural workers and living in the tent camps, constructed through their own efforts, in rural areas of İzmir.
Continue reading Turkey: State paramilitaries are destroying Syrian refugees’ tent homes in İzmir
Greekreporter – A 32 year-old Syrian and a 28 year-old man from Egypt stole the boat from St. Hermione port early on Wednesday and set sail for the Turkish coasts. They were spotted by a Frontex patrol vessel, taken back to Chios and the two refugees were arrested with charges of theft. The boat was returned to its owner.
Meanwhile, a total of 52 migrants and refugees arrived at Chios in the last 24 hours while no arrivals were reported on Lesvos and Samos.
Hürriyet (link in Turkish) – 46 asylum seekers tried to cross to Lesvos by boat. At around 2 a.m. their engine broke and they had to call the Turkish Coast Guard. Shortly after the boat started to capsize due to high waves. The CG had to rescue people from the water but the help came too late for an Ethiopian woman, who had already drowned. The survivors – from Syria, Afghanistan, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Bangladesh – where brought to Küçükkuyu.
Anadolu Agency* – A total of 422 migrants were intercepted by Turkish police over the last week (Jan 27 – Feb 3) en route to Greek islands, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
Coast Guard patrols apprehended 56 migrants offshore trying to cross the Aegean Sea between the southwestern Bodrum peninsula and the Greek island of Kos. The statement said that in the resort town of Cesme, west of Izmir province, Coast Guard patrols also apprehended 85 migrants aiming to reach the Greek island of Chios. In separate incidents, 281 migrants were also spotted in the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean Sea, the ministry said.
*the source is the Turkish state-run news agency
Hürriyet Daily News – Turkey stated on Feb. 3 that Greece had “forcefully” sent thousands of migrants back to Turkey via the River Evros in recent months. Officials from the Directorate General of Migration Management, which works under the Interior Ministry, said that Greece sent back more than 3,000 migrants to Turkey in the past four months. The officials requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media. They said Greece was not abiding by the readmission agreement between Turkey and Greece, while also disregarding international laws on human rights.
We published a paper on the EU-Turkey deal and how refugees in Turkey are being instrumentalized and used as bargain written by Nicolas Parent in late summer last year. Read the paper here
Anadolu Ajansi (Link in Turkish) – According to state-run press agency Anadolu Ajansi 211 people were taken into custody during a so called security operation in Istanbul. The operation mainly involved foreign nationals and was conducted by riot police and anti-terror teams.
110 people were detained in Zeytinburnu, 75 in Sultangazi, 18 in Pendik and 8 in Başakşehir. 203 of the arrested were foreign nationals. As the news agency announced, those who have entered the country irregular or with irregularities in their documents, will be handed over to the immigration authorities and from there deported. The operation is supposed to endure the upcoming days.
News Deeply – European Officials are becoming increasingly worried that the E.U.-Turkey deal could fall apart. With few returns and thousands of people trapped on the Greek islands, the E.U. is encouraging stronger measures – such as opening more detention centers on the islands to speed up asylum proceedings and facilitate deportations – to rescue the deal.
The new informal action plan envisages boosting the capacity of the EASOand Greek Asylum Service on the islands to process more asylum applications. It also aims to expand the criteria of which asylum seekers are eligible for returns, including vulnerable individuals eligible for family reunification in the E.U., who are currently excluded. This provision could even allow the return of unaccompanied minors to Turkey.
Ekathimerini – A 46-year-old Syrian man was found dead in his tent in the Moria refugee camp on Lesvos on Saturday morning. He was the second person to die at the facility last week, after the death of a 22-year-old Egyptian man a few days earlier.
The deaths have highlighted the poor conditions that refugees face at camps on the Greek islands, especially during the current cold weather.