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.

At least 144 detained in 2 months while on way to escape to Greek islands

Via Turkey Purge – At least 144 people affiliated with Turkey’s Gülen group were detained in two months while trying to flee to nearby Greek islands, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.

The report said that 144 were detained as part of the operations in the resort province of Mugla in September and October. Some of the suspect were rounded up by coast guard off Mugla shores while some were caught upon tips off about their departure even before they took aboard. Continue reading At least 144 detained in 2 months while on way to escape to Greek islands

EU Parliamentarians Warn Refugees May Die on Greek Islands

Via Greek Reporter – Council and the European Commission must work urgently with Greece to prevent a humanitarian crisis this winter, according to the he Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament.

The group called for a debate in the parliament’s plenary session next week in Strasbourg. “Thousands of people seeking asylum on the Greek islands still do not have adequate protection for the coming cold months,” said S&D Group President Gianni Pittella. Continue reading EU Parliamentarians Warn Refugees May Die on Greek Islands

Anger rises in Lesbos over crowded refugee camps

Via The Guardian – A surge in refugee arrivals has led to soaring tensions on Greece’s outlying Aegean islands, with Lesbos’s mayor accusing the government in Athens of allowing it to become a giant prison camp.

Boycotting celebrations on Wednesday marking the 105th anniversary of Lesbos’s liberation from Ottoman Turkish rule, local officials gave the leftist-led coalition in Athens an ultimatum: either it took immediate action to decongest the island or risked mass protests from an increasingly unruly population. Continue reading Anger rises in Lesbos over crowded refugee camps

Mind The Gap! A Closer Look at the Inconsistencies in the EU-Turkey Statement Progress Reports

Via University of Oxford / Faculty of Law – Today, Turkey is host to approximately 3.4 million refugees and asylum seekers, including more than 3.2 million Syrians. Due to its strategic location, Turkey has been a transit country for migrants and refugees, a necessary stop on their way to Europe. In 2015, nearly one million people arrived irregularly in Europe by sea, with more than 856,723 refugees and migrants traveling to Greece by sea from Turkey. This explains why cooperation with the Turkish government has become an essential part of the European policy to manage migration.

PHOTO: ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Continue reading Mind The Gap! A Closer Look at the Inconsistencies in the EU-Turkey Statement Progress Reports

Rejections and Returns: The EU-Turkey Statement and its consequences for refugees in Greece, Turkey and Germany

Event Announcement – Rejections and Returns: The EU-Turkey Statement and its consequences for refugees in Greece, Turkey and Germany

Monday, 20 November, 19:00 – 21:00

ECCHR, Zossener Straße 55-58 (Aufgang D), 10961 Berlin

The EU-Turkey Statement from March 2016 stipulates that “[a]ll new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands as from 20 March 2016 will be returned to Turkey”. Under the adjusted procedures, people who arrive on the Greek islands are subjected to accelerated border procedures and an initial admissibility test on their asylum claim. The European Asylum Support Office (EASO), an EU agency, is in charge of “recommending” a decision to the competent Greek Asylum Service. Based on the dubious assumption that Turkey is a safe third country, many refugees currently face the risk of being deported back there. Cases against this further erosion of the right to asylum are pending at the European Court of Human Rights. At the same time, EASO’s practice is under scrutiny by the European Ombudsman, due to a complaint lodged by ECCHR. Continue reading Rejections and Returns: The EU-Turkey Statement and its consequences for refugees in Greece, Turkey and Germany

Three Killed, Several Missing as Migrant Boat Sinks in Eastern Aegean

Via Greek Reporter – At least three people were killed when a boat carrying migrants and refugees to Greece from Turkey capsized in the early hours of Friday. The incident happened at Kalolimnos islet in the Dodecanese, just opposite the Turkish coast.

The Greek coastguard that rushed to the scene discovered the body of one woman. Later, two more bodies were recovered inside Turkey’s territorial waters by the Turkish coastguard. Continue reading Three Killed, Several Missing as Migrant Boat Sinks in Eastern Aegean

Shoe Workers Went on Strike Across Turkey

The resistance started in Adana in September 2017 and spread to İstanbul, Gaziantep, Konya, İzmir and Manisa within a few days. In almost all cities, the resistance resulted in the victory of the workers. The solidarity between Syrian and Turkish workers is the prominent character of this strike. [1]

The workers went on strike with the demands of 25% wage increase, 10% wage increase each year and the demand that Syrian workers – who take the lowest wage among the shoe workers- must be given the same wage as given to the rest of the shoe workers. [2]

The resistance of Turkish, Kurdish and Syrian shoe workers against labor exploitation – uninsured, unsecured and low-paying working conditions- has been running on.  In İzmir, the workers  still keep on organizing demonstrations to put across their demands. [3]

Continue reading Shoe Workers Went on Strike Across Turkey

September Report on Rights Violations and Resistance in Lesvos

Via Legal Centre Lesbos – In September, Mr. Maarten Verwey, EU coordinator for implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement, travelled to Lesvos and met with authorities in the camps, and the Mytilene mayor’s office. He did not, however, meet with any of the individuals best placed to brief him on the impact of the EU-Turkey Statement: the refugees and asylum seekers who know all too well how refugees are treated in Turkey, and as a consequence of the ‘deal’, have been trapped on Lesvos for months and years living in inhumane and degrading conditions in perpetual fear of deportation.

Their situation is constantly deteriorating: The European Commission increases pressure to return even asylum seekers who are classified as vulnerable and individuals applying for family reunification to Turkey. Furthermore, the Greek Council of State Plenary – Greece’s highest administrative court – ruled that Turkey is a safe country, setting dangerous precedent for forcible returns to Turkey under EU-Turkey deal, trampling roughshod over overwhelming evidence that basic human rights of returnees are systematically violated by Erdogan’s repressive authoritarian regime.

However, refugees and supporters on Lesvos keep up resistance. They go on protests marches, occupied the main Square in the town of Mytilene and demand freedom of movement.