Deutsche Welle – One day after the European Parliament voted in favor of freezing EU membership talks with Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey could open its borders and allow migrants to leave for Europe if pushed by the European Union.
“If you go any further, these border gates will be opened,” he said in Istanbul. “Neither me nor my people will be affected by these dry threats. It wouldn’t matter if all of you approved the [European Parliament] vote.”
Al Jazeera – Haji, together with his wife and four young children, was illegally returned from Greece to Turkey last month. Police told them they would be transferred to Athens and they were escorted to the airport by a group of officers from the EU border agency, Frontex. They boarded a plane but instead of flying to Athens, two hours later they touched down in Adana, southern Turkey. “When I saw the Turkish flag at the airport my dreams were shattered,” Haji told me.
As Haji and his family are stranded in Turkey, a further 62,000 refugees and migrants are stranded in Greece, living in a state of constant fear and uncertainty. This is the result of the EU-Turkey migration deal and the failure of European leaders to relocate the promised numbers of refugees from Greece.
Hurriyet Daily News – Migrants in a deportation center in the central Kumkapı district of Istanbul have escaped from the building as they set the building on fire. Police have opened warning fire in order to prevent some 50 migrants from escaping, but couldn’t stop them.
Hurriyet Daily News – Six people were killed and another three went missing on Nov. 18 when a boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Turkey’s Didim in the Aegean province of Aydın, Doğan News Agency has reported. The fiber boat, carrying 13 Syrian migrants bound for Greek islands, reportedly capsized off the Turkish coast due to bad weather conditions.
Welcome2Lesvos – Tensions on the Aegean islands run high after the Greek government announced to open three more so-called “hot-spots” only for “pre-removals” on the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Kos. They are, in fact, deportation prisons. Local residents and municipalities oppose these plans. The atmosphere within the camps is boiling over. It has been announced that, from November onward, weekly deportations to Turkey for 200 persons each time will take place, coordinated by Frontex. This would turn Lesvos into a deportation hub.
Birgün – Migrant worker deaths are increasing. 76 migrant worker died in first nine months of this year according to İşçi Sağlığı ve İş Güvenliği Meclisi (İSİG). The number of deaths were 23 in 2013, 53 in 2014 and 67 in 2015.
BBC – Syrian refugee children have been making clothes for British shoppers, an undercover BBC investigation has found. All the brands say they carefully monitor their supply chains and do not tolerate the exploitation of refugees or children. One of the refugees told Panorama they were poorly treated at the factory. He said: “If anything happens to a Syrian, they will throw him away like a piece of cloth.”
UNHCR – UNHCR is seriously concerned by the return of Syrian nationals from Greece to Turkey. According to the information we have received, a group of 91 people arrived on the island of Milos on 9 October. On October 14th, the group was subsequently transferred to a Reception and Identification Centre on the island of Leros, where they formally expressed to the responsible authorities their will to seek asylum in Greece. Among the group were 10 Syrian nationals who were transferred to Kos and subsequently readmitted by plane to Adana, Turkey without due consideration of their asylum claims.
Reuters – Turkey is ready for hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Iraqi city of Mosul if a U.S.-backed operation to drive out Islamic State fuels sectarian violence, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.
DW – Ankara has the opinion that migration should be absorbed in Iraq’s territory.