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.

Greece: Refugees rescued off Peloponnese Island

via Handelsblatt (Link in German) – 84 people were rescued on Thursday night by the Greek coastguard and a cargo vessel off the Peloponnese peninsula. They were in distress at sea, so they had to call the Greek Coast Guards.

Officials from the Greek CG assume that the refugees had left from the Turkish coast in order to reach Italy. After the closure of the Balkan route they now tried to reach Italy by the much more dangerous journey from Turkey through the southern Peloponnese and Ionian sea, to avoid being practically imprisoned on the Greek islands. The Greek CG rescued more than 260 refugees south of the Peloponnese peninsula since the beginning of this year already.

EU court lacks jurisdiction over migrants’ EU-Turkey deal complaint

europe online magazine – The General Court of the European Union said on Tuesday it does not have the jurisdiction to pass judgement on a case brought about by three asylum seekers against a migration deal struck between EU member states and Turkey.

The complainants, two Pakistanis and one Afghan national, had challenged an agreement between Ankara and the bloc to send back migrants arriving in Europe from Turkey. They had each applied for asylum in Greece and argued that they risked persecution if sent back to their home countries.
Continue reading EU court lacks jurisdiction over migrants’ EU-Turkey deal complaint

50% of Turkish-Syrian border wall completed according to TOKI

Star (link in Turkish) – The Public Administration of Social Housing (TOKİ), which is attached to the prime minister office, declared that 50 % of the wall that is being constructed along the Turkish-Syrian border is completed.

In total the wall will be 511 km long: Of these, 97 km in the province of Hatay; 67 km in Kilis; 38,10 km in Gaziantep; 194 km in Şanlıurfa; 66 km in Mardin and 47 km in Şırnak. Continue reading 50% of Turkish-Syrian border wall completed according to TOKI

New detention centres at the external EU borders

ECRE – Greece is building pre-removal detention facilities on the Aegean islands with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the EU-Turkey statement. These will be separate from the Reception and Identification Centres on the hotspots where newly arrived refugees and migrants are initially detained.

According to the EU Coordinator for the implementation of the statement, the pre-removal detention centres on the islands would be a temporary solution to increase the number of returns to Turkey. On Kos, a pre-removal detention centre has been established by a Ministerial Decision entering into force in February 2017 until the end of 2017. The costs of construction of the centre are estimated at €4.5 million. Reference has also been made to pre-removal centres in the remaining hotspots, although an implementing legal instrument has yet to be issued.

3 migrants die as boat sinks on Evros river

Hurriyet Daily News* – Three migrants were killed when a boat carrying at least eight people sank on the Maritza (Turkish: Evros) River in northwestern Turkey early on Feb. 22, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Eight migrants of Pakistani origin were trying to cross the Maritza River that mostly marks the border between Turkey and Greece with a rubber dinghy when their boat capsized around the middle of the river near the İpsala district of Edirne province.

Continue reading 3 migrants die as boat sinks on Evros river

Turkey’s ‘wall of shame’ on Syria border goes unnoticed

Kom News – While the US wall on the border to Mexico has received plenty of attention sparking criticism and protests, Turkey’s construction of a 3 meter high and more than 900 kilometre long wall on the border to Syria has proceeded without much notice. Building of 367 kilometers of the wall has been completed as of January 2017. Continue reading Turkey’s ‘wall of shame’ on Syria border goes unnoticed

Pre-departure migrant camps planned for Greek islands

Ekathimerini – Greek authorities are planning the creation of pre-departure detention facilities on the eastern Aegean islands, where thousands of migrants and refugees remain stranded, so as to accelerate returns to Turkey. Officials say that the creation of closed-structure facilities, each with a capacity of 150-200 people, is key to taking some of the pressure off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros, which have borne the brunt of the influx.

During a tour of these islands last week, the EU’s special envoy on migration, Maarten Verwey, said that the aim was to cut current numbers by half by the end of April. According to official figures, some 14,600 migrants and refugees are currently accommodated at official facilities on the islands. Since the beginning of 2017, authorities have reportedly deported 160 individuals from Pakistan, 150 from Iraq, 70 from Algeria, 30 from Afghanistan, 25 from Morocco and 20 from Bangladesh. Police said 60 Syrians had left Greece voluntarily.

Amnesty: EU-Turkey refugee deal a disaster, must not be repeated

europe online magazine – Amnesty International issued a plea to world leaders on Tuesday not to use the “disastrous” EU-Turkey refugee deal as a blueprint for similar schemes in Libya, Sudan and Niger.
The non-governmental organization says the scheme left thousands of people “stranded in limbo” on the Greek islands. “It is disingenuous in the extreme that European leaders are touting the EU-Turkey deal as a success, while closing their eyes to the unbearably high cost to those suffering the consequences,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty‘s deputy director for Europe.  Amnesty also alleges that international law was breached when some refugees were sent back without being given the opportunity to seek asylum or appeal against their return to Turkey.

Turkey: State paramilitaries are destroying Syrian refugees’ tent homes in İzmir

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