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.

Erdogan threatens to scrap EU-Turkey migrant deal

BBC – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to tear up a key migrant deal with the European Union. He said the EU could “forget about” Turkey re-admitting failed asylum seekers who had reached Europe via Turkey, a key part of the agreement.

Mr Erdogan also said the EU’s top court was leading a “crusade” against Islam. His comments are the latest in a widening, increasingly acrimonious dispute with EU governments and institutions.

Read the full article here

Turkey having second thoughts about the Deal

Are you Syrious – Turkey has partially suspended the refugee agreement with the EU. At present, no refugees are withdrawn from the Greek islands, said the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu today. The main reason for this, according to him, is the lack of visa-free travel for the Turks in the EU, interpreting that as the Union’s not respecting of their side of the deal. There are a lot of doubts about these potential “threats” from the Turkish side.

According to the latest official statistics, 110 people have been returned to Turkey from the Aegean islands in 2017. In spite of the decision for Turkey to “ re-evaluate” the land-passage aspects of the EU- Turkey deal, he also said that Turkey would not reopen its Aegean border.

Turkey to put readmission of refugees on hold

Zeit Online (link in German) – Turkey is partly putting the refugee agreement with the EU  on hold. On Wednesday, Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said towards the TV-channel 24TV that no refugees are being admitted back from the Greek islands at the moment. At the same time, he threatened with a complete revocation of the deal. The Turkish government could end the agreement at any time, he said adding that ‘from now on, we could say that we will not put the deal into practice and it’s over.’

A Threat on Migration That May Prove to Be Empty

The New York Times on Turkey’s threats to review the EU-Turkey Deal again. 

“We will review the migrant deal if necessary,” Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, warned on Monday night. In Europe, the announcement prompted fears of a repeat of the 2015 migration surges that saw 850,000 people leave Turkey for Greece in a single year. “I expect waves of people,” he said in a video call on Tuesday night. “The business will come back to the way it was, and maybe better.”

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