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.

EU opens new chapter in Turkey membership talks

Middle East Eye – The European Union announced on Thursday it has opened a new negotiating chapter with Turkey on its long-stalled bid for membership of the bloc, as part of its refugee and migrant deal with Ankara.

Turkey formally launched its membership bid in 2005 and since then the EU has opened 15 chapters out of the 35 required to join the bloc, although it has only completed one.

No legal working conditions for Syrians in sight

This Guardian report on the working conditions for Syrian refugees is from April 2016 but highlights why it is almost impossible for Syrians to get a legal working permit. The new law on working permissions for Syrians enacted in January, does not offer refugees route to legal labour market as it requires employers to offer contracts and pay minimum wage. But this is an unattractive proposition for many employers, since they often employ Syrians precisely because they are easily exploited. As a result, many have to work in clandestine conditions making them vulnerable to any kind of exploitation.

Support for a co-ordinated Humanitarian Search and Rescue operation is denied

Watch the Med Alarm Phone – A Joint Statement and Case Study by Sea-Watch, ProActiva Open Arms, WatchTheMed Alarm Phone, Human Rights at Sea and CADUS on how the Turkish Coast Guard denied support for a co-ordinated Humanitarian Search and Rescue operation. They demand an independent investigation of a fatal
 distress case that occurred on 19.03.2016 in the Aegean Sea

 in which two people lost they lives.

Turkish Foreign Ministry rejects claims of killings on Syrian border

Hurriyet Daily News – The Foreign Ministry on June 19 denied claims that Turkish security forces killed a group of Syrian civilians attempting to cross the border into Turkey. In a statement, ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said the allegations “do not reflect the truth.”
“Our security forces are acting within a completely legal framework while intervening in border incidents and illegal crossing attempts,” Bilgic added.

Greece wants send thousands of migrants back to Turkey in coming weeks

Reuters – Greece wants to dramatically escalate returns of migrants to Turkey in the coming weeks under a European Union deal with Ankara, the migration minister said on Friday, amid criticism it has been too slow to process them.

Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas said Greece wanted to send thousands of migrants who arrived by crossing the Aegean Sea back to Turkey within weeks if they did not qualify for asylum in Greece. “It would constitute failure if, within the next month-and-a-half, those who are obliged to leave the islands didn’t do so,” Mouzalas told Greek TV. Asked how many people that amounted to, Mouzalas said “more than half” of the migrants currently there.

WatchTheMed Alarm Phone denounces illegal push-back operation with Frontex present

Watch the Med Alarm Phone – Between Chios/Greece and Cesme/Turkey, a refugee boat with adults and children escaping wars and conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, and elsewhere, were illegally pushed-back to Turkey. Escaping violence to find security in Europe, the refugees were threatened with gun violence when being forced back to Turkey, where they will not find safety. They had already made it into Greek territory but the Greek coast guard, while promising safety and in the presence of two Frontex vessels, returned them to Turkey.

“Refugees are left alone on the streets”

Mediendienst Integration – Dr. Cavidan Soykan, who is part of HarekAct and GAR ‘Migraiton Research Plattform’ did an interview with Mediendienst Integration:  Turkey currently represents the largest refugee-hosting country in the world. However, human rights organizations have raised serious questions on whether its asylum policies abide by international agreements. What does the Turkish asylum system look like? And how are refugees treated?