Syrians in Turkey: The Human Smuggler and the Young Refugee

Via New York Times – Patrick Kingsley reports on the State of Emergency in Turkey and how people are dealing with hard times in a nation strained by war, terrorist insurgencies, a refugee crisis and a widening crackdown on dissent. This article is about two Syrians: a former smuggler and a child-labourer.

“After earning $800,000 in 2015 by sneaking migrants out of Turkey, a smuggler says he has left the guilt and complications of his business behind — mostly. And a Syrian refugee boy, homeless and out of school, must keep roaming the country to find farm work and help his family survive.”

Search and rescue operation for three refugees who allegedly tried to reach Chios swimming

Via Era-Aegean (Translated from Greek) – On Monday evening, the Greek coast guards were engaged in an operation to search and rescue three refugees who allegedly tried to swim from the Turkish shores to the island of Chios. The rescue operation took place close to the island Paspargos and Karfas. A helicopter was involved but the rescue operation remained without success. The three people could not be found.

The Greek authorities informed the Turkish Coast Guards regarding the three refugees, so that the latter proceeds to similar operations in the Turkish territorial waters.

Refugees and migrants flows increase again: 566 new arrivals in last five days

via Keep talking Greece – More migrants and refugees crossed to Turkey: In last five days, a total of 566 people arrived to the Greek islands on boat coming from Turkey. Most of them arrived on the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos. It is unclear whether the flow increase is due to fair weather conditions or whether Ankara started to make its threats come true. Continue reading Refugees and migrants flows increase again: 566 new arrivals in last five days

More refugee reach Greek islands through Aegean

Deutschlandfunk (Link in German) – More refugees than usual arrived on the islands in the Eastern Aegean during the last two days.

According to authorities in charge 360 people crossed from the Turkish mainland to the Greek islands. Lately, an average of 35 people per day crossed the Aegean. The Greek coast guards explain the rise of arrivals with better weather conditions. The Turkish government repeatedly threatened the EU with the resignation of the migration agreement. Continue reading More refugee reach Greek islands through Aegean

Bulgaria says ready to protect border with Turkey

Yahoo – Bulgaria said Saturday it was ready to boost patrols and finish a fence along its southeastern frontier with Turkey in an effort to hold off any new influx of migrants. The pledge comes as Turkey is in separate rows with Bulgaria and the EU, raising worries Ankara could allow a rush of asylum seekers across the border.

HarekAct Statement: One year after the EU-Turkey Deal

Today is the first anniversary of the signature of the EU-Turkey statement, commonly known as the EU-Turkey Deal, which aimed at stopping the arrival of asylum seekers and migrants in the EU. It was signed on 18th March 2016 as an answer to the “long summer of migration”1 in 2015, when thousands of people made use of their human right to freedom of movement and crossed from Turkey to Greece in order to continue further into Europe. The deal aims at reducing the number of migrants and refugees reaching Europe in return for certain promises to Turkey: visa-free travel for Turkish citizens, financial aid for the reception of deported migrants and accelerated EU membership talks. Continue reading HarekAct Statement: One year after the EU-Turkey Deal

The EU – Turkey Deal One Year On: The Rise of Walls of Shame

ECRE op-ed by Cavidan Soykan on year after the EU-Turkey Deal. She is a member of Mülteci-Der and an independent researcher working on the Turkish asylum system

This week marks the anniversary of the controversial EU–Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016. The Statement placed responsibility for halting irregular crossings and deaths in the Aegean Sea in the hands of two countries: Greece and Turkey.

The Statement is a prime example of externalization policy, an attempt to harden the borders of the EU against unwanted migration through readmission agreements and prevention of access to asylum in Europe. However, the fear generated in Greece and Turkey that their territory would become a buffer zone for asylum seekers and refugees who failed to reach other European countries has led them to imitate the same restrictive strategies. Continue reading The EU – Turkey Deal One Year On: The Rise of Walls of Shame

Report: EU-Turkey deal makes seeking refuge in Europe “mission impossible” for most vulnerable

Oxfam -In a new report “The reality of the EU-Turkey statement: How Greece has become a testing ground for policies that erode protection for refugees”the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and Oxfam showcase how vulnerable people are forced to live in degrading conditions, and it outlines the many ways in which asylum seekers are barred from exercising their right to a fair asylum process.

The EU-Turkey deal has turned Greece into a testing ground for European Union policies that are eroding the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, and expose people to risk and abuse, the three organizations said today. The humanitarian agencies warned the deal is causing human suffering and should under no circumstances be replicated with other countries. Continue reading Report: EU-Turkey deal makes seeking refuge in Europe “mission impossible” for most vulnerable

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

Reporting on the Turkish-EU Border Regime