Since the EU-Turkey statement came into force on March 20th 2016, thousands of refugees became trapped on the Greek islands. Some of them will soon experience their second winter on the islands, waiting for the examination of their asylum claims or for their deportation to Turkey.
Last winter, in the European hotspot camp Moria on Lesvos alone, six people died. No one took responsibility for their deaths. This winter, people seeking protection and a decent life will again be forced to sleep on the ground in thin summer tents and behind barbed wire. Given the circumstances, it seems likely that more deaths will follow.
Grassroots initiatives and small organizations from the Greek islands and mainland have joined forces, supported by international solidarity groups calling together to “Open the islands – No more dead from cold”. HarekAct joins this statement, in which we demand the European Union and the Greek government to put an end to the restriction of movement to the islands, and let people move on at last to find safety! Continue reading JOINT STATEMENT: Open the Greek islands – No more dead from cold
Via Ekathimerini – Police in northern Greece are reporting a rise the number of refugees and migrants illegally entering the country’s land border with Turkey during September. Police in Thessaloniki said Tuesday 2,428 people were recorded to have illegally entered Greece over the land border in September, compared to 1,497 in August.
The uptick matches increased arrivals by sea from Turkey, which in September reached 4,886, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Continue reading Greece sees rise in refugee, migrant arrivals in September
Via Bianet – The United States Embassy in Turkey has declared that it has indefinitely suspended all visa services in Turkey. “Recent events have forced the United States government to reassess the commitment of government of Turkey to the security of US mission and personnel,” the statement by the US mission in Ankara said. Continue reading US, Turkey Mutually Suspend Visa Services
Via AIDA – On 22 September 2017, the Greek Council of State, the highest administrative court of the country, delivered two long-awaited judgments (2347/2017 and 2348/2017). The rulings concern actions for annulment brought against: three Ministerial Decisions regulating the Independent Appeals Committees as second-instance asylum authorities following the 2016 asylum reforms; and Decision 4159/2016 of the Third Independent Appeals Committee of 8 September 2016, upholding the rejection by the Regional Asylum Office of Lesvos of an asylum application of a Syrian national as inadmissible on the basis that Turkey was a “safe third country” in his case. Continue reading GREECE: THE RULING OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE ON THE ASYLUM PROCEDURE POST EU-TURKEY DEAL
Via Tagesspiegel (from 12.09; Link in German) – While the German government criticizes the deteriorating human rights situation in Turkey and voiced travel warnings for Turkey for German nationals, the asylum office BAMF rejects most of asylum claims from Turkish nationals. From the 8.547 asylum claims coming from Turkish nationals taken this year, 5.040 asylum seekers were rejected as unfounded.
So, according to the German government, Turkey is not safe for German nationals, but they don’t seem to have any problems with deporting Turks to that same country and human rights conditions: A total of 26 Turks were deported to Turkey this year.
Continue reading in German at Tagesspiegel
PS:EUROPE Institute, with the cooperation of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Turkey, has published its latest research report on the perception of asylum-seekers, immigrants and refugees in Turkey and the reasons behind it. Click here to proceed to the report
Via AP News – More than 20 migrants or refugees were rescued and one child died Thursday on a Greek island after the boat they set sail in overnight from the nearby Turkish coast either capsized or sank, Greek authorities said.
A vessel from the European border agency Frontex patrolling the area initially picked up six people — one man, two women and three children — it spotted in the sea off the small southeastern island of Kastellorizo in the early hours of Thursday, the Greek coast guard said. The six were transported to land immediately because one of the children, a 9-year-old girl, needed medical attention, but she later died, the coast guard said. Another four of the survivors were hospitalized. Continue reading Greece: 25 migrants rescued, 1 child dies in boat accident
Via PRI – During World War II, Romania’s Jewish refugees, fleeing extermination in Europe, would pay to cram aboard flimsy boats crossing the Black Sea to the Middle East. In 2017, Romania’s shores have been the recipient of migrant boats traveling the journey in reverse, as a rarely-used smuggler’s passage is reactivated.
The recent boat arrivals have prompted speculation that the Black Sea is opening up as a perilous new corridor into Europe, though such observations may be premature.
Continue reading Romania faces a rush of migrant boats as smugglers test new routes to Europe
Via Hurriyet Daily News* – The construction of a concrete barrier along hundreds of kilometers of Turkey’s border with Syria is expected to be completed by the end of September, a Turkish official told state-run Anadolu Agency on Sept. 22.
A total of 731 kilometers of the border wall has already been finished, the official told the agency. The remaining 97 km of the wall will be completed by the end of this month, the official added. Continue reading AA: “Turkey-Syria border wall to be completed by end of September”