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.

European restabilization attempts of the external borders and their consequences

Vial, Former Hotspot, now detention camp, April 2016

A report from the contested borders in the Aegean region

By Sabine Hess and Gerda Heck, June 2016

[updated in September 2016]

After months of massive refugee movements that have breathtakingly struggled their way towards Northern Europe last year, European Union member states have started to launch diverse actions and measurements to regain control. A coalition of Eastern European states led by Austria proclaimed the closing of the Balkan route in March this year that led to massive national re-bordering activities and the blatant construction of  fences. Continue reading European restabilization attempts of the external borders and their consequences

Briefing on the EU-Turkey Cooperation and Relevant Policies No: 1/2016

This brief is prepared by Ayşem Biriz Karaçay for HarekAct, with the objectives of highlighting the phenomena of EU-Turkey cooperation and relevant policy suggestions, and creation of an effective discussion area on these among academia, policy makers and implementers, and civil society actors in Europe.


The 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.

Reporting on the Turkish-EU Border Regime