Facing own dangers, Turkey’s LGBT community defends Syrian counterparts

Middle East Eye on Istanbuls Syrian LGBT community:

“Every Sunday, Syrian LGBT refugees from all corners of the city meet up for weekly “Tea and Talk” meetings. Several issues are discussed, including the difficulties involved with obtaining residency permits and applying for asylum, as well as more mundane matters such as entry prices into Istanbul’s various gay clubs. […] Continue reading Facing own dangers, Turkey’s LGBT community defends Syrian counterparts

Arash Hampay on his 17th day of hunger strike

Today has been my seventeenth day of Hunger strike and the eighteenth day for the captives, the refugees who are…

Posted by Arash Hampay on Saturday, July 15, 2017

Two Syrian civilians shot dead by Turkish border police, say activists

There have been many reports of incidents on the Syrian-Turkish border since as early as 2014, according to Amnesty International

Via Middle East Eye – Two Syrian civilians attempting to cross the Turkish borders have been shot dead by Turkish border police, local activists have reported. The two men were identified as Hassan Mustafa and Abduljabar Aldali from a town called Kifr Kar in the northern suburbs of Aleppo. Continue reading Two Syrian civilians shot dead by Turkish border police, say activists

EU-Turkey migrant deal impacts mental health of refugees on Greek islands – Watchdog

Via Komnews – The EU-Turkey refugee deal, which aims to reduce the number of asylum seekers coming to Greece, has provoked a mental health crisis among thousands of migrants who have been trapped on Greek islands since March 2016, a human rights watchdog revealed on Wednesday. Continue reading EU-Turkey migrant deal impacts mental health of refugees on Greek islands – Watchdog

“Free us or be responsible for our deaths”

Author: Valeria Hänsel

For 14 days, refugee activist Arash Hampay has refused food. On the Greek island of Lesvos, he sits on the central square of the town Mytilini surrounded by shops, cafés and tourists, presenting a sign stating “Refugees are not Criminals”.

He is exhausted but determined to continue his hunger strike until the end. His open statement leaves no doubt:

“We shall continue our hunger strike until the prisoners in Moria camp are released, regardless of the consequences for us. A life without freedom is worthless and meaningless for us. You must release the refugees or we shall end our lives in front of your eyes and the people’s eyes. We are waiting for you. The people are waiting for you. You must free us or else be responsible for our death. We will keep waiting until the last drop of life falls from our bodies.”

Surrounded by tourists and cafes, Arash Hampay has started a hunger strike on the island of Lesvos. Photo by: Lorraine Leete, Legal Centre Lesbos.

Continue reading “Free us or be responsible for our deaths”

Report on “Syrian Refugee Labor” by Turkish Metalworkers’ Union

Via Hurriyet  DailyNews –  At a time when the number of racist attacks targeting Syrian refugees in Turkey is on the rise, the United Metalworkers’ Union (Birleşik Metal İş Sendikası) issued a report called “Syrian Refugee Labor.” We have thus seen once again how most of the three million Syrian refugees are living under difficult conditions here.

Eight academics from various universities drafted the report. Face to face interviews were conducted with both Turkish and Syrian workers in the textile sector. The result is striking but not unexpected, because we knew that Syrian workers were unregistered and highly underpaid.

The report said 99.6 percent of male Syrian workers and 100 percent of female Syrian workers were unregistered. As an example of the pay gap between Syrian and Turkish workers, the average pay of Syrian women workers corresponds to only half of the average Turkish male worker’s pay.  Continue reading →

 

“I came to Greece to escape imprisonment in Iran – but now I realise that Europe is worse”

The Independent spoke to Arash Hampay about his hunger strike in Lesvos:

I am used to having my human rights trampled on. I have been tortured by police in jails from Tehran to Istanbul. But the treatment like we are experiencing here at the hands of the European Union has left me shocked. In fact, as hunger strikers, we could access medical care in Iran that has been denied to us by the Greek authorities. Continue reading “I came to Greece to escape imprisonment in Iran – but now I realise that Europe is worse”

Turks lash out in second summer of hate against Syrian refugees

Turkish military deaths in Syria and images of Syrians returning to their homeland for Eid spark violence and intimidation in Turkey

Via Middle East Eye – A hot summer has brought tempers to boiling point in Turkey, as hatred against its 2.9 million Syrian refugees spikes with Twitter campaigns, violence and even government ministers lashing out at their guests.

Reporting on the Turkish-EU Border Regime