The correspondent of Independent:The real victims of ‘Operation Olive Branch’ are migrants and babies

Via Diken (Link in Turkish) – Independent’s Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk went to Syria’s Afrin region, where the ‘Operation of the Olive Tree’ was carried out.

Fisk wrote their impressions of the civilian population: “Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria appeared the real victims – migrants, babies, women and children”.

Continue reading the article in Turkish

Concerns grow over conditions at migrant camps

Via Ekathimerini  – Concerns are rising about conditions at reception centers for migrants on the islands of the eastern Aegean amid delays in much-needed infrastructure upgrades and increasingly cramped conditions, with reports of a spike in cases of mental health problems.

Last summer, authorities completed a feasibility study for an upgrade of the drainage and sewerage systems at Moria, the main reception center on Lesvos. But the plan appears to have become mired in bureaucracy. Originally designed to house 1,000 migrants, the camp at Moria is currently hosting nearly seven times that number.

Continue reading Concerns grow over conditions at migrant camps

BREAKING: Syrian refugees fleeing violence shot at and beaten at Turkish border, HRW says

Via ABC News – Desperate Syrian refugees fleeing heightened violence in the north-west of Syria are being shot at and beaten at the Turkish border as they try to flee, Human Rights Watch says.

The human rights group said refugees who had succeeded in crossing to Turkey using smuggling routes told of Turkish border guards shooting at them during their crossing, while others reported asylum seekers being detained and denied medical assistance. Continue reading BREAKING: Syrian refugees fleeing violence shot at and beaten at Turkish border, HRW says

High underage pregnancy rates among refugee children rattle Turkey

Via Heinrich Böll Stiftung Türkei – On January 17, news about a state hospital in one of the largest districts of Istanbul hit the headlines.

It was reported that within a period of five months earlier in 2017, 115 pregnant girls under the age of 18 came to the Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Training and Research Hospital, yet the hospital administration did not report the cases to the police despite the official obligation to do so. A female social worker discovered the cases for the first time, after she came across an undocumented case about a 16 years old girl in July 2017. The girl was neither mentioned in the registration system of the hospital, nor in the documents of the social work unit. Thereupon she decided to search previous cases and looked at the period between January 1-May 9, 2017. She found out that there were 115 undocumented girls all under 18, out of which 38 got pregnant under 15 years. 39 of the girls were of Syrian origin.

Continue reading High underage pregnancy rates among refugee children rattle Turkey

Three young Pakistani migrants rescued with severe hypothermia risk losing limbs

Via Daily Sabah – Three Pakistani migrants, who were found in an eastern Turkish province, are facing the risk of losing their limbs after they suffered from hypothermia.

Hamza Muhammed Raju (12), Sajid Hajijan Muhammed (15) and Qasim Zahid (18) entered Turkey through Iran and wanted to go to Istanbul. However, the smuggler left three desperate teens in Aralık district of eastern Iğdır province. Continue reading Three young Pakistani migrants rescued with severe hypothermia risk losing limbs

Investigation deepens into killing of Nigerian student in Turkish Cyprus

Via Hürriyet Daily News – An autopsy conducted at the Famagusta State Hospital into the recent killing of a Nigerian student in the Turkish Cypriot town of Famagusta has confirmed that he died of a cerebral haemorrhage caused by severe blows to the head.

Kennedy Taomwabwa, 28, who was a student of Eastern Mediterranean University, was reportedly abducted from the city center by a group of eight locals who kidnapped him against his will. Taomwabwa was taken home and killed by the group on Jan. 31, according to police officials. Continue reading Investigation deepens into killing of Nigerian student in Turkish Cyprus

On the issue of Turkish citizenship for Syrians

During summer 2016 the Turkish government first announced to grant Turkish citizenship to some Syrians. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that the first steps have been taking on providing Turkish citizenship to Syrians. In a first stage 30.000 to 40.000 would be granted citizenship, in a move that could grant a total of 300.000 Syrians citizenship.

Continue reading On the issue of Turkish citizenship for Syrians

Hostility toward Syrians could explode in Turkey, ICG warns

Via Al-Monitor – Turkey is rightly commended for hosting over 3 million Syrian refugees fleeing the nearly seven-year-old conflict that continues to wrack their country in new and ghastly iterations. Acts of overt aggression against the “guests,” as Turkey formally labels them, are astonishingly rare. But a new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) published this week raises alarm bells over their future. Continue reading Hostility toward Syrians could explode in Turkey, ICG warns

The Myth of Voluntary Deportations – “Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration” from Greece

By Muriel Schweizer and Valeria Hänsel

The number of people who agree to “voluntary” return from Greece to their country of origin with the programme of “Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration” of the “International Organization for Migration” (IOM) is significantly higher than the number of deportations to Turkey since the EU-Turkey statement.

What happens to migrants who sign up for the IOM return programme during the process and after the return to their home countries?            Why do asylum seekers agree to leave Europe again?

The observation of several cases reveals that many migrants face detention and serious physical and mental harm during and after their participation in the programme of “Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration”.

Photo: IOM Greece

Continue reading The Myth of Voluntary Deportations – “Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration” from Greece

Turkey’s Syrian Refugees: Defusing Metropolitan Tensions

The International Crisis Group published a new report on intercommunal violence between Turkish host communities and Syrian refugees in Turkey’s three largest cities: Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

Host community hostility toward Syrian refugees is on the rise in Turkey’s metropolitan areas. In order to defuse tensions and mitigate rising intercommunal tensions, Ankara and its international partners should support long-term strategies for the Syrians’ sustainable integration.

In İzmir’s Konak district, Crisis Group visits a neighbourhood settled densely by Syrians, on August 2017. Copyright: CRISISGROUP

Click here to read the whole report as PDF Continue reading Turkey’s Syrian Refugees: Defusing Metropolitan Tensions

Reporting on the Turkish-EU Border Regime