Bilmek İstiyoruz! // We Want to Know!

Göçmen Dayanışma Ağı – Recently, we hear often that as a result of police operations in certain district, people of “foreign origin” are “caught”, detained, and sent to camps or detention center. We only get the news that they will be deported, but there is no information on what were they accused of actually. In Istanbul, sometimes police and municipal police teams pick up migrants (mostly children) accused of getting involved in begging, and send them to Pendik Kızılay Dr. Kemal Demir Refugee Camp. At the target of all these operations, there are undocumented migrants, people of certain nationalities, or those who are accused of a suspicion of “terror” or other crimes. No information is made public other than the number (and sometimes nationalities) of people arrested. For instance, according to some news published on 1st of February it was declared that “203 people of foreign origin were detained”, and that they will be sent to General Directorate of Migration Management and deported. However, there was nothing else made public, but that people who were detained were processed according to “violation of document” and that such inspections will further continue in the following days. Continue reading Bilmek İstiyoruz! // We Want to Know!

Greece: Refugees rescued off Peloponnese Island

via Handelsblatt (Link in German) – 84 people were rescued on Thursday night by the Greek coastguard and a cargo vessel off the Peloponnese peninsula. They were in distress at sea, so they had to call the Greek Coast Guards.

Officials from the Greek CG assume that the refugees had left from the Turkish coast in order to reach Italy. After the closure of the Balkan route they now tried to reach Italy by the much more dangerous journey from Turkey through the southern Peloponnese and Ionian sea, to avoid being practically imprisoned on the Greek islands. The Greek CG rescued more than 260 refugees south of the Peloponnese peninsula since the beginning of this year already.

EU court lacks jurisdiction over migrants’ EU-Turkey deal complaint

europe online magazine – The General Court of the European Union said on Tuesday it does not have the jurisdiction to pass judgement on a case brought about by three asylum seekers against a migration deal struck between EU member states and Turkey.

The complainants, two Pakistanis and one Afghan national, had challenged an agreement between Ankara and the bloc to send back migrants arriving in Europe from Turkey. They had each applied for asylum in Greece and argued that they risked persecution if sent back to their home countries.
Continue reading EU court lacks jurisdiction over migrants’ EU-Turkey deal complaint

50% of Turkish-Syrian border wall completed according to TOKI

Star (link in Turkish) – The Public Administration of Social Housing (TOKİ), which is attached to the prime minister office, declared that 50 % of the wall that is being constructed along the Turkish-Syrian border is completed.

In total the wall will be 511 km long: Of these, 97 km in the province of Hatay; 67 km in Kilis; 38,10 km in Gaziantep; 194 km in Şanlıurfa; 66 km in Mardin and 47 km in Şırnak. Continue reading 50% of Turkish-Syrian border wall completed according to TOKI

New detention centres at the external EU borders

ECRE – Greece is building pre-removal detention facilities on the Aegean islands with the aim of accelerating the implementation of the EU-Turkey statement. These will be separate from the Reception and Identification Centres on the hotspots where newly arrived refugees and migrants are initially detained.

According to the EU Coordinator for the implementation of the statement, the pre-removal detention centres on the islands would be a temporary solution to increase the number of returns to Turkey. On Kos, a pre-removal detention centre has been established by a Ministerial Decision entering into force in February 2017 until the end of 2017. The costs of construction of the centre are estimated at €4.5 million. Reference has also been made to pre-removal centres in the remaining hotspots, although an implementing legal instrument has yet to be issued.

#CrossingNoMore revisited – new shortfilm on the protest

In September 2015, thousands of refugees gathered in a number of cities in Turkey, such as Istanbul, EdirneTheir goal was to cross over the Turkish borders all together and reach Europe. The scale of the march in Turkey was absolutely unprecedented. People carried banners and signs addressing the European Union, and some signs even referred personally to Germany’s chancelor Angela Merkel.

In a press release, the demonstrators referred to themselves as migrants who were fighting for their rights. Many of them marched together with their whole families but carried only some bags or just a backpack. Although the majority were from Syria, other nationalities were present too. Some had lived in Turkey for years, while others had e.g. just come from Lebanon or Jordan. The people who camped in parks or at the highway waited for Europe to open its borders. This never happened. The Turkish police pushed migrants to go to Ankara, Istanbul or Izmir and arrested hundreds of them.

3 migrants die as boat sinks on Evros river

Hurriyet Daily News* – Three migrants were killed when a boat carrying at least eight people sank on the Maritza (Turkish: Evros) River in northwestern Turkey early on Feb. 22, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Eight migrants of Pakistani origin were trying to cross the Maritza River that mostly marks the border between Turkey and Greece with a rubber dinghy when their boat capsized around the middle of the river near the İpsala district of Edirne province.

Continue reading 3 migrants die as boat sinks on Evros river

The EU-Turkey deal: What happens to people who return to Turkey?

Forces Migration Review – Jill Alpes and Sevda Tunaboylu published a short articles on the deportations from Greece to Turkey since the EU-Turkey deal: “People who return to Turkey under the EU-Turkey deal are detained and many risk onward deportation without access to legal aid and international protection.” Continue reading The EU-Turkey deal: What happens to people who return to Turkey?

Turkey’s ‘wall of shame’ on Syria border goes unnoticed

Kom News – While the US wall on the border to Mexico has received plenty of attention sparking criticism and protests, Turkey’s construction of a 3 meter high and more than 900 kilometre long wall on the border to Syria has proceeded without much notice. Building of 367 kilometers of the wall has been completed as of January 2017. Continue reading Turkey’s ‘wall of shame’ on Syria border goes unnoticed

Pre-departure migrant camps planned for Greek islands

Ekathimerini – Greek authorities are planning the creation of pre-departure detention facilities on the eastern Aegean islands, where thousands of migrants and refugees remain stranded, so as to accelerate returns to Turkey. Officials say that the creation of closed-structure facilities, each with a capacity of 150-200 people, is key to taking some of the pressure off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros, which have borne the brunt of the influx.

During a tour of these islands last week, the EU’s special envoy on migration, Maarten Verwey, said that the aim was to cut current numbers by half by the end of April. According to official figures, some 14,600 migrants and refugees are currently accommodated at official facilities on the islands. Since the beginning of 2017, authorities have reportedly deported 160 individuals from Pakistan, 150 from Iraq, 70 from Algeria, 30 from Afghanistan, 25 from Morocco and 20 from Bangladesh. Police said 60 Syrians had left Greece voluntarily.

Reporting on the Turkish-EU Border Regime