The case of Violet and Beatrice was brought to public thanks to the consistent efforts of feminist solidarity groups who followed the case since the beginning till the end. And finally the case ended up with justice. Long live feminist solidarity!
Via Bianet – Two defendants have been sentenced to lifetime imprisonment in trial of Ugandan Nantaba being murdered and her twin sister Babiry being subjected to sexual and physical violence. Continue reading Defendants Sentenced to Lifetime Imprisonment in Murder of Ugandan Sisters
Developments on the Greek Islands
In mid-April, after a court decision, the news that the restriction of movement to the mainland for all migrants arriving on the Greek islands from then on had been lifted made the headlines. Hopes were high of these developments among refugees and their supporters. However, the Greek government quickly issued an administrative decision only a couple of days later, reinstating the former policy, known as the “containment policy” that is responsible for the terrible conditions many migrants face.
Meanwhile, in the four-day trial against the #Moria35 in April, 32 of the 35 defendants were collectively convicted of injuring police officers. The process was politically motivated from the very beginning with almost no proof against the defendants. They were collectively convicted to a 26 months suspended prison sentence, though this penalty is temporarily suspended, since their lawyers lodged an appeal against the decision. Valeria Hänsel, who contributes to HarekAct, drawing on her insights on the situation of refugees on Lesvos and focusing on their detention and deportations, wrote a report about the trial, that we published on HarekAct (in German). Continue reading HarekAct Newsletter V – April, May, and June 2018
The Migrant Solidarity Kitchen, the Migrant Solidarity Network – Ankara and Hamisch – Istanbul Syrian Cultural House issued a statement saying:
Nobody Migrates Without a Reason!
Zero Tolerance for Anti-Immigrant Policies!
In Solidarity with our friends from these initiatives and migrants in Turkey we say #notoantimmigrantpolicies #gocmenkarsitisiyasetegecityok
** English Version (17th June) ** Turkish and Arabic below **
Since the announcement of early elections on 18th of April, electoral campaigns have brought together thousands of people in different cities and squares across the country.
One of the frequently-heard campaign promises during these meetings and rallies has been the promise to send migrants back home, which is the reason why we have decided to make this statement and launch this campaign.
Continue reading Nobody Migrates Without a Reason!
Via Narratively – When you’re queer in the Middle East, escaping war doesn’t mean you’ve escaped the people who want you dead.
“Turkey is now home to around 3.6 million Syrian refugees. In 2015, there were approximately 400 self-identified LGBTQ Syrian refugees in Turkey, according to the Organization for Refugee, Asylum & Migration. The actual number is likely much higher because many are too afraid to speak out. They are accompanied by LGBTQ asylum seekers from Iran, Iraq, and other countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Homosexuality is illegal in many of these countries—even punishable by death in some—but legal in Turkey, making Istanbul a beacon for queer refugees.
“At the bottom of one of Istanbul’s many hills, along a windy road lined with mosques, barber shops and tea gardens, is Istanbul’s only shelter for LGBTQ refugees. Not far from ancient Byzantine walls, Aman LGBT Shelter currently houses 14 LGBTQ refugees, the majority of them from Syria.
Continue reading Where LGBTQ War Refugees Finally Feel Safe
Via Ekathimerini – Report (from 24th April) with more information on the racist attacks on refugees on Lesvos which took place last Sunday
Police forced dozens of migrants, most Afghan asylum-seekers, who had been camped out on the main square of Lesvos island’s capital since last week, onto buses and transported them to the Moria camp in the early hours of Monday after downtown Mytilini turned into a battleground on Sunday.
Continue reading Far-right hooligans attack migrants on Lesvos, turn town into battleground
Via AlJazeera – A mob of far-right protesters have attacked refugees and migrants who had been holding a separate demonstration in the main square of Mytileni, the main town of the Greek island of Lesbos.
Syrian refugees in Turkey face calls to return as public mood changes. For years, most Turks courteously accepted the Syrians fleeing to their country. But attitudes towards refugees appear to be hardening, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hinted the solution could lie in Afrin, the Kurdish enclave in northwestern Syria his troops have just occupied.
Via IRIN – There is talk of infrastructure being rebuilt in Afrin, of voluntary returns, of perhaps 350,000 to 500,000 Syrians being encouraged to go back. But few refugees in Turkey are from Afrin, and it’s unlikely many would want to return to an active war zone, especially if they’re not Kurdish or from that region. Surveys indicate that even if the fighting ends, half of the estimated 3.8 million Syrians (3.4 million registered and up to 400,000 unregistered) in Turkey intend to stay. Continue reading Syrian refugees in Turkey face calls to return as public mood changes
Via Deutsche Welle (from 2nd March) – Turkey’s offensive on Afrin will oust the “terrorist menace” and will ensure the return of Syrian refugees – that’s been the message of President Erdogan. He’s catering to his voters, says DW’s Dorian Jones in Istanbul.
“We are not in a position to continue hosting 3.5 million refugees forever. We’ll solve the Afrin situation … and we would like our refugee brothers and sisters to return to their own country,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared earlier this month, speaking to provincial leaders at his presidential palace.
This was a remarkable turnaround for Erdogan and his government.
Since the start of the Syrian civil war, Turkey has pursued an open-door policy for those fleeing the conflict. “We regard you as our brothers and sisters … Turkey is also your homeland,” Erdogan told refugees at the Syrian border during Ramadan 2016 — even offering them Turkish nationality if they wanted it.
Continue reading With Turkey’s offensive into Afrin, Erdogan is seeking to kill two birds with one stone
Turkish-German newspaper taz.gazete reported on Feb 23rd that since the operation olive branch, resentments against Syrians in Turkey are increasing again.
“When Heso arrived in Turkey, it were everyday encounters and dialogues that made his life difficult: “We were always asked: Why did you come to Turkey, why did not you fight?”. These questions decreased over the years. In order to persevere, they started a new life in Turkey with their families, says Heso.” Continue reading Resentments against Syrians in Turkey: “Why are you not fighting?”
Via Deutschlandfunk (Link in German) – Turkey is hosting many Syrian refugees. The Turkish government always emphasized their hospitality towards the Muslim brothers. But more and more aid organizations complain about attacks against migrants. They report a pogrom-like mood against Syrians in some major cities.