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.
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.
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.
The attacks, which started at around 8pm local time (17:00 GMT) on Sunday, sparked clashes that lasted throughout the night.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 International Crisis Group published a new reporton 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.