Via Afghanistan Analysts – In a recent television appearance, the Turkish Interior Minister, Suleyman Soylu, said that 15,000 Afghans have been sent back home from Turkey. While it is likely that this number has been exaggerated, there is no doubt that in April and May of 2018, thousands of Afghan migrants were sent back on charter flights from Turkey to Kabul. This is the Turkish government’s response after a 400 per cent increase in arrivals of Afghan migrants to Turkey during the first quarter of 2018. In early April of this year, the first charter flight carrying Afghans back to Kabul flew out of Erzurum, a city in eastern Anatolia that has become the centre of these returns. AAN’s guest author Amy Pitonak visited Erzurum to find out first-hand about the situation for Afghans there.
They survived bullets, beatings and insults from border guards. Bandits stripped them of nearly everything except their shoes and clothes — which over the months of the journey they would wash in whatever puddle or pool was available, laying the clothes out in the sun to dry and then wear again.
But their migration halted suddenly in Turkey, and now they were being deported to a home country racked by war. I flew with them on the return flight to Kabul from Istanbul that finally ended their hopes. It took just five hours last month. Continue reading Their Road to Turkey Was Long and Grueling, but the Short Flight Home Was Crueler
Via Legal Centre Lesbos – In the months since our last update on rights violations and resistance in Lesvos, our advocacy and campaigning resources were almost exclusively focused on the two trials for the Moria 35 and Moria 10 that took place in Chios in late April and early May 2018.
The situation has predictably worsened in Lesvos. Continue reading New Monthly Report on Rights Violations and Resistance by Legal Centre Lesbos
Update: According to information by the Adana based association “Sığınmacı ve Göçmenler Derneği”, the two Iranians were not deported and their applications for international protection have been accepted.
Via Hurriyet Daily News – Turkish police stopped two minibuses in the southern city of Adana after they were notified that a group of refugees who illegally crossed into Turkey from the eastern province of Van planned to go to Istanbul via Adana, local media reported on June 4.
Thirty-one Afghan, 18 Pakistani and two Iranian citizens, who paid the human smugglers up to $5,000 each, were detained in the police operation after they showed fake permits, according to the reports.
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on 15 May that Turkey will join the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). This is yet another step towards embracing the political idea of “migration management”. At the same time, the decision means further expanding Turkey’s cooperation with EU member states with the aim to regulate and control migration into the EU – and into Turkey.
Via Daily News (06.05.2018) – Hundreds of undocumented Afghan and Syrian migrants have been rounded up and deported during anti-human trafficking operations in Turkey’s Aegean provinces, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on May 5. Continue reading 324 Afghan migrants deported from Turkey
Via Greek Reporter – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency, is reporting that more than 10,000 migrants left voluntarily from Greece between June 2016 and April this year.
Among the returnees, almost 8,380 were men and 2,125 were women. The IOM says special assistance was provided to 77 unaccompanied migrant children, helping them to reunite with their families.
The voluntary returns saw people go back to their homes in 84 countries and territories over a 20-month period through a program funded by the EU and Greece.
Via Amnesty International – At least 2,000 Afghans who fled to Turkey to escape conflict and the worst excesses of the Taliban are in detention and at imminent risk of being forced back to danger, Amnesty International said today. The Turkish authorities appear to be ramping up a deportation spree that has seen 7,100 Afghans rounded up and returned to Afghanistan since early April.
The Turkish authorities told Amnesty International that all these returns are voluntary, and that the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR has periodic access to places of detention. However, in telephone interviews with detainees in the Düziçi container camp in southern Turkey, where at least 2,000 Afghans are believed to be held, Amnesty International heard how detainees have been pressured to sign documents written in Turkish, which they are unable to understand. These could be “voluntary repatriation forms,” which the Turkish authorities have previously used in coercive circumstances with Syrian and other refugees.
Via EurAsiaNet – There was a time when Turkey felt like a safe haven for victims of political repression in Tajikistan. But the threat of attacks by groups like Islamic State and a state of emergency declared after a July 2016 coup attempt have changed all that.
As well as embarking on a wave of arrests that put almost 50,000 Turkish nationals behind bars, the government has diluted the protections once afforded to foreign dissidents. Moreover, informal connivance among governments has eased the process of casting out unwanted elements. Continue reading Turkey’s authoritarian turn deprives Tajiks of safe haven