Via Birgün (link in Turkish) – The EU who said to give 3 billion Euro to Turkey in the frame of the EU-Turkey day for refugees, has recently paid its 2.9 billion. 1.6 billion Euro of this amount were allocated for education, health, municipality infrastructure, socioeconomic programs and migration governance. 300 million Euro were given to the Ministry of National Education and another 300 million Euro of its was given to Ministry of Health. UNICEF claims that although a large amount of money was allocated for education, 390 billion school-age refugees are still not provided with educational opportunities. 2
Via Sea-Watch – BREAKING: Turkish Coast Guards attack refugees!
Via ECRE – The Administrative Court of Mytilene restricted automatic detention of asylum seekers on the Eastern Aegean islands with a view of their return to Turkey under the EU Turkey deal. In three decisions from October, the court found that the applicants’ detention was unlawful, on insufficiently justified grounds in two cases and on wrong grounds in a third case. Continue reading Greece: Court curtails detention in the context of the EU-Turkey deal
Via Refugee Rescue – This morning (10th November) at 3.47am, Refugee Rescue boat ‘Mo Chara’ received a request by the Hellenic coastguard to assist in transitioning 17 very distressed and hypothermic people to port.
Several arrivals reported that their dinghy – originally carrying 37 people – was intercepted by the Turkish coast guard in Greek waters. It is alleged that a Turkish official fired multiple gun shots into the air before retreating, and then returned to fire shots into the water close to the dinghy, while ramming the boat with their vessel on a number of occasions. Continue reading Pushback, Violence and Separation of Families in Greek Waters!
Via Bosphorus Migration Studies – Laura Batalla is the Secretary-General of the European Parliament Turkey Forum which is a group comprised of members of the European Parliament who have a keen interest in EU-Turkey relations. Mehmet Enes Beşer made an interview with Mrs. Batalla on the fragile EU-Turkey relations and the future prospects:
“I wouldn’t call it a dispute. However, it is true that we may have hit our lowest point in EU-Turkey relations since accession negotiations started in 2005.” Continue reading Fragile Nature of EU-Turkey Relations: Interview with Laura Batalla
Via Greek Reporter – Council and the European Commission must work urgently with Greece to prevent a humanitarian crisis this winter, according to the he Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament.
The group called for a debate in the parliament’s plenary session next week in Strasbourg. “Thousands of people seeking asylum on the Greek islands still do not have adequate protection for the coming cold months,” said S&D Group President Gianni Pittella. Continue reading EU Parliamentarians Warn Refugees May Die on Greek Islands
Via The Guardian – A surge in refugee arrivals has led to soaring tensions on Greece’s outlying Aegean islands, with Lesbos’s mayor accusing the government in Athens of allowing it to become a giant prison camp.
Boycotting celebrations on Wednesday marking the 105th anniversary of Lesbos’s liberation from Ottoman Turkish rule, local officials gave the leftist-led coalition in Athens an ultimatum: either it took immediate action to decongest the island or risked mass protests from an increasingly unruly population. Continue reading Anger rises in Lesbos over crowded refugee camps
Via University of Oxford / Faculty of Law – Today, Turkey is host to approximately 3.4 million refugees and asylum seekers, including more than 3.2 million Syrians. Due to its strategic location, Turkey has been a transit country for migrants and refugees, a necessary stop on their way to Europe. In 2015, nearly one million people arrived irregularly in Europe by sea, with more than 856,723 refugees and migrants traveling to Greece by sea from Turkey. This explains why cooperation with the Turkish government has become an essential part of the European policy to manage migration.
Event Announcement – Rejections and Returns: The EU-Turkey Statement and its consequences for refugees in Greece, Turkey and Germany
Monday, 20 November, 19:00 – 21:00
ECCHR, Zossener Straße 55-58 (Aufgang D), 10961 Berlin
The EU-Turkey Statement from March 2016 stipulates that “[a]ll new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands as from 20 March 2016 will be returned to Turkey”. Under the adjusted procedures, people who arrive on the Greek islands are subjected to accelerated border procedures and an initial admissibility test on their asylum claim. The European Asylum Support Office (EASO), an EU agency, is in charge of “recommending” a decision to the competent Greek Asylum Service. Based on the dubious assumption that Turkey is a safe third country, many refugees currently face the risk of being deported back there. Cases against this further erosion of the right to asylum are pending at the European Court of Human Rights. At the same time, EASO’s practice is under scrutiny by the European Ombudsman, due to a complaint lodged by ECCHR. Continue reading Rejections and Returns: The EU-Turkey Statement and its consequences for refugees in Greece, Turkey and Germany
The Italian research institute “Istituto Affari Internazionali” published a paper in January on the paradox in EU-Turkish relations regarding their migration cooperation:
“Since the beginning of the Arab uprisings in 2011 and as a result of growing instability in the region, migration transit through Turkey has become an increasingly pressing issue in Europe. The transit of migrants placed Turkey in a buffer position between the Middle East and Europe, and it soon assumed the role of guardian of the Schengen area, “protecting” it from irregular migration. This, combined with the exponential growth of irregular migration flows – soon dubbed the “migrant crisis” – resulted in migration management becoming a key to the ostensible rapprochement between Turkey and the EU. However, as a result of many paradoxes, migration can also hamper Turkey-EU relations, as is already becoming obvious as relations took a turn for the worse since the summer of 2016.”