Tag Archives: EU-Turkey deal

Raw Deal


What happened to the billions that Brussels pledged to Turkey to keep refugees out of the EU

Via The Black Sea – By Craig Shaw, Zeynep Şentek & Şebnem Arsu.

The ending of Europe’s refugee crisis was built on a legally dubious, three billion Euro deal between the EU and Turkey in 2016

With the recent announcement of a further three billion Euro pledged for Turkey, the existing deal is not as successful as the EU publicly states: NGOs have been harassed and fined, there is little public accountability on how money is spent, and many infrastructure projects are only just beginning

Meanwhile, despite requesting to extend the agreement, Turkey is already crafting a “counter narrative” to send refugees back to Syria.

A ‘Billions for Borders’ report for EIC Network, with additional reporting by John Hansen (Politiken), Emilie Ekeberg (Danwatch), Margherita Bettoni (The Black Sea), Hanneke Chin-A-Fo (NRC) Francesca Sironi (L’Espresso). Continue reading Raw Deal

No Way Out


The European Union is funding military equipment used by Turkey to stop refugees from fleeing the Syrian Civil War and entering the EU

Via The Black Sea -By Zeynep Sentek and Sebnem Arsu.

Under an agreement in March 2016, the EU pledged six billion Euro to Turkey to effectively trap millions of refugees within its country and stop them from entering the European Union.

This is not the only cash from the EU. It also pays Turkey for military equipment which is used at its borders with Syria and Greece to halt those wishing to seek asylum in the 28-member bloc.

An investigation into EU contracts by Politiken and Danwatch (Denmark) in partnership with the European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) reveals that EU has supplied Turkey with 83 million Euro in armoured military vehicles and surveillance equipment for what witnesses say is aggressive patrolling of the borders.

These deals also risk the EU being complicit in possible violations of the international rights of refugees. Continue reading No Way Out

update: merging posts on ‘Monitoring the EU-Turkey Deal’ with rest of the HarekAct content

In late summer 2017 we started the section on ‘Monitoring the EU-Turkey Deal’, extending our focus further to Europe by reporting on the EU-Turkey Deal and its consequences for migrants in Greece. Through a cooperation with activists on Lesvos we were able to report more and focus on the region.

The cooperation has been very good and the situation on the Aegean Islands has not improved in the last months, tensions on the islands are rather getting higher. Therefore we will continue reporting on the topic, though not under the special section of ‘Monitoring the EU-Turkey Deal’ but we will post these articles under our existing categories: news, in depth or reports and documents

Articles concerning these topics will be tagged with #EU-Turkey Deal or #Aegean Islands

Turkey has joined the ICMPD: What does this mean?

Now even closer: ICMPD and Turkey (photo by ICMPD)

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.

Continue reading Turkey has joined the ICMPD: What does this mean?

EU warns of new surge in asylum seekers from Turkey

Via Hurriyet Daily News (16th May 2018) – The EU warned on May 16 that asylum seeker arrivals from Turkey have surged this year and called on member countries to act urgently on pledges of support for the bloc’s border force.

The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, said 15,457 people had arrived via Turkey on Greece’s sea and land borders through March, nine times higher than the same period last year. Continue reading EU warns of new surge in asylum seekers from Turkey

Re-thinking EU-Turkey Deal: Asylum and Protection

Via Bosphorus Migration Studies (7th May 2018) – After the EU-Turkey readmission plan, the migrant flows in the Aegean Sea are decreased. However, raised concerns on human rights abuses leaded us to follow recent steps taken by the governments. Orçun Ulusoy and Jill Alpes, prominent scholars working on this topic answered Mehmet Enes Beşer‘s questions.

Why do you think there is limited access to people who have been readmitted from Greece to Turkey? Is it mostly due to lack of research on the part of international organisations or lack of data provided by both countries?

Continue reading Re-thinking EU-Turkey Deal: Asylum and Protection

borderline-europe report from the island of Lesvos

In April 2018, borderline-europe members Doro Bruch, Jan Dunkemölle und Nora Freitag visited Lesvos for two weeks to gain an overview on the current situation for migrants in the island. They talked to lawyers, NGO workers, refugees and activists.

Stage2 camp in the North of Lesvos

Their report is aimed at providing insights on the current situation of refugees on the island and giving links to related information plattforms. The report focuses firstly on spotting, i.e. monitoring of the coasts for the documentation of sea rescue and arrivals over the sea from the Turkey and secondly, the accommodation and care of refugees on the island.

To continue reading the whole report in German, click here!

EU delegation to visit Turkey mid-May over visa waiver issue

Via Hürriyet Daily News (30th April) – delegation from the European Union will visit Turkey in mid-May to discuss a visa-free deal and the issue of refugees, EU sources told state-run Anadolu Agency on April 30.

A working plan for Turkish citizens to travel to Schengen countries visa-free, submitted by Turkey to Brussels in February, is currently being examined, said the source, who requested anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Continue reading EU delegation to visit Turkey mid-May over visa waiver issue

UN Agency Says 10,000 Refugees Left Greece Voluntarily From June 2016

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.

Continue reading UN Agency Says 10,000 Refugees Left Greece Voluntarily From June 2016

Greece reinforces land border with Turkey to stem flow of migrants

Via The Guardian –  Greece has rushed to reinforce its land border with Turkey as fears mount over a sharp rise in the number of refugees and migrants crossing the frontier.

Police patrols were augmented as local authorities said the increase in arrivals had become reminiscent of the influx of migrants on the Aegean islands close to the Turkish coast. About 2,900 people crossed the land border in April, by far surpassing the number who arrived by sea, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said. The figure represents half of the total number of crossings during the whole of 2017. Continue reading Greece reinforces land border with Turkey to stem flow of migrants