Reporting from the kritnet conference Göttingen – Part 1
The HarekAct editorial board attended the 16th kritnet conference in Göttingen between 11-13th of May. It was a very good occasion to share and exchange knowledge, meet our friends, activists and colleagues again and discuss future projects and plans. We took part in the workshop titled “Post 2015 Border Regime – Re-Stabilization of the European Border Regime after the ‘Long Summer of Migration’”. We discussed the extension of borders into the cities following the example of Istanbul; the state of the border regime and public debate on migration in Turkey; and the impact and future of the EU-Turkey statement for both Greece and Turkey. Besides the individual inputs, we had a rich collective discussion with various perspectives, information and experiences brought by activists, researchers and professionals from Germany, Turkey, Greece and Kurdish region, and we are looking forward to keep building on the ideas we had as well as the connections we built there.
Although with a little bit of delay, now we would like to share our contributions to the workshop one by one. Enjoy the inputs presented by HarekAct editors in written and updated form in our blog. Keep posted!
With the so-called “summer of migration” three years behind us, and the European borders still sealed tight, it seems a good opportunity to remind ourselves of where these migrants are currently waiting, and what has happened since then. With this intention, I will here try to present an overview of the post-2015 migration context and the related management regime in Istanbul, Turkey.
To set the time frame, it should firstly be highlighted that Turkey’s “open border” policy on the Syrian border was effectively ended by March 2015, and was replaced with the militarization of border security through the erecting of border walls.
Border wall at the Turkey-Syria border. Photo by: sabah.com.
Continue reading Extension of the Borders in/to the City: Istanbul
Via Turkish Minute (from 29th June) – Officials from the Esenyurt Municipality in İstanbul on Friday removed signs in Arabic from district shops, in a neighborhood densely populated by Syrian refugees, in line with a recently adopted Turkish Standards Institute (TSE) rule that says the Turkish language should be a priority in signs.
The TSE announced in March that if shopkeepers want to use foreign languages, the type size of those words should be a quarter of the size of Turkish type.
Continue reading Arabic signs removed in İstanbul district densely populated by Syrian refugees
Via Relief Web – Turkey hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees, almost half of whom are women and girls.
This rapid review looks at available evidence on how Syrian refugee women, girls, and people with disabilities have been affected by the response to the refugee crisis by a variety of actors, including the host government, international actors, and host communities. Refugees in Turkey face a number of challenges, with female refugees and refugees with disabilities facing additional gender and disability specific barriers. Poverty is a major issue for refugees, with nearly 67% living below the poverty line.
Continue reading Syrian refugee women, girls, and people with disabilities in Turkey
With some candidates pushing an anti-refugee line, many asylum-seekers welcome the Turkish president’s electoral success – but not all.
An estimated 3.9 million refugees are currently living in Turkey (AFP)
Via Middle East Eye – While Turkish citizens headed to the polls in high numbers on Sunday to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections, millions of refugees living in the country waited for results with bated breath.
With a refugee population estimated to stand at 3.9 million – the largest in the world – many saw their fate hanging in the balance.
Whether Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan or even Egyptian, refugees knew the election results could have a direct effect on their stay in Turkey. Continue reading ‘The least worst option’: Refugees in Turkey relieved, sceptical about Erdogan victory
Via Huffington Post – “As the gateway to Europe, Turkey has more migrants cross its border than any other country in the world. Since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, Turkey has been flooded with millions more refugees. With Turkey’s system overwhelmed, migrants from countries other than Syria have little chance of being resettled anytime soon.”
“This project is about those millions of others — asylum seekers and migrants from places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and throughout Africa — who have fled war and repression, but are often caught in limbo.”
“STUCK follows their journeys through Turkey’s two-tiered immigration process, and reveals the complex system faced by non-Syrians as they try to start new lives.”
Click here to see the whole story at Huffington Post and explore eight individual stories in the project, each on a different aspect of the asylum system in Turkey.
Continue reading STUCK – They fled for safety, only to live in limbo.
Via Hurriyet Daily News – Some 30,000 Syrians are eligible to vote in the June 24 elections in Turkey. Speaking to journalists in the western province of İzmir, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced “around 30,000 Syrians have received Turkish citizenship so far.”
“They have the right to vote but I do not know how many of them will use that right. They are our guests and they will return to their country,” the prime minister said. He stressed that the Syrians in Turkey “must obey the Turkish law.” “If they do not, then we will take them by their hand back to where they came from,” said Yıldırım.
Continue reading 30,000 Syrians eligible to vote in Turkish elections: PM
Via Ahval – The number of Syrians registered in Turkey grew by over 600,000 between the end of 2016 and the end of 2017, making them 4.2 percent of Turkey’s population, according to figures from the country’s Directorate of Migration Management quoted by left-wing newspaper BirGün.
By Garib Mirza – Garib Mirza is a freelance researcher, whose studies focus on the ongoing conflict in Syria and recently on the Syrian refugees. He has worked for independent Syrian research centers and think tanks.
The European Dream
‘It’s Europe!’ a Syrian youth responded when a France 24 reporter asked him in 2014 why he and others set out on the arduous path to Europe. ‘It’s Europe!’ seems enough of an answer to the question and perhaps it is the best expression of many refugees’ and asylum seekers’ ‘European Dream’.
Continue reading Counter-Narrative to the ‘European Dream’ – Syrian Refugees Stay in Turkey
Via Refugee News Turkey – Some 311,000 babies of Syrian origin have been born in Turkey under the stateless status, according to the Turkish Parliament’s Refugee Subcommittee that operates under the Human Rights Committee.
The subcommittee’s president Atay Uslu said the situation is a “humanitarian plight.” Continue reading “More than 300 000 ‘stateless’ Syrian babies born in Turkey should be granted citizenship immediately”