A relative of victims in Agathonisi shipwreck speaks at a demonstration in Athens and asks central questions.
Watch the Med Alarm Phone Solidarity Statement with the survivors of the Agathonisi shipwreck and their relatives
On the 16th of March, two families tried to reach Europe through the Aegean Sea, one from Afghanistan, one from Iraq. They left Turkey and swiftly moved toward the Greek island of Agathonisi. But shortly before reaching it, they capsized. A relative of the Afghan family on Samos Island notified the authorities repeatedly, via phone and in person. At that point, many of the shipwrecked could have still been rescued.
Via Spiegel Online (Link in German) – 16 refugees died in the Aegean sea one week ago when their boat was sinking in front of the Greek island Agathonisi, in the largest shipwreck in the Aegean this year so far. On board were two families from Afghanistan and Iraq, many children, including a few months old baby, a total of 21 people. But only three adults made it ashore – all children drowned. Two people are still missing.
Spiegel Online reports in German that now the only three survivors are raising serious allegations, claiming that their families could have been saved. They explained that the coast guard had been contacted several times in early stage throughout calls and text messages. Also a ship had been on site for hours but did not respond to the waving and calling of the people in distress. Continue reading Shipwreck off Agathonisi, Greece: Survivors are raising serious allegations against Greek Coast Guards
Via Reuters – Sixteen people, including at least five children, drowned on Saturday when the small boat they on capsized in the Aegean Sea, Greek coast guard officials said.
The incident occurred off Greece’s Agathonisi island, which is close to the Turkish coast. The nationality of the victims was not immediately known. Continue reading At least 16 dead as migrant boat sinks off Greek island
Via Newsdeeply – On the second anniversary of the E.U.-Turkey deal that curbed refugee boats to Greece, experts from Turkey, Greece and Germany weigh in on the agreement’s impact on refugees and on Europe.
The E.U.-Turkey statement of March 20, 2016, was a turning point in Europe’s crisis over refugees.
Under the deal, Turkey would prevent boats leaving its shores for Greece, while Athens would return arriving migrants to Turkey. In exchange, the E.U. would increase funding and resettlement for refugees in Turkey, along with other political sweeteners.
Very little of the deal’s original provisions have been implemented, but the number of boats did drop drastically (while continuing to fluctuate, just as the journey continues to be deadly). Coming after 1 million people arrived in Europe in 2015, E.U. policymakers continue to defend the deal as a major success.
At the same time, human rights groups say many of their warnings about the agreement have been realized: Refugees are warehoused in dire conditions on the Greek islands while Turkey threatens a new surge in refugee boats to ward off criticism about its human rights situation.
On the second anniversary of its signing, we asked experts from Turkey, Greece and Germany weigh in on the agreement’s impact on refugees and on Europe.
Continue reading Expert Views: The E.U.-Turkey Deal After Two Years
Via Ekathimerini – 17.03.2018: Greece’s coast guard said on Saturday the bodies of 14 people have been recovered from the sea off a Greek island in the eastern Aegean following the sinking of a suspected migrant smuggling boat. Continue reading At least 14 dead in migrant boat sinking off Agathonisi
Two years after the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement (‘deal’), the very poor reception conditions in the hot spots of the Aegean coupled with the policy of geographical restriction are two of the most important deterrence factors for refugee flows from Turkey. Continue reading Humiliating Reception Conditions as a Deterrent to Prevent Refugee Arrivals on the Aegean Islands
Via Milliyet (Link in Turkish) – 154 migrants were caught in Dikili, a district of Izmir, while they were trying to cross to the Greek island Lesvos by rubber boats. The Coast Guard teams intervened and intercepted 154 migrants, including women and children, mostly from Syrian, Cameroon, Ghana, Angola and Senegal. They were first brought to the Dikili Coast Guard Command. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has provided humanitarian assistance for them. It is stated that they will be sent to the Izmir Provincial Directorate of Migration after the proceedings.
Via CNNTürk (Link in Turkish) – According to a statement issued by the Mersin Governor’s Office, teams affiliated to the Coast Guard Mediterranean Region Command spotted the presence of migrants on a moving boat in Kizkalesi, Silifke county.
The coastguard patrolling the area stopped the boat at sea. 38 migrants were on the boat, 24 of them were male, 9 were female and 5 were children. Continue reading 38 migrants intercepted at sea close to Mersin
On Saturday IOMtr and @IOMchief handed over 6 state-of-the-art search&rescue vessels to the Turkish Coast Guard. The vessels are part of a project that develops the capacity of the TCG to save more #migrants’ lives at sea.@IOM_ROVienna @UNmigration pic.twitter.com/tzWFjbtuVa
— IOM Turkey (@IOMturkey) February 26, 2018