This week, the Journal of Refugee Studies published a new paper by Deniz Pelek on Syrian refugees working in the agricultural sector in Turkey.
Abstract: This article examines the case of Syrian refugees as seasonal migrant workers in Turkey and critically discusses the working and living conditions fostering their relative vulnerability compared to other workers. Syrian refugees are subject to discriminatory practices in terms of lower wages, longer working hours and improper sheltering conditions. This article explores how unequal power relations between ethnically different groups of workers in the agricultural sector are (re)constructed and the consequences of the emergence of Syrian refugees as a novel class. The essential aim of this study is to unravel the process and practice of ethnically hierarchized agricultural labour market after the entrance of refugees.
The Turkish city of Erzurum sits on an expansive green plain, ringed on all sides by towering mountains. Best known as a destination for winter sports enthusiasts, who flock here when snow blankets the nearby slopes, it is also a gateway for another set of visitors – Afghans uprooted by their country’s long and brutal war.
Located about 240 kilometres from the Iranian border, Erzurum is one of the main transportation hubs between Turkey’s far eastern regions and the rest of the country. Before a recent crackdown, its parks, mosques, and bus station overflowed as people slept rough before continuing on to Ankara, Istanbul, or towards the border with Europe.
According to the report Turkish Economics and Politics Research Foundation (TEPAV) prepared, based on the data drawn from The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), 6,589 company was founded with Syrian capital between 2010-2017.
The number of Syrians employed in these small and medium-scale Syrian companies are estimated to be around 100,000. Syrians under “temporary protection” in Turkey are not exempt from work permit. In order to hire a Syrian, the employer should apply to work permit through the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Services, and the companies are obliged to limit the number of Syrians with 10% of the all employees.
Via Ahval News / Nurcan Baysal (from August 25)- Before the European Union and Turkey signed an agreement in 2016 to limit the number of Syrian refugees heading to Europe in return for aid to help those who had fled the war to Turkey, I was among a group of academics and activists who work on refugee issues in Turkey invited to Berlin to discuss the matter.
We sat with German and EU politicians in closed meetings to discuss the condition of refugee camps in Turkey. Issues on our agenda included Turkey’s potential to be a safe third country, as well as the management of camps run by Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, including their lack of transparency and oversight.
Most of the 3.5m Syrians in Turkey can at least work, but the future is precarious
Via The Economist –GAZIANTEP | Returning to Turkey from Germany with four children in tow was not easy for Faisl Alakrch, a 36-year-old Syrian. He had to use a people-smuggler to retrace, in reverse, the route he had taken the year before. His younger brothers have remained in Germany and are studying at university, but he wanted to work, and complains that “I could not do anything there.” Turkey, by contrast, has made it easy for him to operate. He was able to register a company and set up a café in Gaziantep, a city close to the Syrian border. He has now been invited to become a Turkish citizen. His six-year-old son speaks a mixture of German, Turkish and Arabic. Continue reading Syrian refugees find Turkey more welcoming than western Europe→
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→
With nothing to live on, many Syrians are living on their own in the province of Izmir and have arranged a silent deal with Turkey.
Are You Syrious, recently published another report about the situation of refugees in the province of Izmir. Previously HarekAct reported about this topic.
If you are living in the fields in Turkey, you are left to yourself — or the camp community around you. It can happen that no one comes to see you for months and you rarely have the chance to go into more socialized areas away from the olive trees and fields that surround your tents.
The village closest to one of the sites is a few kilometers away on dirt tracks, and if you walk over the field in the opposite direction you will find only a country road. Maybe, from time to time, a mobile shop will stop at the side of the country road and sell you overpriced items. After it rains, the dirt roads are inaccessible by car.
What sounds like the scene of a slum in a third world country is still reality for thousands of people in the province of Izmir. With the third biggest city in the country, bearing the same name, the province of Izmir is also one of the wealthiest in Turkey. With a population of more than 135,000 displaced Syrians, the province with its four million citizens belongs to the top ten provinces to host Syrians in the country.
Read the full report including more fotos and videos at AYS.
For more information about the situation of migrants around Izmir check the HarekAct report as well as AYS.