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.
Via Relief Web – Refugee women and girls face extraordinary hardships. They endure grave risks and often brutal violence, and many are thrust into poverty. But they can also face another, more intimate, hardship, one that is seldom discussed – the effects of exile on their sexual and reproductive health.
Some 475,000 Syrian refugees have sought safety in the desert city of Sanliurfa, Turkey, an hour’s drive from the Syrian border. To meet their needs, UNFPA is operating four women’s and girls’ safe spaces in the city, which are all supported by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).
The case of Violet and Beatrice was brought to public thanks to the consistent efforts of feminist solidarity groups who followed the case since the beginning till the end. And finally the case ended up with justice. Long live feminist solidarity!
Via Bianet – Two defendants have been sentenced to lifetime imprisonment in trial of Ugandan Nantaba being murdered and her twin sister Babiry being subjected to sexual and physical violence. Continue reading Defendants Sentenced to Lifetime Imprisonment in Murder of Ugandan Sisters
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.
Riot police crack down on an L.G.B.T. rally in Istanbul, in 2016. Under the provisions of the country’s state of emergency, protest is effectively banned.
Photograph by Ozan Kose / AFP / Getty
Via The New Yorker – When you are a refugee, you learn all about the hierarchy of compassion. There are the people from war-torn countries—refugees from humanitarian catastrophes so enormous that they upend the world’s imagination, such as those who have escaped from Syria. There are people who have fled a sudden campaign of violence and hatred, such as the gay men who have been escaping from Chechnya for the past year. And then there is you: unlucky enough to have suffered the kind of misfortune that can’t seem to hold onto a headline. From the officers of U.N.H.C.R.—the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the agency that runs refugee-resettlement operations around the world—what you hear is this: “There is no country for you.” Continue reading The L.G.B.T. Refugees in Turkey Who Refuse to Be Forgotten
Via Ahval News (from 27th April) – Having escaped the brutal seven-year civil war in their homeland, many Syrian refugees face poverty and discrimination in Turkey. Some have turned to sex work, but have then been driven further into the periphery of society and have little access to justice in response to violence and exploitation, said a report by the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association, a Turkish non-governmental organisation Continue reading Syrian refugees turning to sex work being driven to the edge of society in Turkey
Via Heinrich Böll Stiftung Türkei – On January 17, news about a state hospital in one of the largest districts of Istanbul hit the headlines.
It was reported that within a period of five months earlier in 2017, 115 pregnant girls under the age of 18 came to the Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Training and Research Hospital, yet the hospital administration did not report the cases to the police despite the official obligation to do so. A female social worker discovered the cases for the first time, after she came across an undocumented case about a 16 years old girl in July 2017. The girl was neither mentioned in the registration system of the hospital, nor in the documents of the social work unit. Thereupon she decided to search previous cases and looked at the period between January 1-May 9, 2017. She found out that there were 115 undocumented girls all under 18, out of which 38 got pregnant under 15 years. 39 of the girls were of Syrian origin.
Deutsche Welle in Turkish reports about the issue of forced and second marriage of Syrian women in Turkey, a phenomenon which started to be widespread in Turkey. A website called “Syrian Women” is giving advice to Turkish men on how to find and marry Syrian women.
“Syrian women wanting to marry – what are Syrian women like? – how are Syrian women dressed?” The website is full of sexist stereotypes of women, who had to migrate from Syria Turkey:
“Syrian women are delicate beings like our women. The number of young men who want to get married to Syrian women has increased and the desire of married men who want to be with Syrian women has increased as well. Since Syrian women do not set official marriage conditions, men can start living with them”.