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 Open Democracy – Turkey’s military offensive in Afrin is also an example of how refugees are instrumentalized to gain domestic support for foreign policy ambitions.
From integration policies to electoral politics, migration is often discussed as a domestic policy issue. Yet rarely does its possible connection with foreign policy attract attention (see a few exceptions).
One recent example is Megan Barlow’s latest openDemocracy article where she argues that the Turkish government employs refugees not only as political tools for foreign ambitions, but also for reinforcing a conservative and Islamist ideology. My argument follows the same line of thought by situating Turkey’s instrumentalization of refugees in the context of its co-operation with the EU over migration.
Continue reading Re-thinking EU-Turkey co-operation over migration
Syrian refugees in Turkey face calls to return as public mood changes. For years, most Turks courteously accepted the Syrians fleeing to their country. But attitudes towards refugees appear to be hardening, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hinted the solution could lie in Afrin, the Kurdish enclave in northwestern Syria his troops have just occupied.
Via IRIN – There is talk of infrastructure being rebuilt in Afrin, of voluntary returns, of perhaps 350,000 to 500,000 Syrians being encouraged to go back. But few refugees in Turkey are from Afrin, and it’s unlikely many would want to return to an active war zone, especially if they’re not Kurdish or from that region. Surveys indicate that even if the fighting ends, half of the estimated 3.8 million Syrians (3.4 million registered and up to 400,000 unregistered) in Turkey intend to stay. Continue reading Syrian refugees in Turkey face calls to return as public mood changes
Via Deutsche Welle (from 2nd March) – Turkey’s offensive on Afrin will oust the “terrorist menace” and will ensure the return of Syrian refugees – that’s been the message of President Erdogan. He’s catering to his voters, says DW’s Dorian Jones in Istanbul.
“We are not in a position to continue hosting 3.5 million refugees forever. We’ll solve the Afrin situation … and we would like our refugee brothers and sisters to return to their own country,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared earlier this month, speaking to provincial leaders at his presidential palace.
This was a remarkable turnaround for Erdogan and his government.
Since the start of the Syrian civil war, Turkey has pursued an open-door policy for those fleeing the conflict. “We regard you as our brothers and sisters … Turkey is also your homeland,” Erdogan told refugees at the Syrian border during Ramadan 2016 — even offering them Turkish nationality if they wanted it.
Continue reading With Turkey’s offensive into Afrin, Erdogan is seeking to kill two birds with one stone
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”
Via InfoMigrants – The Turkish government says it will set up camps for 170,000 displaced people within Syria ahead of an influx of refugees from the Syrian region of Afrin.
A spokesman for Turkey’s foreign ministry, Hami Aksoy, said on Tuesday that new refugee camps would be established in nine different regions in Syria including Azaz, Elbil, Tugli, Teleffer, Naddah, Bardakh and Masad Rufi. Continue reading Turkey plans to establish refugee camps in Syria
Turkish-German newspaper taz.gazete reported on Feb 23rd that since the operation olive branch, resentments against Syrians in Turkey are increasing again.
“When Heso arrived in Turkey, it were everyday encounters and dialogues that made his life difficult: “We were always asked: Why did you come to Turkey, why did not you fight?”. These questions decreased over the years. In order to persevere, they started a new life in Turkey with their families, says Heso.” Continue reading Resentments against Syrians in Turkey: “Why are you not fighting?”
Via Deutschlandfunk (Link in German) – Turkey is hosting many Syrian refugees. The Turkish government always emphasized their hospitality towards the Muslim brothers. But more and more aid organizations complain about attacks against migrants. They report a pogrom-like mood against Syrians in some major cities.
The study on “Dimensions of Polarization in Turkey” was conducted by Istanbul Bilgi University Center for Migration Research with the support of Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation – a project of the German Marshall Fund. The field studies took place in November-December 2017 and findings are presented on February 5th , 2018 in Istanbul Bilgi University santralistanbul Campus. Continue reading New Study: “Dimensions of Polarization in Turkey”