Do Not Touch My Neighbour – Konsuma Dokunma!

Göçmen Dayanişmasi – Pressrelease by several migrant solidarity groups on the deportation of refugees from Istanbul to the detention camp in Osmaniye.

On Tuesday, the 10th of May, at 6.00 in the morning, police and municipal police raided the homes of four Syrian families in Tarlabasi and took them away in vehicles, with their children and babies. One day later, we learned that the families were sent to a camp in Osmaniye. We have often witnessed refugees being taken from the city centers in small groups, against their will, and in house raids, to be placed in refugee camps via microbuses with tinted windows. It is also remarkable that these efforts of “sterilising” visible parts of the city centres from refugees from and “cleansing of the city images” coincide with the World Humanitarian Summit.

Refugees who escape war zones to exercise one of their most principal human rights are denied a “refugee” status in Turkey: they are given a temporary status with an undeterminate period in compliance with a statute which is not in accord with international agreements. The state doesn’t even ensure the functioning of the statute to provide principal needs such as food, health, shelter and education, but at the same time, exposes the refugees, still trying to create themselves a life even under these circumstances, to a new trauma by expulsing them from their homes and lifes. Moreover, other families living in the same neighborhood have to change their places hastily due to fear of being sent to a camp. News are spreading of Tarlabaşı families being sent to camps, despite having temporary identification papers, certificates of residence and children registered in state schools. This situation is creating anxiety and fear in other neighborhoods and groups. Children are being separated from their schools, families are losing their hard-found jobs and newly created ways of life are being disrupted again, all in a chain reaction.

The Readmission Agreement is creating a situation that is in blatant violation of the universal declaration of human rights and human rights violations.

In the current practice, any refugee can be sent to any camp, detention center or “accommodation center” without recourse to any legal process. The detention of refugees is by itself a major crime against human morality, but with this total isolation, any rights abuse that occurs inside these places is impossible to track. Many centers and camps are closed to families, lawyers and even to members of parliament and human rights associations. This practice is even beyond current conditions in prisons, and since the most basic information regarding refugees is hidden like a state secret, the public and civil society can learn nothing at all regarding what is going on inside these centers and camps. But looking at the horrific news that “leaks” from time to time, such as the conditions inside the Kumkapi Deportation Center, which has transformed into a memorial of shame for humanity, or the recent mass sexual abuse that took place in Nizip and which was acknowledged by AFAD, which reports to the Prime Minister’s Office, we can see hints as to how grave conditions inside these places could be.

We demand that our neighbors who were taken from Tarlabaşı to be imprisoned in the camp be released immediately.

We oppose our neighbors, especally women and children, being taken to these unsafe camps and centers. We demand that this practice, which is against human rights, illegitimate and unlawful, be stopped.

We demand that all camps and centers be opened to the supervision of public and civil society associations, so that we can be convinced there is no horror that needs to be hidden from society is being enacted in these places. As peoples of this country and civil society associations, we demand our right to observe, examine and supervise the practices in refugee camps and detention centers as well as track the administrative processes and be included in them.

We oppose our neighbours being deprived of their freedom, unlawfully, and independently from all conditions. We demand that conditions that enable us to live together be created, or, at least that our efforts to live together be not obstructed.

We call international society to create a refugee policy where human dignity is at center.
We call the peoples of Turkey to show the will to live together with our neighbours, the Syrians, and stand up for their rights.

We will not stop desiring to live in peace, all together!


Independent Animal Liberation Activists

(Bağımsız Hayvan Özgürlüğü Aktivistleri)

Çözüm Yerinde İnisiyatifi

Consumers and Producers in Resistance

(Direnen Üretici ve Tüketici Kolektifi-DÜRTÜK)

Don Quixote Cycling

(Don Kişot Bisiklet Kolektifi)

Quadruped City

(Dört Ayaklı Şehir)

The Platform for Labour and Justice

(Emek ve Adalet Platformu)

Migrant Solidarity Network / Ankara

(Göçmen Dayanışma Ağı / Ankara)

Migrant Solidarity Kitchen

(Göçmen Dayanışma Mutfağı)

Agenda Child Association

(Gündem Çocuk Derneği)

The Association of Bridging Peoples

(Halklararası Dayanışma Köprüsü Derneği)

Support to Life International Humanitarian Aid

(Hayata Destek İnsani Yardım Derneği)

Human Rights Association – The Commission for Child Rights

(İnsan Hakları Derneği – Çocuk Hakları Komisyonu)

Women’s Solidarity Foundation

(Kadınlarla Dayanışma Vakfı)

Lesbian Bisexual Feminists

(Lezbiyen Biseksüel Feministler)

İnitiative to Support Refugee Children

(Mülteci Çocuklara Destek Girişimi)

“Refugees, We Are, Neighbours” Solidarity Network

 (“Mülteciyim Hemşerim” Dayanışma Ağı)

Our Commons


Association of Okmeydanı Social Assistance and Solidarity

(Okmeydanı Sosyal Yardımlaşma ve Dayanışma Derneği)

Women Without Borders

(Sınır Tanımayan Kadınlar – Göçmen Kadınlarla Dayanışma Grubu)

Atelier Without Borders

(Sınırsız Atölye)

Association for Supporting Tarlabaşı Community

(Tarlabaşı Toplumunu Destekleme Derneği)

Association of Psychologists for Social Solidarity 

(Toplumsal Dayanışma İçin Psikologlar Derneği)