Bilmek İstiyoruz! // We Want to Know!

Göçmen Dayanışma Ağı – Recently, we hear often that as a result of police operations in certain district, people of “foreign origin” are “caught”, detained, and sent to camps or detention center. We only get the news that they will be deported, but there is no information on what were they accused of actually. In Istanbul, sometimes police and municipal police teams pick up migrants (mostly children) accused of getting involved in begging, and send them to Pendik Kızılay Dr. Kemal Demir Refugee Camp. At the target of all these operations, there are undocumented migrants, people of certain nationalities, or those who are accused of a suspicion of “terror” or other crimes. No information is made public other than the number (and sometimes nationalities) of people arrested. For instance, according to some news published on 1st of February it was declared that “203 people of foreign origin were detained”, and that they will be sent to General Directorate of Migration Management and deported. However, there was nothing else made public, but that people who were detained were processed according to “violation of document” and that such inspections will further continue in the following days.

While having access to legal status should be facilitated for migrants, who stay undocumented because of structural deficiencies and cruel border policies, we see that on the contrary they are systematically criminalized and marginalized.

Particularly within the process of State of Emergency in Turkey, the politics of oppression, segregation and criminalization imposed on the large part of the society turns even more relentless when it comes to migrants. As people who had left fierce living conditions, psychological and physical violence and arrived to Turkey, are often exposed to such practices again, they get wounded once more. On top of that, usually they cannot defend their rights since they are not acknowledged of (or basically they are not provided access to) the protection mechanisms, laws and the language of the country they are in.

We, as the collectives who support unconditional freedom of movement for all, and who are against all types of discrimination based on race, nationality or identity, we want to know!

  • What is the extend, purpose, target groups and judicial background of the police operations carried out particularly against migrants, such as the ones mentioned above?
  • Where and under which conditions the migrants who are detained and arrested are kept?
  • Is it possible for the people who are detained, sent to camps and removal centers by those operations, to communicate with lawyers, certain support organizations and their relatives, and to apply for asylum?
  • Is there a judicial process functioning for the people who are arrested? If yes, what kind of accusations and findings are at stake? And in case a deportation decision ruled, can they benefit from the right for appeal?

We continue to defend living together and to struggle, so that noone, regardless of their origin and legal status, is exposed to discrimination, criminalization and limitation of freedom of movement. We demant justice and transparency instead of constraints and arbitrariness. We will keep asking these questions and follow this process until we get answers.

Migrant Solidarity Network- Istanbul
“Mülteciyim Hemşerim” Solidarity Network
Migrant Solidarity Kitchen
Atelier Without Borders

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