A fight between two groups quickly turned into a mass assault on the Syrian community in the Esenyurt District of Istanbul on 9 February. A mass crowd chanted xenophobic slogans on the streets where many Syrians live and own small shops. Despite the extensive aggression and damage to Syrian shops, no measures were taken against Turkish citizens, while three Syrians were arrested. In their published report on the incident, IHD (Human Rights Association) pointed to the temporary protection status of Syrians as accelerating their insecure position, and called on authorities to take the necessary measures to stop future racist aggression.
Turkey’s state-run news agency “Anadolu Agency” has been providing contradicting numbers on the irregular migrants held by Turkish authority across the country. By the beginning of this year, the agency announced the number of the migrants held in the seas around Turkey to be 26,678 for 2018, indicating a rise of 21.6 percent compared to 2017. Regarding 2019, the numbers released so far sum up to more than 2,500.
Following the new Global Compact for Refugees (GCR), adopted at the United Nations late last year, Kemal Kirisci and Jessica Brandt call EU to negotiate a preferential trading arrangement with Turkey that covers agricultural products produced with a threshold level of Syrian labor. According to the article published via Brookings:
Chigozie Obioma has narrated his experiences as a Nigerian student in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for the Paris Review . His experiences vary from the solidarity they build with the compatriots to cope with daily discrimination, to the differences in food culture, but most importantly about the daily racist and humiliating treatment people face being a black young adult in Northern Cyprus.
Via the Paris Review– “As a Nigerian young adult traveling abroad for the first time, the thrill I experienced was, at first, intoxicating.(…) My visa application to the UK had been rejected, and so I found my new destination, a university in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It was a nation few people seemed to know much about.”
Al Monitor on Turkey’s plans of creating a safe zone along its border with Syria, which according to the Turkish President would allow millions of Syrians to ‘return home’. Frustrated by the slow process, Erdogan signaled that Turkey would proceed with their plans even without the involvement of the US and Russia.
Via Al Monitor – “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated his pledge to launch a military offensive in northern Syria, saying on Monday that his military aims to create a safe zone in the area so that the 4 million or so Syrian refugees sheltering in Turkey can return home.”
Via Hâlâ Gazeteciyiz – This Study by Funda Cantek and Cavidan Soykan traces notions as movement of Turkey-bound migration, the conditions of migrants who have settled in various cities in Turkey temporarily or permanently and their relationship with the local inhabitants, Turkey’s migration policy, and incidents in which migrants were presented as victims or perpetrators by browsing the dailies Sözcü, Hürriyet and Yeni Akit from the beginning of AKP rule in 2002 up to now.
A syrian family living in Gaziantep’ was attacked at home by unknown people. While mother and her two children got heavily injured, 15 year old Hanen Elalevi lost his life. The incidence took place at Vatan neighborhood of Gaziantep, the family members were found by the father being hit with a heavy object to their heads.
According to public prosecutor of Istanbul’s indictment, on 15 of October, a taxi carrying the 27 year-old Uzbek woman was stopped by police officers Ş.Ş and İ.K. Afterwards she was taken in the police car, detained for 3-4 hours in the car, raped by the officer Ş.Ş, her 1400 turkish liras were seized and finally dropped at Yedikule area.
Afterwards when she went to the police station in Aksaray in order to denounce the case she was returned by the officer Y.S who said “He is already regretful like a dog, I’ll give him the necessary punishment. Now you go and take a shower, take a good rest, and forget about these, won’t worry”
The next day, a friend of the rape victim went to police station and other police officers who were informed by the case brought the complaint to public prosecution. on 17th of October, police officers Ş.Ş and İ.K were arrested, other three officers who did not take legal actions on the complaint were released.
Despite the cold weather and poor conditions at sea, increasing number of refugees who left Turkey could reach to Greece. Ekathimerini reported the arrivals in Cyrpus and Evros subsequently. With the higher number of arrivals from Turkey to Cyprus, an apparent shift was addressed from recent arrivals that came from Lebanon. Moreover, an increase at the arrivals through Evros was identified both in comparison to last year and concerning the higher number of Turkish nationals seeking asylum.
On 8th of January, Ekathimerini reported that a total of 31 Syrian refugees managed to reach Cyprus on early morning, despite very cold weather and poor conditions at sea.