In a press release, the demonstrators referred to themselves as migrants who were fighting for their rights. Many of them marched together with their whole families but carried only some bags or just a backpack. Although the majority were from Syria, other nationalities were present too. Some had lived in Turkey for years, while others had e.g. just come from Lebanon or Jordan. The people who camped in parks or at the highway waited for Europe to open its borders. This never happened. The Turkish police pushed migrants to go to Ankara, Istanbul or Izmir and arrested hundreds of them.
Kom News– While the US wall on the border to Mexico has received plenty of attention sparking criticism and protests, Turkey’s construction of a 3 meter high and more than 900 kilometre long wall on the border to Syria has proceeded without much notice. Building of 367 kilometers of the wall has been completed as of January 2017. Continue reading Turkey’s ‘wall of shame’ on Syria border goes unnoticed→
Ekathimerini – Greek authorities are planning the creation of pre-departure detention facilities on the eastern Aegean islands, where thousands of migrants and refugees remain stranded, so as to accelerate returns to Turkey. Officials say that the creation of closed-structure facilities, each with a capacity of 150-200 people, is key to taking some of the pressure off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros, which have borne the brunt of the influx.
During a tour of these islands last week, the EU’s special envoy on migration, Maarten Verwey, said that the aim was to cut current numbers by half by the end of April. According to official figures, some 14,600 migrants and refugees are currently accommodated at official facilities on the islands. Since the beginning of 2017, authorities have reportedly deported 160 individuals from Pakistan, 150 from Iraq, 70 from Algeria, 30 from Afghanistan, 25 from Morocco and 20 from Bangladesh. Police said 60 Syrians had left Greece voluntarily.
Amnesty Internationalpublished a new report on the consequences of the infamous EU-Turkey deal, dealing in particular with arbitrary detentions, the humanitarian and legal situation for refugees stranded on the Greek islands as well as with the deportations back to Turkey.
Evimiz Neresi?– As of February 8th, refugees living in tents in the Torbalı and Bayındır districts of İzmir are being evacuated in accordance with district governorate decisions through the intervention of its gendarmerie State paramilitary force. The tent areas are being removed. Thousands of refugees, who left their countries because of the civil war in Syria, have been struggling to survive as seasonal agricultural workers and living in the tent camps, constructed through their own efforts, in rural areas of İzmir. Continue reading Turkey: State paramilitaries are destroying Syrian refugees’ tent homes in İzmir→
Greekreporter – A 32 year-old Syrian and a 28 year-old man from Egypt stole the boat from St. Hermione port early on Wednesday and set sail for the Turkish coasts. They were spotted by a Frontex patrol vessel, taken back to Chios and the two refugees were arrested with charges of theft. The boat was returned to its owner.
Meanwhile, a total of 52 migrants and refugees arrived at Chios in the last 24 hours while no arrivals were reported on Lesvos and Samos.
Hürriyet (link in Turkish) – 46 asylum seekers tried to cross to Lesvos by boat. At around 2 a.m. their engine broke and they had to call the Turkish Coast Guard. Shortly after the boat started to capsize due to high waves. The CG had to rescue people from the water but the help came too late for an Ethiopian woman, who had already drowned. The survivors – from Syria, Afghanistan, Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Bangladesh – where brought to Küçükkuyu.
Anadolu Agency* – A total of 422 migrants were intercepted by Turkish police over the last week (Jan 27 – Feb 3) en route to Greek islands, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.
Coast Guard patrols apprehended 56 migrants offshore trying to cross the Aegean Sea between the southwestern Bodrum peninsula and the Greek island of Kos. The statement said that in the resort town of Cesme, west of Izmir province, Coast Guard patrols also apprehended 85 migrants aiming to reach the Greek island of Chios. In separate incidents, 281 migrants were also spotted in the Sea of Marmara and the Mediterranean Sea, the ministry said.