Category Archives: News Digest

HarekAct offers a topical and chronological collection of news on the EU-Turkish border regime under this section. We link to external newspapers and websites and do not hold the copyright.
Views and opinions expressed in the articles published on HarekAct are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of all editorial board members.

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 09/09/2019

1st-8th September

Erdoğan plays the refugee card once again towards EU to push for his safe-zone goal | Migrant children are not registered in schools in Istanbul | Refugees on hold in Van Bus station | Uighurs in Turkey increasingly live in fear of deportation despite the ‘brotherhood’ accorded to them so far | The Political Economy of Discrimination in Turkey | Turkey’s politics towards Syrians from left to right: From the perspective of a Syrian Turkmen | Report on the racism and discrimination towards LGBTI+ Refugees

News

Erdoğan plays the refugee card once again towards EU to push for his safe-zone goal

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened European countries with opening the borders if the long-awaited safe zone in northern Syria is not established. “Give us logistical support and we can go build housing at 30km (20 miles) depth in northern Syria. This way, we can provide them with humane living conditions” Erdoğan said, adding: “Either you will provide support, or excuse us, but we are not going to carry this weight alone. We have not been able to get help from the international community, namely the European Union.”

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 09/09/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 05/09/2019

19th August – 1st September 2019 (This digest covers a two week period)

Photo: Robert Funke/Refugee Rescue 2019

Increasing arrivals of migrants to the Greek Aegean islands | Greece’s response to the rise in arrivals | New report on mistreatment of asylum seekers in Greece | Afghan minor killed in Moria | Updates on the Deportations of Syrians from Turkey | Syrians walk towards Turkish border in protest against shelling by Syrian and Russian forces | Sea Rescue by Turkish Merchant Vessel | Perspectives

News&Reports

Increasing arrivals of migrants to the Greek Aegean islands

The number of sea crossings to the Greek Aegean islands reached a peak last week. On 29 September 13 boats, carrying a total of 547 refugees, arrived on the island of Lesvos almost simultaneously. Among them were around 250 children, according to Aegean Boat Report. The majority of the people arriving were Afghans. Nasim Lomani wrote an interesting commentary connecting the arrivals to recent and historical developments in Afghanistan:

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 05/09/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 20/08/2019

13th-19th August

Social Media Image by Birlikte Yaşamak İstiyoruz Initiative on one of the cases covered by the report “First Two Weeks of Deportations”

Turkish state’s ongoing deportation campaign leaves many with fear | Hostile environment towards Syrian refugees grows beyond Turkey, including Lebanon and Jordan | Greece and Islands: not far from the context in Turkey | Threats and violations towards returnees in Syria | Turkey-US joint military talks on establishment of a safe zone in Northern Syria

News&Reports

Turkish State’s Ongoing Deportation Campaign Leaves Many With Fear:

As the deadline which Turkish authorities set for unregistered migrants to leave Istanbul, 20 August, approaches, different opinions and accounts of the deportations remain on the agenda past week (regardless that the deadline is announced to be extended to October 30th, after we have prepared this digest). We mentioned earlier the report released by We Want To Leave Together Initiative regarding the two weeks of deportations, which is available here now in English.

Another report has been released by Syrians for Truth and Justice/STJ, which documents several cases where Syrians, including young and old men, women with children and an unaccompanied minor, some of whom had Temporary Protection IDs, were deported to Syria. Several witnesses interviewed by STJ also told that their Turkish neighbors reported the houses where Syrians live to the authorities, and the police, for its part, intentionally raided these houses at midnight or dawn.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 20/08/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 13/08/2019

5th – 12th August

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Update on the Deportation of Syrians | Anti-Syrian Discrimination | Turkey’s plans in North Syria

News & Reports

Update on the Deportation of Syrians

The solidarity initiative ‘We want to Live Together’ (Birlikte Yaşamak Istiyoruz Inisiyatifi) have released a comprehensive report, entitled “Two Weeks of Deportations” which details a few accounts of the deportations, forced signing of voluntary return documents and ill-treatment of Syrians at the hands of Turkish armed forces which the Governorate and Provincial Migration Management Authorities continue to deny. The Turkish version of the report can be found here, and an English version is forthcoming. A summary of the report includes –

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 13/08/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 08/08/2019

29th July – 4th August

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Update on the Deportation of Syrians & News from the Resistance and Support Movement | Numbers on ‘Irregular Migration’ | Syrian shot by Turkish border guards | Petition for Syrian in Greek prison for alleged human smuggling | Crackdown on critical media websites and social media accounts

News & Reports

Update on the Deportation of Syrians & News from the Resistance and Support Movement

Despite reports on the mass deportations of Syrian nationals from Turkey to the Idlib region in Syria making international news, the EU has still not reacted to the human rights violations. The German government, confronted with the accusations being made against Turkey by the leftist party ‘Die Linke’, said that they are aware of the ‘alleged returns of Syrian nationals’, but that the Turkish government denies the reports and the UNHCR have also not verified the accounts. The several reports by Syrians who have been deported (here and here) as well as a report by Human Rights Watch were apparently not enough evidence for the German government to, at the very least, voice their concerns towards the Turkish government.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 08/08/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 31/07/2019

22nd – 28th July

People getting deported from Küçükçekmece district, Istanbul .

Update concerning inhumane and unlawful deportations of Syrians | Condemn of deportations across broad range of civil society actors| Anti migrant discourse fueled by many politicians | Tense atmosphere in Istanbul | Turkey suspends readmission agreement with EU | Horrifying conditions at Harmandalı Removal Center | Report of 25 refugees who froze to death at the Turkish-Iranian border


Update concerning inhumane and unlawful deportations of Syrians

Following reports in the previous weeks about mass deportations of Syrians, several journalists and Institutions have published further details about the (ongoing) inhumane and unlawful deportations of Syrians living in Turkey. Rights groups in Istanbul claim that within one week between 600 and 1500 Syrians were wrongfully returned from Istanbul to Syria. It is reported, through discussions on social media and by people with contacts in the communities, that other migrant groups, particularly those who are living and working undocumented in Istanbul are also being targeted.

Condemn of deportations across broad range of civil society actors

Several Human rights organizations have harshly criticized the deportations in public statements.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 31/07/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 22/07/2019

15th-21st July

Mass Deportation Campaign in Istanbul Against Syrians: #StopDeportationsToSyria | Stories and reactions shared on social media about deportations | Latest statements from the authorities on the issue | Asylum seeker woman tortured in Harmandalı Removal Center | 17 Migrants killed in bus crash in Eastern Turkey | Rising Anti-Arab Hate Also Hits Palestinians in Turkey | Syrian Woman builds her own catering business with WhatsApp

News&Reports:

Mass Deportation Campaign in Istanbul Against Syrians: #StopDeportationsToSyria

Since around ten days, Turkish authorities have increased stop-and-search checks around Istanbul, targeting Syrians without registration papers (including those who are registered in other cities) or for working informally. It is alleged that many have been detained and eventually deported to Syria, some after having been forced to sign “voluntary repatriation” forms. The campaign is yet another wave of fear being inflicted on Syrians in Istanbul, following statements from key Turkish politicians about imposing stricter policies and controls on Syrians, and the rising anti-Syrian discourse, which we have covering in the past weeks.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 22/07/2019

HarekActs Weekly Digest 15/07/2019

8th – 14th of July

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Palestinian refugee stranded at Istanbul Airport for more than six weeks | Violent and illegal pullback by Turkish Coast Guard in the Aegean Sea | Increasing violence by Coast Guards in the Aegean | Racism and hatred again Syrians in Turkey | Research paper on ‘Border policies and migrant deaths at the Turkish-Greek border’ published

News & Reports

Palestinian refugee stranded at Istanbul Airport for more than six weeks

A Palestinian refugee from Syria, Mohamed Ajlani Younes, has been stranded at Istanbul Airport since 26 May and is currently at risk of imminent deportation to Lebanon. According to Amnesty International he has been living in the airport with no access to adequate food, natural light or fresh air for more than 6 weeks. He fled the Syrian war in 2012 to Lebanon, where he lived in Shatila refugee camp with his wife and two children. He recently left Lebanon to come to Turkey out of fear of being send back to Syria. When he entered Turkey on the 26th May, he was stopped at the airport and denied entry for allegedly travelling with a fake passport. He then applied for asylum, expressing his fears about being returned to Lebanon. According to Amnesty International a deportation to Lebanon would put him in danger of being sent to Syria, where he would be at risk of serious human rights violations.

Continue reading HarekActs Weekly Digest 15/07/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 08/07/2019

2nd-8th of July

Governorship of Istanbul aim to limit Arabic Signs | Interior Minister Vows Increased Control over Syrians and Irregular Migrants | Spotlight on Anti-Syrian discourse in Istanbul and Turkey | Public Perception on Refugees based on Political Affiliation | Why does the Istanbul Convention Matter for Refugee Women and Girls?

Governorship of Istanbul aim to limit Arabic Signs:
Turkish authorities inspected 730 places of business with Arabic shop signs in Istanbul’s three districts between 15 June and 1 July. The governor’s office stated that the inspections will continue to include all of Istanbul’s 39 districts, and they’re aiming to ensure that signs have 75 percent of their content in Turkish and 25 percent in other languages within a short period of time ( see more in Turkish, in English) – 03.07.2019

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 08/07/2019

HAREKACT’S WEEKLY DIGEST 01/07/2019

24th June – 1st July

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Anti-Syrian Racism post Istanbul Municipality election re-run | Unknown numbers of refugee children missing | The changing nature of the Syria-Turkey border |

News & Reports

Anti-Syrian Racism post Istanbul Municipality election re-run

The anti-Syrian discourse which was prevalent during the municipality elections, and legitimated by the language which political authorities used has intensified in the aftermath of the results. CHP mayors in several Turkish municipalities publicly used anti-Syrian rhetoric during their campaign bids. The mayor of the town of Kemalpasa in western Turkey, Ridvan Karakayli, said on TV, “We will get rid of Syrians. There is peace in Syria, so what are they doing here? There are shops with signboards with the Syrian language [a reference to Arabic] near our party [building]. I will remove them. They will be taken away from here.”

Continue reading HAREKACT’S WEEKLY DIGEST 01/07/2019