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 10/06/2019

3rd – 9th June

Closure of Camps at the Syrian Border | Anti-Syrian Sentiments | Tuberculosis Outbreak in a Camp near the Iranian-Armenian Border | Turkey grants residence permits to members of Turkic communities | Story on the Harmandalı Removal Center around Izmir | On Turkishness in Germany | EU published annual report on Turkey

News & Reports

Closure of Camps at the Syrian Border

Throughout our most recent news digests we have been reporting on the ongoing closure of refugee camps on the Turkish border with Syria. Al-Monitor has provided the latest numbers in an article on why Turkey is closing down the camps: Several camps in Gaziantep, Adiyaman and Kilis have already been closed, while Turkey’s largest camp, located in Suruç, is supposed to close on June 23. Around 30,000 Syrian refugees have left the camp so far since April. Of the total 21 camps, which hosted approximately 300,000 Syrians, only 13 camps are left open, accommodating around 120,000 refugees at the moment.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 10/06/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 04/06/2019

28th May – 2nd June

CC BY-SA 2.0 – W. J. Gauthier

Up to 300,000 civilians recently flee due to attack in northwest Syria – People demand the opening of Turkish border | Syrians returning for Eid al-Fitr fear prosecution in Syria | Migrants tortured by Greek police and pushed back to Turkey | Pushback-alike attack in the Aegean | Chased person dies at the Turkish seaside | Turkish police claim to break up “Europe’s biggest people-smuggling ring” | Hundreds of refugees misallocated as “not willing to become resettled” by UNHCR Turkey| Difficulties obtaining Syrian documents in Turkey | Report about African communities in Istanbul

News & Reports

Up to 300,000 civilians recently flee due to attacks in northwest Syria – People demand Turkish border to be opened

According to press-reports the situation at the Syrian-Turkish border is worsening. Between 200,000 to 300,000 civilians have recently fled due to attacks by Russian and Assad forces in northwest Syria. Most of them have sought refuge along the border with Turkey. Camps are already overcrowded, people have established new ones close to the Turkish border wall. Many of them are desperate and angry due to a lack of protection and the missing response of Turkey as well as international actors.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 04/06/2019

Harekact’s Weekly Digest 27/05/2019

14th – 27th May

Turkey is called upon to open the border as the bombardments displaced Syrians from Idlib area | Two more refugee camps in the south-east will soon be emptied | Syrians cross into Syria during Ramadan holiday to check what they have left behind | Arbitrary ill-treatment against lawyers visiting Harmandalı Removal Center | How EU-Turkey deal created prison islands to deter asylum-seekers

News&Reports

Widespread bombardment does not spare the civillians in Idlib area, Turkey is asked to open the border for more than 200,000 displaced:

Displaced families are taking shelter in open farms by the Turkish borders with no access to food nor clean water and no…

Gepostet von The Syria Campaign am Sonntag, 5. Mai 2019
Continue reading Harekact’s Weekly Digest 27/05/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 14/05/19

7th-13th May

Detentions of irregular migrants in Turkey | Situations in the Aegean Sea | Push-Backs from Greece | Working conditions in Turkey | New wall at Turkish-Syrian border | Afghan entrepreneurs in Esenyurt, Istanbul

Perspectives

Numbers & Media Coverage of Detentions of Irregular Migrants in Turkey

Birgün has reported on the figures released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of numbers of migrants in Turkey. According to the reports, in the first four months of 2019 (January until April) the numbers of migrants crossing to the Greek islands decreased by 17.6 percent compared to the previous year. Further, a total of 79,002 migrants – among which were 32,942 Afghans, 11,691 Pakistanis and 6,432 Syrians – were arrested during the same period. The internal ministry reports that the number of detentions decreased by 2.44 percent, while the number of deportation increased by 34 percent compared to the same period in 2018. The Turkish Interior Ministry recorded a total of 268,000 arrests of irregular migrants in 2018.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 14/05/19

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 08/05/19

30th April – 7th May

Greek-Turkish Border. Here the land border close to Edirne.

Several Push-backs from Greece around the Evros region |
Second pushback from Greek waters in the Aegean Sea within a month | Ten people die trying to reach Greek islands |
Worrying reports of deportations of vulnerable people from the Greece islands | Information about a hidden EASO report casting doubt on Turkey as a safe country translated |
Mare Liberum prevented from leaving Lesvos | Statement by the Izmir Bar Association on the recent deaths in the Aegean

News&Reports

Several Push-backs from Greece around the Evros region

Recent reports indicate a surge of push-backs at the Greek-Turkish border.  Several reports have been published which describe violent push-backs of people from Greek soil following their crossing of the Greek-Turkish border via the Evros river.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 08/05/19

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 30/04/2019

25th – 30th April 2019

Harassment, sexual assault or violent threats towards LGBTI and women refugees across Turkey | Crossing to EU through Cyprus | Child abuse case sparks feelings of insecurity in multi-ethnic neighborhood | Syrian seasonal workers exploited between multinational companies and Turkish middlemen | On exile but with the spirit of “Arab spring” in Istanbul | Arbitrary procedure of detention on arrival to Lesvos

News&Reports

LGBTI refugees are calling on the UK Home Office to take immediate steps, as they continue to live in fear of homophobic violence in Turkey: Fifteen LGBT Syrian refugees are launching a legal challenge against the UK Home Office claiming they have been abandoned to a life of danger in Turkey, despite promises of being quickly brought to safety in the UK. Although they were accepted to a refugee resettlement scheme by the Home Office, they have been waiting for more than two years to be resettled, and are forced to live in hiding as a result. See more – 15.04.2019

Policeman’s Sentence for Sexually Assaulting an Uzbek Woman Reduced due to ‘Good Behavior’: For sexually assaulting a migrant woman from Uzbekistan in a police car in October 2018, the police officer Ş.Ş has been sentenced to 18 years, yet the sentence was reduced to 15 considering the “stance and behavior of the defendant in the hearings”. Four other officers were also under trial for the incident. The court acquitted one of them, and the other three have been sentenced to 7 months and 15 days in prison for “not reporting an offense” as public officers. See more – 26.04.2019

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 30/04/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 24/04/2019

17th – 24th April 2019

Photo by Maria Klenner

Mare Liberum to set sail again | Refoulement at Turkish-Greek border | Case against Greece at European Court of Human Rights | Threat of deportation from Bulgaria to Turkey

News&Reports

Mare Liberum ready to set sail again

In a blog post, the crew of the human rights monitoring project Mare Liberum look back at one year of presence in the Aegean Sea, between Turkey to Greece. The project was launched in early 2018 with the mission to “observe, document and draw public attention to the dangerous situation at the European border”. Although Greek authorities were eager to criminalize the project from the very beginning, the Mare Liberum crew managed to set sail in late August 2018. In its post, the crew offers an overview over its activities during the past year. Criticizing the negative effects of the EU-Turkey deal, they state:

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 24/04/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 16/04/2019

8th – 16th April 2019

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Restrictive policies towards Syrians post Municipality Elections | Increased securitization of Turkey-Bulgaria Border | Numbers of Migrants Crossings | Syrian Opposition Journalism in Turkey | ‘Voices from Samos’

News

Continued politicization of anti-Syrian sentiment following municipal elections

Representatives of both the AKP and CHP parties, newly elected in the 31 March municipality elections, continue to use anti-Syrian sentiment as a key platform to gain popular support. The recently appointed CHP Mayor of Bolu, Tanju Özcan, has followed through on delivering his two pre-election promises of 1) Cutting off municipal financial aid to Syrians and other asylum seekers and 2) Not granting them municipal permits to open businesses in Bolu. In doing so he is privileging so-called economic tensions created by Syrians as the main “issue” to be resolved, despite the economic revenue generated by unregistered businesses opened by them.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 16/04/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 08/04/2019

1st – 7th of April 2019

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Turkish University student drowned in Evros river | 3 Turkish citizens arrested while attempted to cross to Greece | Numbers on border crossings, interceptions and arrests | Turkey’s military operation ‘mavi vatan’ | A new March of Hope in Northern Greece

News&Reports

Developments at the Greek-Turkish Border

A 21-year old Turkish student, Maher Mete Kul, died on the 24 March after he tried to cross the Evros river between Greece and Turkey, in an attempt to flee the country and seek asylum. Kul had spend 10 months in prison on charges of membership in a leftist group, Liseli Dev-Genç (High School Revolutionary Youth). With a travel ban on his passport, the clandestine and dangerous route crossing the river border remained his only chance to leave the country. His mother had fled to Greece five months ago.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 08/04/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 02/04/2019

25th – 31st March 2019

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New Report on Migrant Workers | 5 Afghans died in fire in Ankara | 6 people died in shipwrecks in the Aegean | Election campaigns fuel Racist Discourses | New Report on Syrians Women’s perspectives on Life in Turkey

News&Reports

Ankara based ISIG (Health and Safety Labour Watch, Turkey) have released their report on refugee workers in Ankara. The turkish-language report finds that wages for migrant workers begin from 200 TL weekly but vary according to age and working experience. Child labourers earn around 20 TL per day in gathering recycling materials and up to 250 TL per week in furniture workshops. After five Syrian workers died in a fire in January, their employer offered 30,000 TL to their families in compensation, which they did not accept. The families, who have to live off around 300 TL per week since losing their breadwinners, have started legal procedures against the employer. Just last week again, 5 Afghan workers died when the abandoned building in an industrial area they were living in outside of Ankara, caught fire. They had been collecting paper and other garbage for around 50 TL a day, working for around 16-17 hours for 7 days of the week. We hope to follow up on this topic further on HarekAct.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 02/04/2019