Category Archives: News

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.

Police rescue 57 chained Pakistani migrants bound for Europe in Istanbul

Turkey’s state run news agency Anadolu Agency reports that the anti-migrant smuggling police freed 57 Pakistani migrants in Istanbul. They were being held chained in their hands and feet in a basement of a building in Istanbul’s Arnavutköy district, apparently bound for Europe. The police arrest three suspected smugglers, also nationals from Pakistan. According to Arab News, some of the migrants had been tortured.

According to the police, the migrants had paid a total of 10.000 € to the smugglers to be brought to Greece and Italy, but that didnt happen:

“They were then chained and forced to tell their families that they had arrived Europe in order to receive codes for an alternative “Hawala” two-factor verification payment system, Doğan News Agency reported.”

Now, after being ‘rescued‘ by the police, the 57 migrants – who escaped Pakistan, and were in Turkey to continue they were towards Europe – will be deported to Pakistan! So instead of offering safety after what they have been through, the state decides to deport them, probably into another situation of high insecurity.

The three suspected organizers will be referred to court following questioning at the police headquarters.


The article was originally published by Hurriyet Daily News

257 undocumented migrants held across Turkey

Via Anadolu Agency* – At least 98 undocumented migrants were held by security forces across Turkey on Wednesday, according to officials.

In the southern province of Adana, 72 undocumented foreigners including 25 Afghan, 22 Pakistani, 20 Syrian, three Bangladeshi and two Nigerian nationals, were held by the police, a security source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media… Continue reading 257 undocumented migrants held across Turkey

Turkish Family who died in the Aegean, attempted crossing by themselves

The German-Turkish online newspaper ‘Deutsch-Türkisches Journal’ (DTJ) reports (in German) that the Maden family, who lost their lives in the Aegean Sea while trying to reach safety in Greece, attempted to crossing by themselves. The family did not have enough money to pay a smuggler, so with their last funds and some borrowed money, Hüseyin Maden bought a small boat and decided to steer the boat himself to the Greek island of Lesvos. Continue reading Turkish Family who died in the Aegean, attempted crossing by themselves

Central Asian migrants caught in Turkey’s anti-terror raids

Umar Farooq wrote a piece on the situation of Central Asian migrants in Istanbul lately for HarekAct. He published another article with LA Times on that same issue:

Via Los Angeles Times – The last time Anurkhol Bipolotov saw her husband, Fakhriddin, was across a street, outside a police station in Istanbul, on March 9. “He couldn’t speak, and I asked to speak with him, but they shouted, ‘You cannot speak.’ Then they sent him to Uzbekistan,” she recalled. “Now I have no idea where he is.”

That night, Turkish counter-terrorism police conducted 10 simultaneous raids across Istanbul, based on an anonymous tip placed to a hotline set up to report suspicious activity. Sixty-nine people, all but two foreigners, were taken into custody, suspected of being Islamic State members. Among them were 17 women and 29 children, including Bipolotov and her three children. None were ever charged with a terrorism-related crime.

Continue reading Central Asian migrants caught in Turkey’s anti-terror raids

10-year-old Afghan boy dies during migrant boat evacuation by Frontex vessel

Via Keep Talking Greece – A 10-year-old Afghan boy with disabilities was found dead in a boat carrying 66 migrants from Turkey to the island of Lesvos. The migrant boat was stopped by a Bulgarian Frontex vessel within the Greek territorial waters off Lesvos on Saturday morning. According to the parents, the boy was trampled by other passengers during the evacuation by the Frontex vessel. Continue reading 10-year-old Afghan boy dies during migrant boat evacuation by Frontex vessel

New migration routes: More than 3 thousand people went to Italy by crossing from Turkey

Via BBC Türkçe (Link in Turkish) – According to a report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of immigrants from Libya to Italy by sea has decreased since last July after an agreement with Libya to stop migration towards Italy.

However, the closure of this route pushed immigrants to search for new routes. “As the number of people leaving Libya decreased, the rate of arrivals by sea from Tunisia, Turkey and Algeria to Italy increased”, according to the report.

Tension breaks out in Lesvos public square over protesting Afghans

Via Ekathimerini  – Fresh tension broke out in the capital of Lesvos on Wednesday after a small group of Afghan asylum seekers attempted to set up camp on one of the island’s public squares in demand that they be transferred to the Greek mainland.

Body of Man Believed to be Migrant Discovered Near Border

Via Greek Reporter – Greek police say the body of a man believed to be a migrant has been found in an abandoned building in the Evros mountainous border area in northern Greece.

Police said Wednesday that the man, believed to have been between 20 and 30 years old and of either African or Asian descent, was found on Tuesday in the building outside a mountain village in the Evros region, close to the Turkish border. Continue reading Body of Man Believed to be Migrant Discovered Near Border

Turkish Family Of Five Drowned In Aegean Sea As Trying To Flee From Erdoğan Regime’s Persecution

Around the 10th of November bodies of three children were washed ashore in Lesvos. A horrible scene that left the Greek authorities clueless as there were no records of a recent shipwreck. Now it seems that these lifeless bodies belong to a Turkish family of five, who fled the country as they were facing persecution as alleged members of the Gülen movement. 

Continue reading Turkish Family Of Five Drowned In Aegean Sea As Trying To Flee From Erdoğan Regime’s Persecution

Migrant rights groups ring alarm over approaching winter

Via Ekathimerini  – With winter fast approaching and migrant camps on the Greek islands reaching breaking point due to overcrowding, 20 human rights group have written a letter to the Greek government calling for immediate action.

Greece should act to end a “containment policy” that forces asylum seekers arriving on the Greek islands to remain in overcrowded and unsafe facilities, the human rights and aid groups said in the letter, 19 months after a similar open letter to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged the government to move migrants to the mainland, where better conditions and services are available. Continue reading Migrant rights groups ring alarm over approaching winter