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.
Via HurriyetDailyNews– Eleven migrants were killed on March 24 after a boat carrying 22 sank off the Kuşadası-Davutlar area of western Turkey, Doğan News Agency has reported. Seven migrants were rescued while efforts to rescue the other missing four are continuing.
Via New York Times – Patrick Kingsley reports on the State of Emergency in Turkey and how people are dealing with hard times in a nation strained by war, terrorist insurgencies, a refugee crisis and a widening crackdown on dissent. This article is about two Syrians: a former smuggler and a child-labourer.
“After earning $800,000 in 2015 by sneaking migrants out of Turkey, a smuggler says he has left the guilt and complications of his business behind — mostly. And a Syrian refugee boy, homeless and out of school, must keep roaming the country to find farm work and help his family survive.”
Via Era-Aegean(Translated from Greek) – On Monday evening, the Greek coast guards were engaged in an operation to search and rescue three refugees who allegedly tried to swim from the Turkish shores to the island of Chios. The rescue operation took place close to the island Paspargos and Karfas. A helicopter was involved but the rescue operation remained without success. The three people could not be found.
The Greek authorities informed the Turkish Coast Guards regarding the three refugees, so that the latter proceeds to similar operations in the Turkish territorial waters.
Deutschlandfunk (Link in German) – More refugees than usual arrived on the islands in the Eastern Aegean during the last two days.
According to authorities in charge 360 people crossed from the Turkish mainland to the Greek islands. Lately, an average of 35 people per day crossed the Aegean. The Greek coast guards explain the rise of arrivals with better weather conditions. The Turkish government repeatedly threatened the EU with the resignation of the migration agreement. Continue reading More refugee reach Greek islands through Aegean→
Yahoo – Bulgaria said Saturday it was ready to boost patrols and finish a fence along its southeastern frontier with Turkey in an effort to hold off any new influx of migrants. The pledge comes as Turkey is in separate rows with Bulgaria and the EU, raising worries Ankara could allow a rush of asylum seekers across the border.
BBC – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to tear up a key migrant deal with the European Union. He said the EU could “forget about” Turkey re-admitting failed asylum seekers who had reached Europe via Turkey, a key part of the agreement.
Mr Erdogan also said the EU’s top court was leading a “crusade” against Islam. His comments are the latest in a widening, increasingly acrimonious dispute with EU governments and institutions.
Are you Syrious – Turkey has partially suspended the refugee agreement with the EU. At present, no refugees are withdrawn from the Greek islands, said the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu today. The main reason for this, according to him, is the lack of visa-free travel for the Turks in the EU, interpreting that as the Union’s not respecting of their side of the deal. There are a lot of doubts about these potential “threats” from the Turkish side.
According to the latest official statistics, 110 people have been returned to Turkey from the Aegean islands in 2017. In spite of the decision for Turkey to “ re-evaluate” the land-passage aspects of the EU- Turkey deal, he also said that Turkey would not reopen its Aegean border.
Zeit Online(link in German) – Turkey is partly putting the refugee agreement with the EU on hold. On Wednesday, Turkish foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said towards the TV-channel 24TV that no refugees are being admitted back from the Greek islands at the moment. At the same time, he threatened with a complete revocation of the deal. The Turkish government could end the agreement at any time, he said adding that ‘from now on, we could say that we will not put the deal into practice and it’s over.’
The New York Times on Turkey’s threats to review the EU-Turkey Deal again.
“We will review the migrant deal if necessary,” Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey’s deputy prime minister, warned on Monday night. In Europe, the announcement prompted fears of a repeat of the 2015 migration surges that saw 850,000 people leave Turkey for Greece in a single year. “I expect waves of people,” he said in a video call on Tuesday night. “The business will come back to the way it was, and maybe better.”