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.
europe online magazine – Amnesty International issued a plea to world leaders on Tuesday not to use the “disastrous” EU-Turkey refugee deal as a blueprint for similar schemes in Libya, Sudan and Niger.
The non-governmental organization says the scheme left thousands of people “stranded in limbo” on the Greek islands. “It is disingenuous in the extreme that European leaders are touting the EU-Turkey deal as a success, while closing their eyes to the unbearably high cost to those suffering the consequences,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty‘s deputy director for Europe. Amnesty also alleges that international law was breached when some refugees were sent back without being given the opportunity to seek asylum or appeal against their return to Turkey.
Amnesty International – The EU-Turkey refugee deal has left thousands of refugees and migrants in squalid and dangerous living conditions, and must not be replicated with other countries, Amnesty International said today ahead of the deal’s one year anniversary. Continue reading EU: Human rights cost of refugee deal with Turkey too high to be replicated elsewhere
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.
*the source is the Turkish state-run news agency
Hürriyet Daily News – Turkey stated on Feb. 3 that Greece had “forcefully” sent thousands of migrants back to Turkey via the River Evros in recent months. Officials from the Directorate General of Migration Management, which works under the Interior Ministry, said that Greece sent back more than 3,000 migrants to Turkey in the past four months. The officials requested anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media. They said Greece was not abiding by the readmission agreement between Turkey and Greece, while also disregarding international laws on human rights.
We published a paper on the EU-Turkey deal and how refugees in Turkey are being instrumentalized and used as bargain written by Nicolas Parent in late summer last year. Read the paper here