Göçmen Dayanışma Ağı (Migrant Solidarity Network) – This Saturday, on November 19th, 123 migrants managed to escape the Kumkapı deportation center in Istanbul, after starting a fire in their cells. While the fire brigades were working to extinguish the fire, the migrants broke through the gate of the courtyard and runaway despite the policemen shooting in the air. The police forces brought 20 of them back while searching the neighborhood. Continue reading Migrant Solidarity Network on the kumkapı migrant riot
Kritnet, a network of critical migration researchers and activists and one of the founding groups of HarekAct, published a statement on the recent developments in Turkey and Germany’s responsiblity. You can read the full text in English here on our blog. For the German version click here.
Turkey is facing a drastic slide to an authoritarian regime that increasingly disregards democratic principles: using the state of exception imposed after the attempted military coup, the government under president Erdoǧan silences the political opposition and shuts down one critical media outlet after another as well as hundreds of Non-governmental organizations. Freedom of expression, freedom of press and the pluralistic society are at extreme risk. In view of these developments, the Network for Critical Migration and Border Regime Studies (kritnet) urges the German government to take concrete action to support and protect the democratic forces in Turkey and those who are already in exile. Continue reading Turkey is on its way towards a dictatorship – the German government must act now!
Article by Nicolas Parent originally published for IN/WORDS MAGAZINE & PRESS
New York, 1927 – Edward Lasker and Aron Nimzowitsch, two of the greatest minds in chess at the time, went head to head in an off-hand game. At that time, smoking was almost synergetic with chess playing. Nimzowitsch, however, had a severe allergy to smoke and records show that he often requested tournament directors and ombudsmen to enforce a no smoking rule during game play. Lasker, on the other hand, was notorious for his strategy of ‘smoking out’ his opponents, typically burning cheap cigars with an unbearably foul scent. Before this specific match, Lasker agreed not to smoke whilst playing against Nimzowitsch. However, mid-game, Lasker pulled out a cigar and laid it on the table. Nimzowitsch furiously acalled upon the tournament director to intervene, but this was to no avail as Lasker had yet to light the cigar. Dissatisfied, Nimzowitsch responded by saying “(…) but he is threatening to smoke, and as an old player you must know that the threat is stronger than the execution” (Winter, 2015).
Albeit the comical exchange, a similar narrative has developed in respect to what European political circles and newspapers have called a ‘migration crisis’. Continue reading Refugees as Peons in Foreign Policy: Turkey, the EU and Reflections of Lasker and Nimzowitsch
The Locals, the Syrians and the 15 July Coup Attempt in Gaziantep
By H. Pınar Şenoğuz
Turkish politics is full of surprises with intriguing conclusions – or perhaps we cannot talk about endings yet – and diverse social impact among its adherents. The 15 July coup attempt and the ‘resistance of Turkish people’ hailed by the national media, for instance, was such an extraordinary event as the anthropologist Lisa Malkki would coin (Malkki, 1997). Continue reading Notes from the Back-Alleys of a Turkish Border City
This year’s no border camp  took place in Thessaloniki from 15th to 24th of July. The camp was organized as a big transnational meeting of anarchists and no border activists to discuss and network but also to demonstrate and struggle together against the European border regime. In northern Greece the face of Fortress Europe becomes particularly visible.
Following the EU-Turkey statement in mid-March 2016, and the first implementations of the EU-Turkey deal on April 4th, the fate of migrants in both Turkey and the EU seemed increasingly under a vail uncertainty. As many INGO’s, institutions and local groups working in migration hotspots around Turkey condemed the deal, and questioned its legitimacy and legality, a need to collect information concerning arrivals from the EU, unlawful detention, possible breaches of human rights and much more became apparent. As a response to this need, the Observatory for Human Rights and Forced Migrants in Turkey – OHRFMT – was founded. Continue reading Presenting OHRFMT: Observatory for Human Rights and Forced Migrants in Turkey
A report from the contested borders in the Aegean region
By Sabine Hess and Gerda Heck, June 2016
[updated in September 2016]
After months of massive refugee movements that have breathtakingly struggled their way towards Northern Europe last year, European Union member states have started to launch diverse actions and measurements to regain control. A coalition of Eastern European states led by Austria proclaimed the closing of the Balkan route in March this year that led to massive national re-bordering activities and the blatant construction of fences. Continue reading European restabilization attempts of the external borders and their consequences
This brief is prepared by Ayşem Biriz Karaçay for HarekAct, with the objectives of highlighting the phenomena of EU-Turkey cooperation and relevant policy suggestions, and creation of an effective discussion area on these among academia, policy makers and implementers, and civil society actors in Europe.
The 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.
Interview by Gerda Heck
On March 18th of 2016 the so called EU-Turkey deal entered into force. At its core, the agreement aimed at discouraging migrants from travelling by boat from Turkey to the Greek islands by allowing Greece to return migrants arriving after March 20th to Turkey.
On April 4th the first migrants were returned to Dikili from the Greek islands Lesvos and Chios. Among the 66 migrants who were deported from Chios was a group of five Congolese and one Ivorian. After arriving in Turkey, they were directly brought to the Kırklareli removal center at the Bulgarian border, which is in use since 2014. On May 19th, one of them got deported before he was able to apply for international protection. With René, one of the spokesmen of the group, Gerda Heck conducted this phone interview recently about their treatment on Chios and their involuntary deportation back to Turkey. Continue reading “We are prisoners, although we just wanted to seek asylum in Europe.”
The Watch the Med Alarm Phone published a statement on the 27th of May after being contacted by a Syrian refugee who was on one of two boats with a total of 1.000 people – mostly refugees from Syria and Iraq – in distress off the Libyan coast the day before. Through survivors they later learned that one of these boats sank leaving up to 400 people dead. The activists of the Alarm Phone claim that the closure of the Balkan route and the cruel EU-Turkey deal forces refugees to take the more dangerous route through Libya now, which in this case resulted in the death of hundreds of people. Here are some thoughts on how the EU-Turkey deal causes a shift in migration routes. Continue reading How the EU-Turkey deal forces refugees to take more dangerous flight routes