We are gathering and reposting the field notes taken by local activist for three weeks during the crises in Pazarkule/Evros border which was aggravated by Turkey, Greece and EU’s border policies and politics of bargaining over human lives. You can find the same report series in Turkish and German (partially translated).
Day 1|| 29 February 2020
is pouring down. While driving on the way to Edirne, we saw at least 20 taxis passing
by, that have Istanbul’s plate number. On the side of the highway, we could
barely see shadows of people who are walking to the border.
In order to join forces and react together to the escalation of recent events taking place on the Greece-Turkey border since 27th of February, more than 180 groups and organizations from over 18 countries released a joint statement. The statement, which is available in Arabic, Farsi, Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, English, Spanish, Italian and German, can be signed online at https://crossbordersolidarity.com
Five years after the so-called “refugee crisis” and almost four
years after the EU-Turkey deal, we are once again witnessing the
violence caused by security-centred migration policies. Since last
Thursday (27.02.2020), thousands of people have been moving towards the
Turkey-Greece border following the announcement that migrants wanting to
reach Europe will no longer be stopped on the Turkish side. The
announcement from Turkish government officials came after the death of
33 Turkish soldiers in the Idlib area, where conflict escalation has
seen the civilian death toll rapidly increase by the day, with basic
infrastructure and health facilities being blatantly fired at. Turkish
government keeps its borders with Syria closed while seeing no harm in
pushing thousands of migrants towards the doors of Europe, into a limbo.
Health and Safety Labour Watch-Turkey published the results of its yearly report on “murders because of work” regarding migrant workers. HESA Labour Watch-Turkey is a network organization carried out by workers and their families from various industries, lines of work, and professions fighting for a healthy and safe life and working conditions. HESA Labour Watch defines certain worker deaths as “murders because of work” rather than “work accidents” to highlight that all work accidents and occupational illnesses are preventable. Therefore, we are presenting you the results of this valuable report in an English translation that complies with the terminology used in the original.
Along with a press release the Greek Council for Refugees , the Association for the Social Support of Youth, and HumanRights360 have published a report about the continuous push-backs of third country nationals from Evros river.
The Greek Council for Refugees, ARSIS-Association for the Social Support of Youth and HumanRights360 publish this report containing 39 testimonies of people who attempted to enter Greece from the Evros border with Turkey, in order draw attention of responsible authorities and public bodies to the frequent practice of push-backs that is taking place in violation of national, EU law and international law.
Via Focaal Blog – Cemile Gizem Dinçer and Eda Sevinin interviewed Nicholas De Genova in Istanbul when they attended the conference “Migration, Social Transformation and Differential Inclusion in Turkey”.
Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) launched the 2018 baseline evaluation report on legislative and other measures giving effect to the provisions of theIstanbul Convention (Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence) for Turkey.
The report overall emphasizes that the prevailing context in Turkey with the draining of resources in civil service sector and increasing anti-terror measures following the failed coup attempt is rather unpropitious for the fulfillment of women’s right to live free from violence; and therefore the many legislative and other gains achieved hitherto at the cause against violence against women in Turkey, may risk regressing.
The report also has a particular section on Migration and Asylum, in which the issues of “family residence permit”, “gender-based asylum claims” and the principle of “non-refoulment” were elaborated on. Thereby, the group of experts call on the Turkish authorities to take necessary measures to provide better protection to women victims of violence regardless of their status of residence, and to develop gender-sensitive procedures, guidelines and services which allow all women to have access to registration and protection mechanisms.
For the full-text of GREVIO’s baseline evaluation report on Turkey, please refer to this link.
This week, the Journal of Refugee Studies published a new paper by Deniz Pelek on Syrian refugees working in the agricultural sector in Turkey.
Abstract: This article examines the case of Syrian refugees as seasonal migrant workers in Turkey and critically discusses the working and living conditions fostering their relative vulnerability compared to other workers. Syrian refugees are subject to discriminatory practices in terms of lower wages, longer working hours and improper sheltering conditions. This article explores how unequal power relations between ethnically different groups of workers in the agricultural sector are (re)constructed and the consequences of the emergence of Syrian refugees as a novel class. The essential aim of this study is to unravel the process and practice of ethnically hierarchized agricultural labour market after the entrance of refugees.
Refugee Rights Europe published a new report on the living conditions of refugees on the ‘prison’ island Lesvos after a research delegation travelled to the notorious island of Lesvos in Greece in June 2018, to document the human rights situation experienced by refugees and displaced people there.
Reception, hospitality and integration are certainly the main challenges of the contemporary world, particularly for countries like Turkey which hosts more than 3 million refugees from Syria. The aim of this article is to analyze the reception practices of civil society organizations and the nature of these bodies’ relationship with state agencies by focusing on Sultanbeyli, a peripheral district of Istanbul. Based on a fieldwork conducted in this district, we present the functioning of various state and non‐state actors in order to uncover not only the role of NGOs, but also the nature of the relations between them and the state in terms of governance of refugee reception in Turkey. We thus argue that the reception of Syrian refugees is undertaken by a “faithful” alliance between the state and certain NGOs, a partnership where civil society assumes a supporting role to the state in refugee reception.