Turkey is home to more displaced Syrians than any other country, but growing intercommunal violence between refugees and their hosts is straining relations.
Sanliurfa, a city of 830,000 people in southeast Turkey, is the latest to be rocked by unrest between Syrians and Turks. On September 27th, two Turkish youths were killed by Syrians following an argument between neighbouring families. In the days that followed, angry mobs of locals attacked Syrians and their businesses, confining many to their homes for much of the past week.
The discord prompted the governor and mayor of Sanliurfa to hold a crisis meeting with the city’s police chief and several NGOs to work out ways to ease tensions. Almost a quarter of the population of Sanliurfa province are Syrians and, Istanbul aside, the region is home to more Syrian refugees than any other province in the country. Continue reading Syrians in Turkey face anger and violence→
in Elazıg province of Turkey, starting from a fight between two groups, the tension between locals and Syrians turns into racist attacks on Syrians’ shops in Sanayi district on 5th and 6th of September. The locals blocked the street and demanded Syrians to leave the town. Afterwards the mayor of Elazig stated that they gave three days to Syrians to close down their shops and leave the district adding that they never gave working permit to syrians and they will never give; they will not let anyone to break their peace.
Most of the 3.5m Syrians in Turkey can at least work, but the future is precarious
Via The Economist –GAZIANTEP | Returning to Turkey from Germany with four children in tow was not easy for Faisl Alakrch, a 36-year-old Syrian. He had to use a people-smuggler to retrace, in reverse, the route he had taken the year before. His younger brothers have remained in Germany and are studying at university, but he wanted to work, and complains that “I could not do anything there.” Turkey, by contrast, has made it easy for him to operate. He was able to register a company and set up a café in Gaziantep, a city close to the Syrian border. He has now been invited to become a Turkish citizen. His six-year-old son speaks a mixture of German, Turkish and Arabic. Continue reading Syrian refugees find Turkey more welcoming than western Europe→
Via Daily Sabah (20th July) –Forty-four illegal immigrants who were apprehended by Turkish troops near the border, claimed they were beaten by Bulgarian police and sent back to Turkey, the İhlas News Agency reported. Migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran were discovered by gendarme troops guarding the border between Turkey and Bulgaria in the Kofçaz district of the Turkish province of Kırklareli on Friday. They told Turkish officials that they crossed into Bulgaria three days ago but were captured by Bulgarian police. They claimed Bulgarian police officers beat them and stole their money and valuable possessions before sending them back to the Turkish side of the border. Continue reading Migrants claim abuse by Bulgarian police→
The case of Violet and Beatrice was brought to public thanks to the consistent efforts of feminist solidarity groups who followed the case since the beginning till the end. And finally the case ended up with justice. Long live feminist solidarity!
In mid-April, after a court decision, the news that the restriction of movement to the mainland for all migrants arriving on the Greek islands from then on had been lifted made the headlines. Hopes were high of these developments among refugees and their supporters. However, the Greek government quickly issued an administrative decision only a couple of days later, reinstating the former policy, known as the “containment policy” that is responsible for the terrible conditions many migrants face.
Meanwhile, in the four-day trial against the #Moria35 in April, 32 of the 35 defendants were collectively convicted of injuring police officers. The process was politically motivated from the very beginning with almost no proof against the defendants. They were collectively convicted to a 26 months suspended prison sentence, though this penalty is temporarily suspended, since their lawyers lodged an appeal against the decision. Valeria Hänsel, who contributes to HarekAct, drawing on her insights on the situation of refugees on Lesvos and focusing on their detention and deportations, wrote a report about the trial, that we published on HarekAct (in German). Continue reading HarekAct Newsletter V – April, May, and June 2018→
The Migrant Solidarity Kitchen, the Migrant Solidarity Network – Ankara and Hamisch – Istanbul Syrian Cultural House issued a statement saying:
Nobody Migrates Without a Reason!
Zero Tolerance for Anti-Immigrant Policies!
In Solidarity with our friends from these initiatives and migrants in Turkey we say #notoantimmigrantpolicies #gocmenkarsitisiyasetegecityok
** English Version (17th June) ** Turkish and Arabic below **
Since the announcement of early elections on 18th of April, electoral campaigns have brought together thousands of people in different cities and squares across the country.
One of the frequently-heard campaign promises during these meetings and rallies has been the promise to send migrants back home, which is the reason why we have decided to make this statement and launch this campaign.
Via Narratively – When you’re queer in the Middle East, escaping war doesn’t mean you’ve escaped the people who want you dead.
“Turkey is now home to around 3.6 million Syrian refugees. In 2015, there were approximately 400 self-identified LGBTQ Syrian refugees in Turkey, according to the Organization for Refugee, Asylum & Migration. The actual number is likely much higher because many are too afraid to speak out. They are accompanied by LGBTQ asylum seekers from Iran, Iraq, and other countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Homosexuality is illegal in many of these countries—even punishable by death in some—but legal in Turkey, making Istanbul a beacon for queer refugees.
“At the bottom of one of Istanbul’s many hills, along a windy road lined with mosques, barber shops and tea gardens, is Istanbul’s only shelter for LGBTQ refugees. Not far from ancient Byzantine walls, Aman LGBT Shelter currently houses 14 LGBTQ refugees, the majority of them from Syria.