Via Aysecan Terzioglu in Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia 4(2): 34-47 – This article discusses the ways in which discriminatory political, social and cultural discourses and practices against the Syrian forced migrants affect the health of Syrians in Turkey. It also contends that though these discourses and practices stem from the current political environment, they are also related to complex and problematic interactions between Turkey and Arab countries in the past, particularly the clash between Arab and Turkish nationalisms. Continue reading The banality of evil and the normalization of the discriminatory discourses against Syrians in Turkey
Most of the 3.5m Syrians in Turkey can at least work, but the future is precarious
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!
Via Bianet – Two defendants have been sentenced to lifetime imprisonment in trial of Ugandan Nantaba being murdered and her twin sister Babiry being subjected to sexual and physical violence. Continue reading Defendants Sentenced to Lifetime Imprisonment in Murder of Ugandan Sisters
Developments on the Greek Islands
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. V. H., 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.
Via Ekathimerini – Report (from 24th April) with more information on the racist attacks on refugees on Lesvos which took place last Sunday
Police forced dozens of migrants, most Afghan asylum-seekers, who had been camped out on the main square of Lesvos island’s capital since last week, onto buses and transported them to the Moria camp in the early hours of Monday after downtown Mytilini turned into a battleground on Sunday.
Via AlJazeera – A mob of far-right protesters have attacked refugees and migrants who had been holding a separate demonstration in the main square of Mytileni, the main town of the Greek island of Lesbos.
Syrian refugees in Turkey face calls to return as public mood changes. For years, most Turks courteously accepted the Syrians fleeing to their country. But attitudes towards refugees appear to be hardening, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hinted the solution could lie in Afrin, the Kurdish enclave in northwestern Syria his troops have just occupied.
Via IRIN – There is talk of infrastructure being rebuilt in Afrin, of voluntary returns, of perhaps 350,000 to 500,000 Syrians being encouraged to go back. But few refugees in Turkey are from Afrin, and it’s unlikely many would want to return to an active war zone, especially if they’re not Kurdish or from that region. Surveys indicate that even if the fighting ends, half of the estimated 3.8 million Syrians (3.4 million registered and up to 400,000 unregistered) in Turkey intend to stay. Continue reading Syrian refugees in Turkey face calls to return as public mood changes