Restrictive policies towards Syrians post Municipality Elections | Increased securitization of Turkey-Bulgaria Border | Numbers of Migrants Crossings | Syrian Opposition Journalism in Turkey | ‘Voices from Samos’
Continued politicization of anti-Syrian sentiment following municipal elections
Representatives of both the AKP and CHP parties, newly elected in the 31 March municipality elections, continue to use anti-Syrian sentiment as a key platform to gain popular support. The recently appointed CHP Mayor of Bolu, Tanju Özcan, has followed through on delivering his two pre-election promises of 1) Cutting off municipal financial aid to Syrians and other asylum seekers and 2) Not granting them municipal permits to open businesses in Bolu. In doing so he is privileging so-called economic tensions created by Syrians as the main “issue” to be resolved, despite the economic revenue generated by unregistered businesses opened by them.
Turkey’s state-run news agency “Anadolu Agency” has been providing contradicting numbers on the irregular migrants held by Turkish authority across the country. By the beginning of this year, the agency announced the number of the migrants held in the seas around Turkey to be 26,678 for 2018, indicating a rise of 21.6 percent compared to 2017. Regarding 2019, the numbers released so far sum up to more than 2,500.
Via Independent Balkan News Agency– Part of the fence built by Bulgaria at the border with Turkey to stem illegal migration has fallen for a second time, brought down by heavy rain in the Malko Turnovo area, reports on December 6 said.
The controversial and highly costly fence project was begun in 2013 by the “Oresharski” government, in response to a significant increase in refugees fleeing war-torn Syria. The initial 30km of the project has been extended with the ambition of covering all of Bulgaria’s border with Turkey by the Borissov government.
Following our attendance at the Kritnet Conference in last May, we finally had the chance to share our contributions in HarekAct. One of our editors focused on the post EU-Turkey deal context in Istanbul, Turkey, which is marked by policies and practices of marginalization, irregularization and criminalization of migrants. The unfavorable conditions in the provision of registration, services and protection, with the implementation of additional mechanisms of securitization, detention and forced deportation, has had the impact of extending the constraints of the global border regime further to directly affect the living experiences of migrants in Istanbul.
In July, Human Rights Watch also published a report on the consequences of Turkey’s suspension of registering Syrians in Istanbul and other nine cities along the Syrian border. The report claims that this practice represents Turkey’s latest efforts in denying new asylum-seekers protection, following the closure of the borders and the shooting at individuals attempting to cross. Ultimately it is forcing Syrians to live under the risk of deportation, without access to urgent services, and having to depend on smugglers inside Turkey.
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→
Bulgarian Interior Minister Valentin Radev and his Turkish counterpart Süleyman Soylu met in Edirne on May 29 for a workshop on border security and co-operation, the first such workshop on the topic of its kind between the two countries.
The main focus of the talks was the efforts made by the two countries to ensure the security of the most sensitive external European border – the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint, Bulgarian National Television reported.
Via euobserver(02.05.2018) – Some six years after Greece erected a 10km barb wired border fence along a stretch of the Evros river it shares with Turkey, the European Commission has announced plans to create a standing corps of 10,000 border guards.
On Wednesday (2 May), the EU executive proposed the idea as part of its aim to overhaul the EU budget for the years 2021-27.
Frontex had 300 border guards in 2015. Under EU Commission plans, that could increase to 10,000 in less than ten years (Photo: europarl.europa.eu)
IOM Turkey is training Turkish, Greek and Bulgarian police officers on how to examine travel documents and recognize fakes, in an obvious attempt to improve border controls and to stop increasing border crossings from Turkey in Greece and Bulgaria.
The IOM Integrated Border Management Team was held on the first day of training for police officers from Turkey # Bulgaria and # Greece last week. The training provided guidance on examining travel documents, profiling and commonly used forgery techniques. pic.twitter.com/EFMtHKpEKc