Racism against Syrians in local elections | Malpractice in police custody against Iranians | A graveyard for Syrians in Izmir | Claims for a birthright citizenship in Turkey | Critical perspectives on the EU-Turkey deal | Calls for giving a voice to refugees/migrants
Local elections on March 31 and racism
Kristina Jovanovski reports for NBC News about increasing racist sentiments against the Syrian population in Turkey. According to her report, Turkish people are blaming Syrians for higher job competition and are complaining about increasing cultural differences. Syrian people interviewed by the author report that they are facing racism on a regular basis, increasing their feelings of insecurity in Turkey. Both members of the AKP and the CHP have publicly called for a return of all Syrians to Syria during their respective election campaigning. Omar Kadkoy of Tepav think tank (The Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey) sees them as a “convenient scapegoat” and argues that it is the low number of job permits granted by the government which is responsible for employers being able to pay Syrians less in informal employment, “feeding into perceptions that Syrians are stealing jobs and lowering wages”.
Via Hâlâ Gazeteciyiz – This Study by Funda Cantek and Cavidan Soykan traces notions as movement of Turkey-bound migration, the conditions of migrants who have settled in various cities in Turkey temporarily or permanently and their relationship with the local inhabitants, Turkey’s migration policy, and incidents in which migrants were presented as victims or perpetrators by browsing the dailies Sözcü, Hürriyet and Yeni Akit from the beginning of AKP rule in 2002 up to now.
Following the outrage on the Syrians celebrating the new year in Istanbul, Turish interior minister gave an extensive interview to the journalist Kübra Par. While trying to ease the xenophobic sentiments by denying the myths on Syrians, such as “they are accepted to universities without examination”, “they don’t wait lines in the hospitals” or “they are given free public housing”; minister Soylu promotes a cultural and moral perspective on Syrians that highlights a historicized imagination of brotherhood of religion and in arms. Minister Soylu also claims some significant data on Syrians: such as 294k as the number of returnees to Syria, 65k as the number of work permit holders, 76,443 as the number of citizenships granted, and 645k as the children who were integrated to public education system. The full interview can be read in Turkish via HaberTurk. Below if s brief report by the News Tribe, based on the same interview.
Migrant kids born in Turkey is a crucial and growing topic. 385,431 babies born to Syrian parents in Turkey between April 2011 and November 2018, according to official statistics. As mentioned in the report below many problems and risks emerge in this area: such as the the discriminative treatment migrant mothers face that may turn violent and traumatic during the labour, not having access to public hospitals (being refused, or being charged high prices) and therefore having to give birth in improper conditions, having difficulties to register the kids, and to receive health-care, education and other social services later on.
ISTANBUL, Turkey – Sham’s start in life was not easy.
“I was in labour. I was in pain, lying in the hospital bed, but the midwives did not help me,” recalls her mother Kawthar Muhammet, a Syrian now living in Turkey who uses the Turkish spelling of her last name, Mohammed. “They said to me, ‘You’re fleeing war and having sex?’ They called me names that I don’t want to repeat. They abandoned me.
Via Middle East Monitor – Granting citizenship to Syrians in Turkey is a topic of discussion today more than ever before. So far, more than 50,000 Syrians have acquired Turkish citizenship. This has ignited debates among the Turkish public, primarily due to the provocative media coverage of the topic and increasing nationalism in Turkey.
Citizenship is considered a pillar of any long-term integration process. In this regard, there have been two major undertakings regarding the naturalisation of Syrians in Turkey: the change of discourse about Turkish citizenship and the change in practices of granting citizenship to Syrian refugees.
Via Refugee News Turkey – Some 311,000 babies of Syrian origin have been born in Turkey under the stateless status, according to the Turkish Parliament’s Refugee Subcommittee that operates under the Human Rights Committee.
During summer 2016 the Turkish government first announced to grant Turkish citizenship to some Syrians. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said that the first steps have been taking on providing Turkish citizenship to Syrians. In a first stage 30.000 to 40.000 would be granted citizenship, in a move that could grant a total of 300.000 Syrians citizenship.
Via Hürriyet(link in Turkish) – TheRefugee Rights Commission of the Turkish Parliament explains that since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, 276.000 Syrian babies born in Turkey stay in an ‚haymatlos‘status and thus face a risky future with neither Turkish nor Syrian identification papers. By the end of September 2017, the number of Syrian babies born in Turkey was at 276.158 and the details of the report are as follows.
The German-Turkish newspaper taz gazete on the public discourse on Syrian refugees in Turkey:
“The initial welcoming culture has long since been replaced by resentments and hate speech. The option of naturalization fuels the discussion on Syrian refugees.
In last week of July, the Turkish parliament received a draft law on the naturalization of migrants, of which especially Syrian refugees would profit. At the same time, hate towards refugees is growing in the Turkish society. In daily life, they are being racially haressed and instrumentalized by politicians according to their political agenda. In re-occuring situations of conflict with the EU, Erdoğan, who normally stages himself as the saviour of the ‘muslim brothers and sisters’, threatens to put all refugees in busses towards Europe.”