Via Infomigrants – A new migrant route from Turkey has been opened up by human traffickers – particularly Ukrainian and Russian – to transport migrants to Europe, mainly through Italy. In recent weeks, the smugglers have used sailboats and landed on the beaches of Sicily at night. Continue reading New migrant route involves sailboats from Turkey
Via Hurriyet Daily News / Anadolu Agency – Nine people died early on Aug. 9 when a boat carrying 13 migrants sank off the western coast of Turkey, the Turkish coast guard said. Four people were rescued.
The boat sank off the coast of Aydın province, near Kuşadası, a popular tourist destination, it said. Kuşadası district governor Muammer Aksoy said seven children and two women were identified as casualties with no one missing.
Reporting from the kritnet conference in Göttingen – Part 2
The HarekAct editorial board attended the 16th kritnet conference in Göttingen between 11-13th of May. It was a very good occasion to share and exchange knowledge, meet our friends, activists and colleagues again and discuss future projects and plans. We took part in the workshop titled “Post 2015 Border Regime – Re-Stabilization of the European Border Regime after the ‘Long Summer of Migration’”. We discussed the extension of borders into the cities following the example of Istanbul; the state of the border regime and public debate on migration in Turkey; and the impact and future of the EU-Turkey statement for both Greece and Turkey. Besides the individual inputs, we had a rich collective discussion with various perspectives, information and experiences brought by activists, researchers and professionals from Germany, Turkey, Greece and Kurdish region, and we are looking forward to keep building on the ideas we had as well as the connections we built there.
Although with a little bit of delay, now we would like to share our contributions to the workshop one by one. Enjoy the inputs presented by HarekAct editors in written and updated form in our blog. Keep posted!
by Lisa Groß
Disobedient Border Crossings…
Since the EU-Turkey Deal, the number of clandestine border crossings has dropped substantially, and the agreement is still deterring many migrants from crossing the Aegean Sea. But that’s not the whole picture: Since April 2016, more than 60.000 people made it across the Aegean, and boats are still landing on the islands on an almost daily basis, despite augmented border control. Recently, the number of migrants arriving on the Greek Aegean islands via the sea are increasing again. While around 3.200 people arrived between April and May 2017, the number almost doubled during the same period in 2018, with circa 6.000 migrants making it safely to Greece. This year up until mid-June, circa 13.000 migrants have crossed from Turkey to Greece, with most of the boats still arriving on Lesvos island (ca. 7.000) (see UNHCR).
In the following text, I will take a closer look at the changes and dynamics in the Aegean Sea following the EU-Turkey Deal. Although border patrol agents are increasing their capacities, we are still witnessing many disobedient border crossings and a civil society which continues to report about rights violations at sea. Continue reading Shedding Light on the Maritime Border between Turkey and Greece – Changes in the Border regime in the Aegean Sea since the EU-Turkey Deal
The boat was carrying 16 people , including those allegedly linked to the Gülen movement, which Turkey accuses of orchestrating the coup attempt in 2016. Six people including three babies were drowned after the boat sank off Ayvalık in northwest Turkey. Nine people were rescued by the coast guard, while one person is still missing.
Via Refugee Support Aegean – On 16 March 2018, a refugee boat sank near the Greek island of Agathonisi. Sixteen persons perished and at least three are missing. The survivors and relatives’ testimonies along with text messages sent to the Greek coastguard point towards a significant delay from the side of the Greek authorities in launching a search and rescue operation.
>From the early days of the tragedy, Refugee Support Aegean provides legal and psychological support to the shipwreck survivors and relatives of those who lost their lives. In this detailed case file, you can see how this tragedy unfolded.
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. 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
Via New York Times [abstracts] – In Turkey, the Coast Guard said that nine migrants, including six children, had drowned in an accident off the country’s Mediterranean coast.
The migrants’ boat capsized early Sunday morning near the town of Demre in the southern province of Antalya, according to the Turkish Coast Guard, which said it had recovered nine bodies and rescued four other migrants. A fifth was saved by a passing fishing vessel.
Via Ekathimerini (15.05.18) – Turkey’s coast guard says seven Afghan nationals died, including three children, while trying to cross into Greece, but that it managed to rescue 13 people from the sinking boat.
In a statement Tuesday, it said a rescue ship and helicopter were dispatched late Monday near the western province of Canakkale following a tip. A half-sunk 6-meter fiber boat was found.
Via W2EU Infomobile – On 24 of April 2018 one year had passed since 22 people among them two children lost their lives in the boat accident north of Lesvos. Rescue teams managed many hours later to rescue two women alive, one of them pregnant in the 8th month.
Sylvie and Joelle and the little girl Victoria, born in Mitilini just one month later, came again to Lesvos to remember this year. Together with the rescue teams of Refugee Rescue / Mo chara and with the activists from Watch the Med Alarm Phone and Welcome to Europe they returned to the place the rescued women and also the dead bodies had been brought one year ago.
Also the spotting teams who still care every night at the beaches to spot boats on the way from the Turkish to the Greek side, Lighthouse relief and The Hope Project, joined the invitation to the three women.
On 22nd of April we travelled with the survivors on the ferry to Lesvos. At the ships restaurant we introduced them and their story to the crew who have been really touched to have survivors on board. Continue reading Memorial to remember victims of shipwreck off Lesvos on 24th of April 2017
A relative of victims in Agathonisi shipwreck speaks at a demonstration in Athens and asks central questions.