Tag Archives: Evros

HarekAct’s weekly Digest 11/11/2019

21 October – 10 November

Reports of human rights groups on Turkey’s ‘forced’ voluntary return practices and ‘unsafe’ safe-zone not welcomed by Turkish officials | EU mobilises millions of Euros to Turkey for increasing migration control | Still, and once again, Erdoğan threatens the EU with refugees | Increasing crossings also on the Greek-Turkish land border | Bulgaria’s response to irregular crossings at Bulgarian-Turkish border

News&Reports

Reports of Human Rights Groups on Turkey’s ‘Forced’ Voluntary Peturn Practices and ‘Unsafe’ Safe-Zone not Welcomed by Turkish Officials

The Turkish state’s attempt to remove Syrian refugees to so-called safe-zone in Northern Syria have been proven to be unrighteous by several reports released in the past weeks, as the deadline given to unregistered Syrians to leave Istanbul, 30 October, approached.

Human Rights Watch’s report details the hostile and unlawful treatment involved in the arbitrary deports and detentions of Syrians in Istanbul and Antakya between January and September 2019. The report underlines that a significant number of Syrians are being deported against their will to one of the most dangerous areas in Syria, Idlib, where at least 1,089 civilians have been killed since April. HRW invites Turkey’s Interior Ministry to ensure that Turkish authorities do not use violence against Syrians or other detained foreign nationals and to hold any officials using violence to account. – 24.10.2019

Amnesty International’s report also accuses Turkish authorities of forcibly deporting hundreds of Syrian refugees back to war-torn areas in the north of Syria, by using threats, force and deception. The report includes testimonies of refugees who were beaten into signing ‘voluntary return’ documents, and others who signed in order to receive blankets from detention centres. “Returns until now have been anything but safe and voluntary – and now millions more refugees from Syria are at risk” says Anne Shea from AI. – 25.10.2019

Following these, Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management published an on-line press statement on 25th October (in Turkish only) to declare that Amnesty International’s report “does not reflect the truth”. The statement considers such reports to be unfair in light of the great effort and commitment shown by Turkey in hosting 4 million refugees alone while several countries in Africa and Europe have been stages for violence and inhumane conditions against foreigners in detention centers. It is claimed that 364.663 people have returned to Syria voluntarily up to date, and the returns have been carried out in compliance with international law. In another attempt to deny the claims of human rights defenders, the Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy told to AlJazeeraOur authorities has been carrying out the ‘repatriating process’ in collaboration the UN refugee agency and other non-governmental organisations. Our country has in every opportunity always stressed that refugee returns should be voluntary, secure and in line with the international law.” – 25.10.2019

On 1 November, the day after “the time given to Syrians” was over, Human Rights Association – Turkey (IHD) and We Want to Live Together initiative released their second joint report on Deportations ad Human Rights Abuses towards Refugees (full report available only in Turkish). The report includes a significant number of accounts – received via applications made to IHD by phone or mail – of “voluntary” forced deportations and ill-treatment by police officers, as well as the effects of deportations on family unity, the findings on human rights abuses in working environment, breaches on right to health and a list of demands against all these. IHD mentioned that the situation has turned into a humanitarian crises in Istanbul as the findings imply that “migrants cannot leave their houses for even their basic needs due to the climate of fear”, “the practice of ‘administrative detention’ has turned into ‘forced detention'”, and “voluntary repatriation documents are proven to be invalid considering high number of applications to return to Turkey”, among others. – 01.11.2019

EU Mobilises Millions of Euros to Turkey for Increasing Migration Control:
Maciej Popowski, the European Commission Deputy Director General for Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, has announced in a meeting at Brussels that the EU is preparing to pay Turkey 50 million euros in order to improve the capacities of its coast guard, improve the conditions in migrant detention centers and help refugees to integrate. The money will be drawn from a budget meant to prepare Turkey for its accession to the European Union and from a separate “peace and stability” fund, he said. – 06.11.2019

Another EU commissioner, Christos Stylianides, had already announced earlier that €663 million will be provided in humanitarian aid for major cash support (ESSN), education and healthcare projects under the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey. – 31.10.2019

Still, and Once Again, Erdoğan Threatens the EU with Refugees:
Speaking alongside Hungary’s right wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban on 7 November, Erdoğan told reporters the refugees will be allowed into Europe unless the EU provides more support “Whether we receive support or not, we will continue to aid the guests we are hosting. But, if this doesn’t work out, then we will have to open the doors,”

Increasing Crossings also on the Greek-Turkish Land Border:
InfoMigrants reports on crossings across the Evros River as well as push-backs, violent and illegal treatments by authorities and ‘masked men’. Although there are mixed reports about how many people are crossing via this border, the numbers provided by IOM indicate a steady increase in the last months, from 255 arrivals in May to 1,233 in September. – 06.11.2019

Bulgaria’s Response to Irregular Crossings at Bulgarian-Turkish Border:
Bulgarian Ministry of Interior confirmed that Border Police officers prevented 2,122 attempts of ‘illegal’ entry at the border with Turkey between 1 January and 31 October 2019, and 206 people were detained. The ministry has also approved the emergency response plan as a result of “increased migration pressure” along Bulgaria’s border with Turkey, which will probably result in further militarization and surveillance technologies to be implemented along the border. – 12.11.2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 04/06/2019

28th May – 2nd June

CC BY-SA 2.0 – W. J. Gauthier

Up to 300,000 civilians recently flee due to attack in northwest Syria – People demand the opening of Turkish border | Syrians returning for Eid al-Fitr fear prosecution in Syria | Migrants tortured by Greek police and pushed back to Turkey | Pushback-alike attack in the Aegean | Chased person dies at the Turkish seaside | Turkish police claim to break up “Europe’s biggest people-smuggling ring” | Hundreds of refugees misallocated as “not willing to become resettled” by UNHCR Turkey| Difficulties obtaining Syrian documents in Turkey | Report about African communities in Istanbul

News & Reports

Up to 300,000 civilians recently flee due to attacks in northwest Syria – People demand Turkish border to be opened

According to press-reports the situation at the Syrian-Turkish border is worsening. Between 200,000 to 300,000 civilians have recently fled due to attacks by Russian and Assad forces in northwest Syria. Most of them have sought refuge along the border with Turkey. Camps are already overcrowded, people have established new ones close to the Turkish border wall. Many of them are desperate and angry due to a lack of protection and the missing response of Turkey as well as international actors.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 04/06/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 08/04/2019

1st – 7th of April 2019

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Turkish University student drowned in Evros river | 3 Turkish citizens arrested while attempted to cross to Greece | Numbers on border crossings, interceptions and arrests | Turkey’s military operation ‘mavi vatan’ | A new March of Hope in Northern Greece

News&Reports

Developments at the Greek-Turkish Border

A 21-year old Turkish student, Maher Mete Kul, died on the 24 March after he tried to cross the Evros river between Greece and Turkey, in an attempt to flee the country and seek asylum. Kul had spend 10 months in prison on charges of membership in a leftist group, Liseli Dev-Genç (High School Revolutionary Youth). With a travel ban on his passport, the clandestine and dangerous route crossing the river border remained his only chance to leave the country. His mother had fled to Greece five months ago.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 08/04/2019

HarekAct Newsletter VII – October 2018-February 2019

HIGHLIGHTS ON HAREKACT

In November 2018, HarekAct was invited to participate on Istanbul’s Açık Radyo (Open Radio) program called Hamişden Sesler (Voices from Hamisch), where our editorial board member Pelin had the chance to explain the motives and intentions of HarekAct (in Turkish). In December 2018, HarekAct closely followed the ongoing court case into the murder of Nigerian national Festus Okey, which was reopened after 11 years. Pelin Çakır wrote an extensive article for HarekAct about the murder, the legal pitfalls in the case and how the case was reopened following a long struggle by Festus‘ comrades and supporters who did not cease to demand justice for him. We also published a summary of media coverage of the case and a joint solidarity statement, released by a coalition of several groups of activists and human rights organizations.

Continue reading HarekAct Newsletter VII – October 2018-February 2019

Refugee arrivals to cyprus and evros from Turkey

Via Ekathimerini

Despite the cold weather and poor conditions at sea, increasing number of refugees who left Turkey could reach to Greece. Ekathimerini reported the arrivals in Cyrpus and Evros subsequently. With the higher number of arrivals from Turkey to Cyprus, an apparent shift was addressed from recent arrivals that came from Lebanon. Moreover, an increase at the arrivals through Evros was identified both in comparison to last year and concerning the higher number of Turkish nationals seeking asylum.


source: Ekathimerini

On 8th of January, Ekathimerini reported that a total of 31 Syrian refugees managed to reach Cyprus on early morning, despite very cold weather and poor conditions at sea.

Continue reading Refugee arrivals to cyprus and evros from Turkey

Greece: Violent Pushbacks at Turkey Border

Human Rights Watch published a report on 18th of December (see the full report in English, Turkish or Greek) regarding the violent push-backs commited by Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region. While the officers in some cases were said to use violence and often confiscate and destroy the migrants’ belongings, HRW urged the Greek authorities to cease summary returns to Turkey, investigate abuses, and hold those responsible to account.

Via The Guardian

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released footage of men bearing prominent scars on their backs as it accused Greek police of inflicting beatings on migrants and asylum seekers illicitly entering the country across the land border from Turkey.

This article was originally published by the Guardian. Find the full text of the HRW report here.

Report – The new normality: Continuous push-backs of third country nationals from Evros river

Along with a press release the Greek Council for Refugees , the Association for the Social Support of Youth, and HumanRights360 have published a report about the continuous push-backs of third country nationals from Evros river.


The new normality: Continuous push-backs of third country nationals on the Evros river

The Greek Council for Refugees, ARSIS-Association for the Social Support of Youth and HumanRights360 publish this report containing 39 testimonies of people who attempted to enter Greece from the Evros border with Turkey, in order draw attention of responsible authorities and public bodies to the frequent practice of push-backs that is taking place in violation of national, EU law and international law.

The report is available here.

This press release was originally published by the Greek Council for Refugees, the Association for the Social Support of Youth, and HumanRights360.

Pushback: Three migrants found frozen to death in northwestern Turkey

Via Daily Sabah

Photo shows the location where one of the migrants' body was found in Edirne, Turkey (AA Photo)
Photo shows the location where one of the migrants’ body was found in Edirne, Turkey (AA Photo)

The bodies of three people thought to be irregular migrants have been found in separate border villages in Turkey’s northwestern Edirne province, security sources said Tuesday.

This article was originally published by Daily Sabah.

New evidence of police violence and illegal deportation of asylum seekers in Evros

The Greek group ‘Racist Crime Watch‘ published new evidence of police violence and illegal push-backs of asylum seekers from Greece to Turkey via the Evros river. In a letter to the Commissional for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatović, they address these mistreatments:


Another video evidence of police violence and illegal deportation of asylum seekers in Evros

Dear Commissioner,

Further to our 9 and 29 September 2018 letters, we are sending another update with information published in Hurriyet Daily News and reprinted (without editing) here.

Via Hurriyet Daily News (13th November) – Turkish villagers warmly welcome migrants after Greek police beat them naked

Turkish villagers warmly welcome migrants after Greek police beat them naked

Residents of the Kiremitçi Salih village in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne warmly welcomed a group of migrants they found naked and exhausted in their fields late Nov. 11.

Continue reading New evidence of police violence and illegal deportation of asylum seekers in Evros