According to the asylum service of Greece more than 7,000 Turkish citizens have applied for asylum in Greece since 2016. A closer look at the figures indicates that the number of Turkish citizens seeking asylum in Greece has been steadily rising since 2016.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Via Ahval News – Cyprus is increasingly becoming an attractive destination for migrants and refugees seeking shelter and a new life in Europe as they arrive in the north of the island and make their way down to the Greek Cyprus, the Cyprus Mail said.
Via Daily Sabah* – The controversial and illegal practice of “pushback,” forcibly sending illegal migrants to countries they arrived from, is in the spotlight once again after the bodies of three migrants were found near the Turkish border.
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
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
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.