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.
EU-Turkey Deal, three years on | “The European Refoulement Industry at Sea” | Anti-Syrian election campaigning | Against Racial Discrimination | Eight years on from conflict in Syria | A special Issue of International Migration Journal: Syrian Refugees –Facing Challenges, Making Choices
EU-TURKEY DEAL: Three Years On
18 March 2019 marked three years since the controversial EU-Turkey ‘Deal’ was enacted. A number of NGOs have released statements to mark the anniversary in which they denounce the inhumane repercussions and immeasurable human cost of the deal. As a result of the deal, more than 20,000 people are being contained on Greek island ‘hotspots’, more than half of whom are women and children.
We introduce you to our new weekly news digeston migration, asylum and border issues primarily in Turkey as well as on the general European context as far as it is connected to Turkey.
Anti-Migrant Violence and Discrimination///Exploitation///Border Region///Broader Discourse///Numbers///Further Information
Anti-migrant violence and discrimination
After mass attacks against the Syrian community in the Esenyurt district of Istanbul on the 9 February, reported here, the anti-Syrian attacks are continuing. Four masked individuals raided into the house of a Syrian family in Sultangazi, Istanbul. Among seven people living in the house, one was severely injured after being shot in the head.
Seven Syrian families living in the Artuklu neighborhood of Mardin were threatened with letters posted at their doors, three of which also had a bullet placed next to them, Evrensel reports. The letters read: “Respectful landlord, if you don’t leave the house in 10 days, a bomb attack will be organized. This is your first warning, the second one will hurt someone. We don’t want you in this neighborhood.”
Via The Guardian – Violence so bad that women wear nappies at night to avoid leaving tents, report says.
The EU has been strongly criticised over conditions in Greece’s largest refugee camp, where Oxfam reported women are wearing nappies at night for fear of leaving their tents to go to the toilet.
The British-based NGO described the increasingly dangerous state of the EU-sponsored Moria camp on the island of Lesbos, where a 24-year-old man from Cameroon was found dead in the early hours of Tuesday as temperatures fell below freezing.
The report describes the legal grounds for detention in Greece and the actual policy of detaining migrants, focusing on the situation in the pre-removal prison of Moria camp. It criticizes detention of migrants on arrival based on their national belonging and the conditions of detention, following individual stories of asylum seekers held in detention.
Photographer and filmmaker Ali arrived in Lesvos one night in spring 2018 and has since then been living in Moria refugee camp. Currently, Moria is ‘hosting’ triple its capacities with more than 7.000 women, men and children trapped in inhumane and life-threatening conditions. Many are sleeping rough, with not enough tents and blankets for everyone. Winter is approaching fast and there is no solution and relief to be expected!
Ali produced a short film called ‘Silent Message’ that focuses on the appalling conditions refugees are facing in the camp and the life on the island. His previous work focused on the situation of the Hazara minority in Pakistan. Lisa from HarekAct and Ali met in Lesvos for an Interview.
Ali, tell us about your film ‘Silent Message’!
The film is not as good as I wanted it to be, as I realized it with very little equipment but with a lot of help of friends.
With my film, I wanted to show the life for refugees in Moria: The food lines, the tents and the garbage everywhere. But the film is also a message to other refugees stuck on the island. I wanted to show that there can be a life outside of Moria: exploring the capital of Lesvos, spending time at the beaches, swimming or fishing – and thereby trying to forget the horrors of Moria at least for a moment. I see so many people in Moria thinking about their asylum decision all the time and are getting depressed from waiting. So, I decided to do a documentary without any interviews, a silent film to give some hope!
Via Danish Refugee Council –19 NGOs decry conditions at the site, now worse than ever, and call for sustainable solutions to both decongest the islands and improve conditions across first receptions centres in North Aegean Sea.
Via UNHCR – This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency is today urging the Government of Greece to address the situation in Aegean Sea Reception and Identification Centres (RICs), commonly known as ‘hotspots’.
Centres are severely overcrowded. This means that thousands of asylum-seekers and migrants, including many children, live in squalid, inadequate and rapidly deteriorating conditions. Some have been living in these centres for more than six months.
UNHCR calls on the authorities to rapidly accelerate procedures for those eligible for transfer to the mainland; to increase reception capacity on the mainland to host them; quickly improve conditions in reception centres and provide alternative accommodation for the most vulnerable.