Tag Archives: International Organizations

Oxfam condemns EU over ‘inhumane’ Lesbos refugee camp

Via The GuardianViolence so bad that women wear nappies at night to avoid leaving tents, report says.

A child at the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos
About 5,000 people live in the Moria camp, where temperatures in winter can fall below freezing. Photograph: Giorgos Moutafis/Oxfam

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.

Continue reading Oxfam condemns EU over ‘inhumane’ Lesbos refugee camp

Turkey Must Not Ignore Non-Syrian Refugees

On 13th of December 2018, Refugees International published a report concerning the conditions of Afghan asylum-seekers in Turkey, titled “‘You Cannot Exist in This Place:’ Lack of Registration Denies Afghan Refugees Protection in Turkey”. The report claims crucial recommendations to DGMM, UNHCR, EU and US on the facilitation of registration, resettlement and protection for Afghan asylum-seekers. The full report is accesible here in English and Turkish.


Via Refugees Deeply

As Turkey takes sole responsibility from UNHCR for processing the asylum claims of Afghans and other non-Syrians, it must register them and allow them to access their basic rights, say Refugees International’s Izza Leghtas and Jessica Thea.

An unaccompanied minor from Afghanistan.AP/Alastair Grant
Continue reading Turkey Must Not Ignore Non-Syrian Refugees

Iranians Are Converting To Evangelical Christianity In Turkey

Fariba Nawa’s report conveys the issue of religious conversion among asylum-seeking Iranians in Turkey. Despite the slippery slope, she elaborates a fair representation of glocal dynamics as they relate to people’s asylum journeys, while avoiding to make short cut statements.


Pastor Karl Vickery prays for the Iranian refugee converts in a makeshift church for the United Pentecostal congregation in Denizli, Turkey.

by Fariba Nawa

In a hotel conference room in Denizli, Turkey, about 60 Iranians sing along to songs praising Jesus mixed with Iranian pop music. When the music stops, American pastor Karl Vickery preaches with the help of a Persian translator.

“I’m not famous or rich. But I know Jesus. I have Jesus,” he says, with a Southern drawl. The Farsi-speaking Christian converts shout “Hallelujah!” and clap.

Vickery, who’s part of a visiting delegation from Beaumont, Texas, then offers to pray for each person in the room.

Continue reading Iranians Are Converting To Evangelical Christianity In Turkey

European Court of Auditors’ (ECA) report critical on the spending of 3 billion Euros from EU on the Facility for Refugees in Turkey

As part of the EU-Turkey-Deal the EU offered a payment of 3 billion Euros until 2018. The way the budget is used has always been criticized, particularly because of the lack of transparency and efficiency in distributing the aids in a fair manner for those in need, both by the refugees and the actors in the field. Now in its final report even the EU’s ECA criticizes the distribution of the budget, stating that a large amount of it has been wasted due to a lack of efficiency and effectiveness. Furthermore it clarifies that for a big amount of the EU-money it is unknown what it actually was spent on.

Once more it becomes clear that while in the context of the EU-Turkey-Deal the sealing of the European border to Turkey is effectively enforced, the promised support for the refugees in Turkey does often not reach them.


EU unable to fully trace €1bn spent on refugees in Turkey

Via euobserverThe EU is unable to verify with certainty how over €1bn of European taxpayer money was spent on Syrian refugees in Turkey because of Ankara’s data protection laws. Continue reading European Court of Auditors’ (ECA) report critical on the spending of 3 billion Euros from EU on the Facility for Refugees in Turkey

Through a 30-day of struggle, Derya keeps asking for resettlement from UNHCR

photo: Woman Defence “telling her you are not alone and helpless, we turned our back to male violence and our face to Derya”

Derya, a woman asylum-seeker from Iran and a survivor of SGBV has been demonstrating in front of UNHCR Ankara office since one month now. UNHCR has already left the authority of refugee status determination totally to Directorate General of Migration Management on September. However, many refugees like Derya has filed their asylum applications earlier to UNHCR and expecting to receive attention and possibly a positive answer of resettlement to a third country from the international institution. Derya’s resistance has been brought to public attention in Turkey through some news covers and solidarity attempts of feminist groups. Here we put together Derya’s story through the humanitarian lawyers and her own account.

Accoding to Dicle Var from Evrensel News, Derya’s request for resettlement is neglected by UNHCR although she has fled from her family’s violence in Iran, and is claiming to not have life security in Turkey as well. As her sit-in protest in front of UNHCR has been brought to media, lawyers from Refugee Rights Center of Ankara Bar Association and International Women Solidarity Association (UKDD) took action for her. However the lawyers were let neither in the UNHCR building, nor to negotiate with the authorities, they were instead referred to Human Resource Development Foundtion (IKGV, a local implementing partner of UNHCR). The officers from IKGV confirmed that they are following Derya’s case, and added that she has psychological problems and she has to stay in Turkey and do the things that are necessary to adapt to normal life. The lawyer Çelik (from UKDD) condemned the attitude of the IKGV and pointed that such institutions do not have a women’s rights based approach towards women refugees, therefore she will keep on supporting Derya’s struggle and bring it to agenda in different platforms. Continue reading Through a 30-day of struggle, Derya keeps asking for resettlement from UNHCR

Istanbul Syria peace offers few solutions to the conflict

Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and French President Emmanuel Macron during a summit to find an end to the war in Syria, in Istanbul, on October 27, 2018. AFP

Via the National

Syria and Washington were both absent from the talks aimed at ending a war in its eighth year.

A “complete cease-fire,” an “inclusive Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process” and “safe and voluntary return of refugees” were some of the phrases uttered by Turkish and European leaders at a summit in Istanbul on Saturday, aimed at laying the groundwork for a peace process in the devastating civil war in Syria, now in its eighth year. Continue reading Istanbul Syria peace offers few solutions to the conflict

IOM to support Turkey to build a new labour migration management system

Via IOM Turkey

UNHCR ANNOUNCES TO END REGISTRATION PROCESS IN TURKEY ON 10TH OF SEPTEMBER 2018

On 12th of September UNHCR Turkey informed on Twitter that it will end the registration process in Turkey on 10th of  September 2018. Further information can be found on its homepage:


Via UNHCR  – The Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), as the national authority entrusted by the Law on Foreigners and International Protection, is responsible for registering and processing international protection applications. UNHCR has provided support to DGMM during its formation process, including registration of international protection applicants and referral processes. This is to give notice that as of 10 September 2018, UNHCR will stop registering foreigners wishing to apply for international protection in Turkey. Continue reading UNHCR ANNOUNCES TO END REGISTRATION PROCESS IN TURKEY ON 10TH OF SEPTEMBER 2018

Extension of the Borders in/to the City: Istanbul

Reporting from the kritnet conference Göttingen – Part 1

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!


With the so-called “summer of migration” three years behind us, and the European borders still sealed tight, it seems a good opportunity to remind ourselves of where these migrants are currently waiting, and what has happened since then. With this intention, I will here try to present an overview of the post-2015 migration context and the related management regime in Istanbul, Turkey.

To set the time frame, it should firstly be highlighted that Turkey’s “open border” policy on the Syrian border was effectively ended by March 2015, and was replaced with the militarization of border security through the erecting of border walls.

Border wall at the Turkey-Syria border. Photo by: sabah.com.

Continue reading Extension of the Borders in/to the City: Istanbul