The Turkish city of Erzurum sits on an expansive green plain, ringed on all sides by towering mountains. Best known as a destination for winter sports enthusiasts, who flock here when snow blankets the nearby slopes, it is also a gateway for another set of visitors – Afghans uprooted by their country’s long and brutal war.
According to the report of Building Markets, the number of Syrian companies in Turkey is above 10 thousand. According to the report Turkish Economics and Politics Research Foundation (TEPAV) prepared, based on the data drawn from The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), 6,589 company was founded with Syrian capital between 2010-2017.
Via Ahval News / Nurcan Baysal (from August 25)- Before the European Union and Turkey signed an agreement in 2016 to limit the number of Syrian refugees heading to Europe in return for aid to help those who had fled the war to Turkey, I was among a group of academics and activists who work on refugee issues in Turkey invited to Berlin to discuss the matter.
Most of the 3.5m Syrians in Turkey can at least work, but the future is precarious
Via The Economist –GAZIANTEP | Returning to Turkey from Germany with four children in tow was not easy for Faisl Alakrch, a 36-year-old Syrian. He had to use a people-smuggler to retrace, in reverse, the route he had taken the year before. His younger brothers have remained in Germany and are studying at university, but he wanted to work, and complains that “I could not do anything there.” Turkey, by contrast, has made it easy for him to operate. He was able to register a company and set up a café in Gaziantep, a city close to the Syrian border. He has now been invited to become a Turkish citizen. His six-year-old son speaks a mixture of German, Turkish and Arabic. Continue reading Syrian refugees find Turkey more welcoming than western Europe→
What happened to the billions that Brussels pledged to Turkey to keep refugees out of the EU
Via The Black Sea – By Craig Shaw, Zeynep Şentek & Şebnem Arsu.
The ending of Europe’s refugee crisis was built on a legally dubious, three billion Euro deal between the EU and Turkey in 2016
With the recent announcement of a further three billion Euro pledged for Turkey, the existing deal is not as successful as the EU publicly states: NGOs have been harassed and fined, there is little public accountability on how money is spent, and many infrastructure projects are only just beginning
Meanwhile, despite requesting to extend the agreement, Turkey is already crafting a “counter narrative” to send refugees back to Syria.
A ‘Billions for Borders’ report for EIC Network, with additional reporting by John Hansen (Politiken), Emilie Ekeberg (Danwatch), Margherita Bettoni (The Black Sea), Hanneke Chin-A-Fo (NRC) Francesca Sironi (L’Espresso). Continue reading Raw Deal→
With nothing to live on, many Syrians are living on their own in the province of Izmir and have arranged a silent deal with Turkey.
Are You Syrious, recently published another report about the situation of refugees in the province of Izmir. Previously HarekAct reported about this topic.
If you are living in the fields in Turkey, you are left to yourself — or the camp community around you. It can happen that no one comes to see you for months and you rarely have the chance to go into more socialized areas away from the olive trees and fields that surround your tents.
The village closest to one of the sites is a few kilometers away on dirt tracks, and if you walk over the field in the opposite direction you will find only a country road. Maybe, from time to time, a mobile shop will stop at the side of the country road and sell you overpriced items. After it rains, the dirt roads are inaccessible by car.
What sounds like the scene of a slum in a third world country is still reality for thousands of people in the province of Izmir. With the third biggest city in the country, bearing the same name, the province of Izmir is also one of the wealthiest in Turkey. With a population of more than 135,000 displaced Syrians, the province with its four million citizens belongs to the top ten provinces to host Syrians in the country.
Read the full report including more fotos and videos at AYS.
For more information about the situation of migrants around Izmir check the HarekAct report as well as AYS.
For Afghan refugees, Turkey is seen either as a bridge to reach Europe or as a country of immigration in which they want to settle and join their friends and relatives. The continuation of war, conflict and poverty in Afghanistan pushes millions of them to seek a life in other countries. The beginning of Afghan immigration towards Turkey goes back to the first half of the 1980s. Turkish authorities initiated the settlement of a few thousand Afghan refugees with ‘Turkish origin and culture’, including Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Uzbek and Hazara origins. Turkey had already signed the Geneva Convention in 1951, but it still preserves the geographical limitation and thus does not give the refugee status to people coming from outside Europe. However, it also implements the 1934 Law on Settlement (İskan Kanunu) and uses the flexibility of this legal framework. According to this law, persons of Turkish ethnic descent and culture can immigrate, settle in Turkey and eventually receive Turkish citizenship. Such initiatives have contributed to the long-term settlement of Afghans in Turkey, and thus Turkey is perceived as a possible immigration country by Afghans. Continue reading The Evolution of Afghan Migration in Istanbul→