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→
Jahara Import-Export business is located in a Beyazit warehouse composed of roughly one hundred businesses, of which around ten are run by, or employ majority of, African workers from Senegal and Gambia. It is owned by Mehmud Kebbeh, a Gambian man who identifies as a migrant and a business-man.
I first met Mehmud as an interlocutor for a separate research project. As a British researcher our initial conversation encompassed discussions of some of his time spent in London and the relationship between our two countries, including the legacies of colonialism, as well as respective feelings about our “foreigner” status in Turkey. I spoke to him further to understand more about the warehouse as a space of transit, of multiple criss-crossing identities across nationality, class, gender, religion. Our conversation indicated multiple ways in which he navigates the overlaps between his business, religious and national identities; the importance of his import-export space as a social setting where migrants shed restrictive identifiers and share commonalities; and the multiple areas of hierarchy, exchange and isolation within the Gambian and Senegalese communities.Continue reading Navigating complexity and contradiction: an interview with a Gambian businessman in Istanbul→
İzmir, a city where 120,000 registered refugees live, has a lot of meaning for refugees. For some, it is a stop on their way to Europe when passing over by boats, for others, it is a city they come to in order to find seasonal work on the fields.
Seasonal agricultural labor in Turkey is not an issue that started with Syrian refugees. For years, Kurdish workers, mostly coming from the east and southeast of Turkey, have been working in agricultural areas in the Aegean, Çukurova, at the Black Sea and in Central Anatolia. There have been dozens of academic studies, news and documentaries on this issue, and it is still being studied today. In every respect, seasonal agricultural labor is a great burden to workers and must be considered as injustice. Continue reading Seasonal Agricultural Labor in Turkey: The Case of Torbalı→
Via Business and Human Rights Research Center – An estimated 650,000 Syrian refugees have fled their home country to escape bloodshed and have found a lifeline working in Turkey, with many working in the garment industry. Without these jobs, many families would face desperate times and would struggle to support themselves. However, the garment industry in Turkey is complex and exploitative conditions are too common. Since 2015, reports and investigations have exposed poor wages, discrimination, and child labour by Syrian refugees working in the Turkish garment industry. Continue reading What’s changed for Syrian refugees in Turkish garment supply chains?→