Tag Archives: Racism

Turkish interior minister states the number of citizenships granted to Syrian refugees

Following the outrage on the Syrians celebrating the new year in Istanbul, Turish interior minister gave an extensive interview to the journalist Kübra Par. While trying to ease the xenophobic sentiments by denying the myths on Syrians, such as “they are accepted to universities without examination”, “they don’t wait lines in the hospitals” or “they are given free public housing”; minister Soylu promotes a cultural and moral perspective on Syrians that highlights a historicized imagination of brotherhood of religion and in arms. Minister Soylu also claims some significant data on Syrians: such as 294k as the number of returnees to Syria, 65k as the number of work permit holders, 76,443 as the number of citizenships granted, and 645k as the children who were integrated to public education system. The full interview can be read in Turkish via HaberTurk. Below if s brief report by the News Tribe, based on the same interview.


source: Haber Turk
Continue reading Turkish interior minister states the number of citizenships granted to Syrian refugees

Syrians celebrating new year at Istanbul’s Taksim square sparks outrage

photo: ahval news

Via Ahval

A video of hundreds of Syrian men celebrating the new year in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, waving Syrian rebel flags and chanting slogans against Syrian President Bashar Assad sparked heated debate on social media in Turkey

A video showing Syrian refugees’ new year celebrations in Istanbul went viral in the early hours of 2019, with many lashing out at the Syrians and the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Syrian refugees policy on social media.

Over 5,000 tweets were posted within hours with the hashtag #ÜlkemdeSuriyeliİstemiyorum [I don’t want Syrians in my country].

Continue reading Syrians celebrating new year at Istanbul’s Taksim square sparks outrage

Festus Okey: a long road to justice

Due to the reopening of the case of Festus Okey last week, Pelin Çakir summarizes and comments on the murder and its contexts for HarekAct


Photo: Reyan Tuvi

by Pelin Çakır

Festus Okey, was born in 1975, in the Abia state of Nigeria, one of eleven children born to a farming couple. His brother Tochukwu migrated to South Africa to support his family in their poverty, but told Festus that conditions were very bad there, leading Festus to come to Istanbul instead in 2005. He worked in temporary jobs and played football with amateur teams in the so-called African league of Istanbul, a league which gives hope to many African young men to be discovered by the agents of professional football teams and therefore become a reputed player. His friends were calling him Okute. By coincidence, he appeared in an independent documentary which reported on the league, firstly recorded while running in the field, then unexpectedly during his funeral (how his murder was initially acknowledged by the press).

It wasn’t easy to escape the police’s ‘attention’ as a black man in Istanbul. The first time he was arrested by police for being undocumented, and kept for several months in Kumkapı detention center until he managed to file an asylum application to the UNHCR. On the early evening of 20 August 2007, Festus Okey and his friend Mamina Oga were stopped by an undercover police officer in the central Beyoğlu area of Istanbul. The police officer later described how they were apprehended with the following words “black persons and citizens from the East draw more attention with respect to narcotics”. Continue reading Festus Okey: a long road to justice

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

Bloomberg reports on the intolerance to migrants in the Southeastern Towns of Turkey

Selcan Hacaoglu takes on the rising anti-migrant sentiments against Syrians at the border towns of Turkey for Bloomberg Businessweek . The text involves some stigmatizing language, on which a critical reflection remains missing. Still we are posting here, since it also gives a glimpse of Syrians’ incorporation into different sectors of labour market.


A camp for displaced people in Kafr Lusin near the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on April 1, 2018. Photographer: Ibrahim Yasouf/AFP via Getty Images

Via Bloomberg Businessweek

By Selcan Hacaoglu

As warplanes bombed his Syrian hometown of Aleppo, factory-owner Amer Hadri stepped on the gas pedal of his silver BMW 5 series and made for the safety of Turkey. Continue reading Bloomberg reports on the intolerance to migrants in the Southeastern Towns of Turkey

Case on Festus Okey murdered at Istanbul police station reopened after 11 years

On Wednesday the case on the murder of Festus Okey in Beyoglu police station of Istanbul 11 years ago was reopened. Although the audience was not allowed to enter the courtroom several newspapers report about the trial.


Via Bianet
In Festus Okey case, which has been reopened after 11 years, the court ruled that necessary documents for visa procedures for Okey’s family shall be provided. DNA reports have also been requested to prove blood relations between the family members.

The case of Festus Okey from Nigeria, who was killed at Beyoğlu Police Department in İstanbul, has been reopened after 11 years.

In today’s (December 12) hearing, which has been held at İstanbul 21st Heavy Penal Court, it has been ruled that Tochukwu Gameliah Ogu, brother of Okey, shall be invited to the trial as an observer. Having applied to intervene in the case as well, Ogu shall await the result of the DNA test, which is required for his application for intervention to be granted. Continue reading Case on Festus Okey murdered at Istanbul police station reopened after 11 years

#Justice for Festus Okey

The case on the murder of Nigerian Festus Okey in Beyoglu Police Station of Istanbul is reopening after 11 years. The groups of activists and human rights organizations declare that they will keep following the case and asking for justice.
see the facebook campaign page and event page


Via Göçmen Dayanismasi

Festus Okey Case Resumes After 11 Years

What happened?

Place of Death: Beyoglu Police Station

Festus Okey was a Nigerian asylum seeker living in Istanbul with the dream of becoming a successful soccer player. On August 20, 2007, he was arrested and later on shot by a police officer while under detention at the Beyoğlu police station. Seriously injured, he died in the hospital, where the shirt he wore on that day – a crucial piece of evidence to prove the shooting distance – went lost. Continue reading #Justice for Festus Okey

“We are afraid”

Via taz gazete An article reporting about the situation of Syrians in Izmir and growing racist tensions and attacks. Available in Turkish and German.


Foto: Sevda Aydın. Suriye’deki iç savaşın hemen başlarında en çok göç alan bölgelerden biri Basmane’ydi.

„Ceplerinde dolarlar var ama bedava çorba içiyorlar“

Büyük İskender, gördüğü bir rüyanın ardından insanların eskisinden dört kat mutlu yaşayacağını düşünerek Kadifekale’ye bir kent kurmaya karar verir. Kadifekale’de şimdilerde eskisinden dört kat daha mutsuz mülteciler yaşıyor.


„Wir haben Angst“

In İzmir leben 140.000 Syrer*innen. Viele Einheimische sehen sie als Gäste, die irgendwann wieder zurückkehren sollen – manche greifen die Geflüchteten an.

Continue reading “We are afraid”

Syrians in Turkey face anger and violence

Tensions mount as displaced migrants experience attacks and difficulty finding work

Syrian refugees on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul: more than 3.7 million Syrians are registered in Turkey. Photograph: Bulent kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Via The Irish Times

Turkey is home to more displaced Syrians than any other country, but growing intercommunal violence between refugees and their hosts is straining relations.

Sanliurfa, a city of 830,000 people in southeast Turkey, is the latest to be rocked by unrest between Syrians and Turks. On September 27th, two Turkish youths were killed by Syrians following an argument between neighbouring families. In the days that followed, angry mobs of locals attacked Syrians and their businesses, confining many to their homes for much of the past week.

The discord prompted the governor and mayor of Sanliurfa to hold a crisis meeting with the city’s police chief and several NGOs to work out ways to ease tensions. Almost a quarter of the population of Sanliurfa province are Syrians and, Istanbul aside, the region is home to more Syrian refugees than any other province in the country. Continue reading Syrians in Turkey face anger and violence

Turkey empties Syrian border refugee camp

Via Ahval

The presence of 3.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey has become an increasing source of tension among Turkish people and the Turkish government also appears to be losing sympathy for those displaced by the conflict.

The Interior Ministry this month closed the Süleyman Shah Accommodation Facility, which was established by the prime ministry in 2012 in the town of Akçakale on the Syrian border. But some of its 22,000 residents complained they had not received promised payments and alternative housing, and said they had simply been kicked out. Continue reading Turkey empties Syrian border refugee camp