Tag Archives: Return/Repatriation

HarekAct’s weekly Digest 11/11/2019

21 October – 10 November

Reports of human rights groups on Turkey’s ‘forced’ voluntary return practices and ‘unsafe’ safe-zone not welcomed by Turkish officials | EU mobilises millions of Euros to Turkey for increasing migration control | Still, and once again, Erdoğan threatens the EU with refugees | Increasing crossings also on the Greek-Turkish land border | Bulgaria’s response to irregular crossings at Bulgarian-Turkish border

News&Reports

Reports of Human Rights Groups on Turkey’s ‘Forced’ Voluntary Peturn Practices and ‘Unsafe’ Safe-Zone not Welcomed by Turkish Officials

The Turkish state’s attempt to remove Syrian refugees to so-called safe-zone in Northern Syria have been proven to be unrighteous by several reports released in the past weeks, as the deadline given to unregistered Syrians to leave Istanbul, 30 October, approached.

Human Rights Watch’s report details the hostile and unlawful treatment involved in the arbitrary deports and detentions of Syrians in Istanbul and Antakya between January and September 2019. The report underlines that a significant number of Syrians are being deported against their will to one of the most dangerous areas in Syria, Idlib, where at least 1,089 civilians have been killed since April. HRW invites Turkey’s Interior Ministry to ensure that Turkish authorities do not use violence against Syrians or other detained foreign nationals and to hold any officials using violence to account. – 24.10.2019

Amnesty International’s report also accuses Turkish authorities of forcibly deporting hundreds of Syrian refugees back to war-torn areas in the north of Syria, by using threats, force and deception. The report includes testimonies of refugees who were beaten into signing ‘voluntary return’ documents, and others who signed in order to receive blankets from detention centres. “Returns until now have been anything but safe and voluntary – and now millions more refugees from Syria are at risk” says Anne Shea from AI. – 25.10.2019

Following these, Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management published an on-line press statement on 25th October (in Turkish only) to declare that Amnesty International’s report “does not reflect the truth”. The statement considers such reports to be unfair in light of the great effort and commitment shown by Turkey in hosting 4 million refugees alone while several countries in Africa and Europe have been stages for violence and inhumane conditions against foreigners in detention centers. It is claimed that 364.663 people have returned to Syria voluntarily up to date, and the returns have been carried out in compliance with international law. In another attempt to deny the claims of human rights defenders, the Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy told to AlJazeeraOur authorities has been carrying out the ‘repatriating process’ in collaboration the UN refugee agency and other non-governmental organisations. Our country has in every opportunity always stressed that refugee returns should be voluntary, secure and in line with the international law.” – 25.10.2019

On 1 November, the day after “the time given to Syrians” was over, Human Rights Association – Turkey (IHD) and We Want to Live Together initiative released their second joint report on Deportations ad Human Rights Abuses towards Refugees (full report available only in Turkish). The report includes a significant number of accounts – received via applications made to IHD by phone or mail – of “voluntary” forced deportations and ill-treatment by police officers, as well as the effects of deportations on family unity, the findings on human rights abuses in working environment, breaches on right to health and a list of demands against all these. IHD mentioned that the situation has turned into a humanitarian crises in Istanbul as the findings imply that “migrants cannot leave their houses for even their basic needs due to the climate of fear”, “the practice of ‘administrative detention’ has turned into ‘forced detention'”, and “voluntary repatriation documents are proven to be invalid considering high number of applications to return to Turkey”, among others. – 01.11.2019

EU Mobilises Millions of Euros to Turkey for Increasing Migration Control:
Maciej Popowski, the European Commission Deputy Director General for Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, has announced in a meeting at Brussels that the EU is preparing to pay Turkey 50 million euros in order to improve the capacities of its coast guard, improve the conditions in migrant detention centers and help refugees to integrate. The money will be drawn from a budget meant to prepare Turkey for its accession to the European Union and from a separate “peace and stability” fund, he said. – 06.11.2019

Another EU commissioner, Christos Stylianides, had already announced earlier that €663 million will be provided in humanitarian aid for major cash support (ESSN), education and healthcare projects under the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey. – 31.10.2019

Still, and Once Again, Erdoğan Threatens the EU with Refugees:
Speaking alongside Hungary’s right wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban on 7 November, Erdoğan told reporters the refugees will be allowed into Europe unless the EU provides more support “Whether we receive support or not, we will continue to aid the guests we are hosting. But, if this doesn’t work out, then we will have to open the doors,”

Increasing Crossings also on the Greek-Turkish Land Border:
InfoMigrants reports on crossings across the Evros River as well as push-backs, violent and illegal treatments by authorities and ‘masked men’. Although there are mixed reports about how many people are crossing via this border, the numbers provided by IOM indicate a steady increase in the last months, from 255 arrivals in May to 1,233 in September. – 06.11.2019

Bulgaria’s Response to Irregular Crossings at Bulgarian-Turkish Border:
Bulgarian Ministry of Interior confirmed that Border Police officers prevented 2,122 attempts of ‘illegal’ entry at the border with Turkey between 1 January and 31 October 2019, and 206 people were detained. The ministry has also approved the emergency response plan as a result of “increased migration pressure” along Bulgaria’s border with Turkey, which will probably result in further militarization and surveillance technologies to be implemented along the border. – 12.11.2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 31/07/2019

22nd – 28th July

People getting deported from Küçükçekmece district, Istanbul .

Update concerning inhumane and unlawful deportations of Syrians | Condemn of deportations across broad range of civil society actors| Anti migrant discourse fueled by many politicians | Tense atmosphere in Istanbul | Turkey suspends readmission agreement with EU | Horrifying conditions at Harmandalı Removal Center | Report of 25 refugees who froze to death at the Turkish-Iranian border


Update concerning inhumane and unlawful deportations of Syrians

Following reports in the previous weeks about mass deportations of Syrians, several journalists and Institutions have published further details about the (ongoing) inhumane and unlawful deportations of Syrians living in Turkey. Rights groups in Istanbul claim that within one week between 600 and 1500 Syrians were wrongfully returned from Istanbul to Syria. It is reported, through discussions on social media and by people with contacts in the communities, that other migrant groups, particularly those who are living and working undocumented in Istanbul are also being targeted.

Condemn of deportations across broad range of civil society actors

Several Human rights organizations have harshly criticized the deportations in public statements.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 31/07/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 22/07/2019

15th-21st July

Mass Deportation Campaign in Istanbul Against Syrians: #StopDeportationsToSyria | Stories and reactions shared on social media about deportations | Latest statements from the authorities on the issue | Asylum seeker woman tortured in Harmandalı Removal Center | 17 Migrants killed in bus crash in Eastern Turkey | Rising Anti-Arab Hate Also Hits Palestinians in Turkey | Syrian Woman builds her own catering business with WhatsApp

News&Reports:

Mass Deportation Campaign in Istanbul Against Syrians: #StopDeportationsToSyria

Since around ten days, Turkish authorities have increased stop-and-search checks around Istanbul, targeting Syrians without registration papers (including those who are registered in other cities) or for working informally. It is alleged that many have been detained and eventually deported to Syria, some after having been forced to sign “voluntary repatriation” forms. The campaign is yet another wave of fear being inflicted on Syrians in Istanbul, following statements from key Turkish politicians about imposing stricter policies and controls on Syrians, and the rising anti-Syrian discourse, which we have covering in the past weeks.

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 22/07/2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 12/03/2019

Police used tear gas to disband migrants waiting at immigration office/// On people trying to reach Greek islands/// Poor reception conditions trigger returns in the context of EU-Turkey deal/// An official NGO has been set up in Turkey with the name ‘Syrians to Syria’/// New editorial features launched by Syrian independent media

News&Reports

source: sendika.org

Police fire tear gas on migrants waiting in front of Denizli immigration office: In the southwest city of Denizli, police reportedly used tear gas to disband a crowd who were waiting for their ID processing, scheduled for Monday morning (4 March). Dozens of migrants, mainly from Afghanistan and Iran, had camped out on Sunday night in front of the Denizli migration management office to wait, and some were sleeping on the pavement when police intervened. See more here – 05/03/2019

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 12/03/2019

HarekAct Newsletter VII – October 2018-February 2019

HIGHLIGHTS ON HAREKACT

In November 2018, HarekAct was invited to participate on Istanbul’s Açık Radyo (Open Radio) program called Hamişden Sesler (Voices from Hamisch), where our editorial board member Pelin had the chance to explain the motives and intentions of HarekAct (in Turkish). In December 2018, HarekAct closely followed the ongoing court case into the murder of Nigerian national Festus Okey, which was reopened after 11 years. Pelin Çakır wrote an extensive article for HarekAct about the murder, the legal pitfalls in the case and how the case was reopened following a long struggle by Festus‘ comrades and supporters who did not cease to demand justice for him. We also published a summary of media coverage of the case and a joint solidarity statement, released by a coalition of several groups of activists and human rights organizations.

Continue reading HarekAct Newsletter VII – October 2018-February 2019

HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 04/03/2019

Talks on ‘safe zone’///Ongoing return discourse///Arbitrary deportations///Migrant labour/// Municipal-level responses to refugees


News&Reports:

Photo: AFP

U.S. delegation visited Turkey presumably to discuss the Syrian “safe zone”: After Trump reversed his decision to fully withdraw from Syria with the continued presence of about 400 US troops, the meeting was expected to discuss the stalled talks concerning a safe zone across the border in Northern Syria, an issue which the two sides have divergent views on, according to some sources.  Trump’s senior adviser Kushner’s three-hour meeting with Erdogan ended without an official statement. – 27.02.2019

Continue reading HarekAct’s Weekly Digest 04/03/2019

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

Following the outrage over Syrians celebrating the new year in Istanbul, the Turkish interior minister gave an extensive interview to journalist Kübra Par. While trying to ease the xenophobic sentiments by denying myths about Syrians, such as “they are being accepted to universities without examination”, “they don’t have to wait in lines in the hospitals” or “they are given free public housing”, Minister Soylu also promotes a cultural and moral perspective on Syrians that highlights a historicized imagination of brotherhood of religion and being in arms. Minister Soylu also provides some significant data on Syrians. He says that 294,000 have returned to Syria, 65,000 have been granted work permits, 76,443 have been granted citizenship, and 645,000 children have been integrated into public education system. The full interview can be read in Turkish via HaberTurk. Below is a link to a 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

Syrian War Refugees Have ‘No Place Anymore’ as Turkey Pushes Them to Return Home

Molly O’Toole covers the complexity of a life between displacement and return for Syrian refugees in Turkey for Newsweek. Collating stories of several Syrian interviewees, the article highlights the challenges regarding the flight to Turkey, living conditions with severe barriers to registration, education, work and health, as well as the expectations on resettlement despite the rising discourse of ‘return’:


FE_Syrian Refugees_01_USE AS BANNER
Baraah Jajah, left, with her son Louai, 3, from Hama, Syria, at a tent camp in Reyhanli inhabited by Syrians, most of whom are agricultural workers. Photograph by Jodi Hilton

“The refugees face a no-win situation: If they return to Assad’s Syria, they risk conscription, disappearance and sectarian retribution, as well as an utter lack of basic services and opportunity. If they stay in Turkey, they face chronic uncertainty and destitution, as domestic and international politics turn against them.”

This article was originally published by Newsweek.

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

This article was originally published by Refugees Deeply.

Greece: Violent Pushbacks at Turkey Border

Human Rights Watch published a report on 18th of December (see the full report in English, Turkish or Greek) regarding the violent push-backs commited by Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region. While the officers in some cases were said to use violence and often confiscate and destroy the migrants’ belongings, HRW urged the Greek authorities to cease summary returns to Turkey, investigate abuses, and hold those responsible to account.

Via The Guardian

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released footage of men bearing prominent scars on their backs as it accused Greek police of inflicting beatings on migrants and asylum seekers illicitly entering the country across the land border from Turkey.

This article was originally published by the Guardian. Find the full text of the HRW report here.