Tag Archives: Sexual and Gender based Violence

GREVIO’s 2018 Report on Turkey is Out

See the full report here.

Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) launched the 2018 baseline evaluation report on legislative and other measures giving effect to the provisions of the Istanbul Convention (Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence) for Turkey.

The report overall emphasizes that the prevailing context in Turkey with the draining of resources in civil service sector and increasing anti-terror measures following the failed coup attempt is rather unpropitious for the fulfillment of women’s right to live free from violence; and therefore the many legislative and other gains achieved hitherto at the cause against violence against women in Turkey, may risk regressing.

The report also has a particular section on Migration and Asylum, in which the issues of “family residence permit”, “gender-based asylum claims” and the principle of “non-refoulment” were elaborated on. Thereby, the group of experts call on the Turkish authorities to take necessary measures to provide better protection to women victims of violence regardless of their status of residence, and to develop gender-sensitive procedures, guidelines and services which allow all women to have access to registration and protection mechanisms.

For the full-text of GREVIO’s baseline evaluation report on Turkey, please refer to this link.

HarekAct Newsletter VI – July, August and September 2018


Following our attendance at the Kritnet Conference in last May, we finally had the chance to share our contributions in HarekAct. One of our editors focused on the post EU-Turkey deal context in Istanbul, Turkey, which is marked by policies and practices of marginalization, irregularization and criminalization of migrants. The unfavorable conditions in the provision of registration, services and protection, with the implementation of additional mechanisms of securitization, detention and forced deportation, has had the impact of extending the constraints of the global border regime further to directly affect the living experiences of migrants in Istanbul.

In July, Human Rights Watch also published a report on the consequences of Turkey’s suspension of registering Syrians in Istanbul and other nine cities along the Syrian border. The report claims that this practice represents Turkey’s latest efforts in denying new asylum-seekers protection, following the closure of the borders and the shooting at individuals attempting to cross. Ultimately it is forcing Syrians to live under the risk of deportation, without access to urgent services, and having to depend on smugglers inside Turkey.

Reports reveal Turkey’s further plans to engineer the movement of more Syrian populations to the outskirts of Turkey. One of the sources mentions a decision to transfer 34,180 Syrian refugees from five camps to facilities closer to the border with Syria, and another quotes Erdoğan’s pledge to create more safe zones in Syria in order to allow refugees to return. Continue reading HarekAct Newsletter VI – July, August and September 2018

Turkey is selling a story about refugees, and the EU is buying it

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.

Exile wreaks havoc on refugees’ sexual and reproductive health

Via Relief Web – Refugee women and girls face extraordinary hardships. They endure grave risks and often brutal violence, and many are thrust into poverty. But they can also face another, more intimate, hardship, one that is seldom discussed – the effects of exile on their sexual and reproductive health.

Some 475,000 Syrian refugees have sought safety in the desert city of Sanliurfa, Turkey, an hour’s drive from the Syrian border. To meet their needs, UNFPA is operating four women’s and girls’ safe spaces in the city, which are all supported by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).

Continue reading Exile wreaks havoc on refugees’ sexual and reproductive health

Defendants Sentenced to Lifetime Imprisonment in Murder of Ugandan Sisters

The case of Violet and Beatrice was brought to public thanks to the consistent efforts of feminist solidarity groups who followed the case since the beginning till the end. And finally the case ended up with justice. Long live feminist solidarity!

Via BianetTwo defendants have been sentenced to lifetime imprisonment in trial of Ugandan Nantaba being murdered and her twin sister Babiry being subjected to sexual and physical violence. Continue reading Defendants Sentenced to Lifetime Imprisonment in Murder of Ugandan Sisters

Syrian refugee women, girls, and people with disabilities in Turkey

Via Relief Web – Turkey hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees, almost half of whom are women and girls.

This rapid review looks at available evidence on how Syrian refugee women, girls, and people with disabilities have been affected by the response to the refugee crisis by a variety of actors, including the host government, international actors, and host communities. Refugees in Turkey face a number of challenges, with female refugees and refugees with disabilities facing additional gender and disability specific barriers. Poverty is a major issue for refugees, with nearly 67% living below the poverty line.

Continue reading Syrian refugee women, girls, and people with disabilities in Turkey

The L.G.B.T. Refugees in Turkey Who Refuse to Be Forgotten

Riot police crack down on an L.G.B.T. rally in Istanbul, in 2016. Under the provisions of the country’s state of emergency, protest is effectively banned.
Photograph by Ozan Kose / AFP / Getty

Via The New Yorker – When you are a refugee, you learn all about the hierarchy of compassion. There are the people from war-torn countries—refugees from humanitarian catastrophes so enormous that they upend the world’s imagination, such as those who have escaped from Syria. There are people who have fled a sudden campaign of violence and hatred, such as the gay men who have been escaping from Chechnya for the past year. And then there is you: unlucky enough to have suffered the kind of misfortune that can’t seem to hold onto a headline. From the officers of U.N.H.C.R.—the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the agency that runs refugee-resettlement operations around the world—what you hear is this: “There is no country for you.” Continue reading The L.G.B.T. Refugees in Turkey Who Refuse to Be Forgotten

Syrian refugees turning to sex work being driven to the edge of society in Turkey

Via Ahval News (from 27th April) – Having escaped the brutal seven-year civil war in their homeland, many Syrian refugees face poverty and discrimination in Turkey. Some have turned to sex work, but have then been driven further into the periphery of society and have little access to justice in response to violence and exploitation, said a report by the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association, a Turkish non-governmental organisation Continue reading Syrian refugees turning to sex work being driven to the edge of society in Turkey

High underage pregnancy rates among refugee children rattle Turkey

Via Heinrich Böll Stiftung Türkei – On January 17, news about a state hospital in one of the largest districts of Istanbul hit the headlines.

It was reported that within a period of five months earlier in 2017, 115 pregnant girls under the age of 18 came to the Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Training and Research Hospital, yet the hospital administration did not report the cases to the police despite the official obligation to do so. A female social worker discovered the cases for the first time, after she came across an undocumented case about a 16 years old girl in July 2017. The girl was neither mentioned in the registration system of the hospital, nor in the documents of the social work unit. Thereupon she decided to search previous cases and looked at the period between January 1-May 9, 2017. She found out that there were 115 undocumented girls all under 18, out of which 38 got pregnant under 15 years. 39 of the girls were of Syrian origin.

Continue reading High underage pregnancy rates among refugee children rattle Turkey

Reporting on the Turkish-EU Border Regime