Derya, a woman asylum-seeker from Iran and a survivor of SGBV has been demonstrating in front of UNHCR Ankara office since one month now. UNHCR has already left the authority of refugee status determination totally to Directorate General of Migration Management on September. However, many refugees like Derya has filed their asylum applications earlier to UNHCR and expecting to receive attention and possibly a positive answer of resettlement to a third country from the international institution. Derya’s resistance has been brought to public attention in Turkey through some news covers and solidarity attempts of feminist groups. Here we put together Derya’s story through the humanitarian lawyers and her own account.
Accoding to Dicle Var from Evrensel News, Derya’s request for resettlement is neglected by UNHCR although she has fled from her family’s violence in Iran, and is claiming to not have life security in Turkey as well. As her sit-in protest in front of UNHCR has been brought to media, lawyers from Refugee Rights Center of Ankara Bar Association and International Women Solidarity Association (UKDD) took action for her. However the lawyers were let neither in the UNHCR building, nor to negotiate with the authorities, they were instead referred to Human Resource Development Foundtion (IKGV, a local implementing partner of UNHCR). The officers from IKGV confirmed that they are following Derya’s case, and added that she has psychological problems and she has to stay in Turkey and do the things that are necessary to adapt to normal life. The lawyer Çelik (from UKDD) condemned the attitude of the IKGV and pointed that such institutions do not have a women’s rights based approach towards women refugees, therefore she will keep on supporting Derya’s struggle and bring it to agenda in different platforms. Continue reading Through 30-days of struggle, Derya keeps asking for resettlement from UNHCR→
Via The New Arab – Freelance journalist Matt Broomfield describes the situation of LGBTIQ refugees on Lesvos Island. Hundreds of queer refugees who came to Europe to live a free life now face the same discrimination as they did in their home countries: by police, the asylum service and other migrants forced to live behind barbed wire.
Via The New Arab – From the gay Iraqi who saw Isis militants throw his lover from the tallest building in Mosul to the couple who escaped persecution to rendezvous for the first time in a refugee camp, each of the LGBTQI+ refugees trapped on the Greek island of Lesvos could fill a book with their own personal stories.
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 theIstanbul 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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
ViaRelief 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.
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→