Tag Archives: Solidarity

Through 30-days of struggle, Derya keeps asking for resettlement from UNHCR

photo: Woman Defence “telling her you are not alone and helpless, we turned our back to male violence and our face to Derya”

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

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

How Syrian artists are livening up Turkey’s art scene

Via Al-Monitor Syrian artists who have come to Turkey found it difficult to find platforms to showcase their work, but this may be changing slowly. The drawing of a stylized lion’s head dominates the small booth reserved for Arthere — a collective of Turkish and Syrian artists — at Contemporary Istanbul, the city’s huge art fair that brings together dozens of galleries from New York to Tehran to Istanbul every September.

This article was originally published by Al-Monitor.

The banality of evil and the normalization of the discriminatory discourses against Syrians in Turkey

Via Aysecan Terzioglu in Anthropology of the Contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia 4(2): 34-47 This article discusses the ways in which discriminatory political, social and cultural discourses and practices against the Syrian forced migrants affect the health of Syrians in Turkey. It also contends that though these discourses and  practices stem from the current political environment, they are also related to complex and problematic interactions between Turkey and Arab countries in the past, particularly the clash between Arab and Turkish nationalisms. Continue reading The banality of evil and the normalization of the discriminatory discourses against Syrians in Turkey

ERCI Press Release against accusations

Via ERCI – With great concern we witness and observe the ongoing investigation regarding members of ERCI. We categorically deny the accusations while we are alarmed by seeing reports mentioning that the total amount of 30 individuals who are involved in the case belong to our organisation something that can’t be verified by the official case file. Οn the contrary, within the group of the 30 individuals, there are people of other NGOs or independent volunteers involved in the ongoing investigation.

Αs soon as they were called, the staff and volunteers of ERCI came before the authorities in Lesvos voluntarily and in accordance to the requests, to provide explanations and be questioned about the current investigation.

Continue reading ERCI Press Release against accusations

Greece arrests three people for allegedly assisting migrant entry

Via ECRE – Three nationals of Syria, Germany and Greece, have been arrested in Lesvos, after an investigation by the Greek authorities implicating 30 people in all in a criminal case of facilitating entry of third-country nationals. The three are associated with the organisation Emergency Response Centre International (ERCI) that has issued a press statement denying the allegations.

This news where published as part of the ECRE weekly newsletter

‘Hero’ Syrian swimmer arrested by Greek police for helping migrants reach Lesbos

Via The Telegraph – Greek police have charged a Syrian “hero” refugee, who was once hailed for saving people from a sinking boat in the Mediterranean, with helping migrants illegally enter the country.

Sara Mardini, 23, who has settled in Germany, was arrested last week in what police said was an operation to dismantle a “criminal network” involving 30 members of an NGO working on the island on Lesbos, where thousands of migrants are living in camps.

“For me, this is clearly a case of criminalising help given to refugees,” Haris Petsikos, her lawyer said, adding that she is being detained in a prison outside of Athens. He said Ms Mardini, who denies the charges, had been volunteering on the island for Emergency Response Centre International.

Yusra and Sara Mardini are seen on stage at the 2016 Bambi Awards.
Yusra and Sara Mardini are seen on stage at the 2016 Bambi Awards. Credit: dpa

Continue reading ‘Hero’ Syrian swimmer arrested by Greek police for helping migrants reach Lesbos