Esen Fidanlik Thu, 23 Jun 2022 01:19:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Esen Fidanlik 32 32 “QUEST” Initiative for Refugees and Displaced Persons – Syrian Arab Republic Thu, 23 Jun 2022 01:19:37 +0000

June 20, World Refugee Day

Launched by the State of Qatar in 2016, QUEST is an initiative that aims to provide multi-sectoral support to conflict-affected Syrians inside and outside Syria. In its early days, Quest sought to ensure that children and young people, who have suffered the consequences of the Syrian crisis, are able to obtain the necessary education and skills that enable them to transition into education. formal and to find good jobs in the future. be active members of their community. The initiative was launched in line with the No Lost Generation initiative, the Humanitarian Response Plan for Syria (HRP) and the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP). The five-year initiative aimed to provide education and training to Syrian refugees in Syria and Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Refugee projects were funded by QFFD and strategic partners to the tune of $60.3 million.

In 2018, the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) expanded the initiative to include health and economic development interventions. The health component aims to provide life-saving support to a wide range of populations using various strategies to bring about rapid improvements in the health status of targeted beneficiaries. Interventions include reproductive health, nutrition, primary, secondary and tertiary health support targeting over six million people. In addition to this, QFFD supports economic development projects that aim to create sustainable jobs for youth and women by creatively tackling key barriers to wage and self-employment to generate and generate income and sustainable livelihoods. In doing so, the interventions provide technical training, employment counseling and facilitate access to finance and higher education.

Support education in conflict zones

HE Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, Director General of QFFD, said: “Investing in education is crucial to fighting extreme poverty and building safe and sustainable societies. It is important that children who live in areas affected by armed conflict and insecurity are protected and that they do not lose the possibility of going to school and dreaming of a better future.

Education QUEST:

With the support of the QFFD and within the framework of the “Quest” initiative, Qatar Charity (QC) launched the project “Printing and distribution of textbooks” in northern Syria.

With the printing and distribution of nearly 4 million textbooks to children, Qatar Charity benefited 472,925 male and female students in the 2019-2020 school year.

The project was implemented as part of the project “Improve the level of education of more than a million children” launched by Qatar Charity in 2017, aimed at improving educational infrastructure in northern Syria and at create an appropriate environment to promote the return of children to schools.

With the completion of the second phase of the project, Qatar Charity has printed over nine million textbooks covering all core subjects for all levels, benefiting over one million male and female students by the end of the 2019-2020 academic year.

The project was implemented in coordination with supporting organizations, including the OCHA office and the United Nations Education Group in Syria.

Education support under the QUEST umbrella also includes capacity building for head teachers and teachers of both genders and the capacity building was based on INEE (Global Network for Education in Education Agencies) standards. ’emergency).

Khalid, a 16-year-old boy currently transferred to Atoma refugee camp, sharing his experience with the textbook printing and distribution projects, says, “Thank Allah, we have textbooks for all the students. After receiving the books, we no longer needed to copy other books or borrow. The books increased our passion to explore and learn, we had no hope before receiving the books that we would one day get a good grade in school, most of the students lost hope and no longer came to school .

Health QUEST:

One of the main challenges Syrian refugees face is securing their medicines, especially those for chronic conditions. Patients with hypertension and diabetes find it difficult to maintain a steady supply of their medical needs. In Zaatari camp, which hosts nearly 80,000 Syrian refugees, many service providers have withdrawn or reduced their services in 2020 due to COVID-19 and related funding shortfalls. As a result, most chronic disease patients suddenly lost their source of medication.

The Qatari clinic in Zaatari took prompt action in coordination with health providers inside the camp to help patients referred from other clinics to provide them with the monthly supply of diabetes and hypertension medication.

The Qatar Red Crescent clinic has started the implementation in coordination with the chronic disease department of the camp. More than 360 patients benefited from this initiative and received their full treatment for 3 months in Qatari clinics.

A Syrian refugee residing with his family in the Zaatari refugee camp suffered from a chronic illness but did not have access to free medicine. This forced him to adopt adverse coping mechanisms by selling some of the assistance his family would receive to buy his medicine. As soon as AA heard about the free distribution of medicine in the Qatari clinics run by QRCS, he made an appointment with the relevant clinic to have a full health check-up and receive the necessary medicine free of charge. AA felt great relief as “it was my first time getting my medicine for 3 whole months” and he was grateful for the three month supply as it is not easy for him to come to the clinic every month. clinic to get the medicine. He was also grateful for the good reception and quick performance where he didn’t have to wait long for a checkup and then the much needed medication. AA hopes this supply of free medicines will continue from Qatari clinics so that he doesn’t have to start selling badly needed essentials again.

Economic Empowerment QUEST:

QUEST economic development projects are designed to build the resilience of Syrian refugees, especially younger generations, by supporting higher education and vocational training programs to equip Syrian refugees with the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the marketplace. work in the broad sense.

The QFFD funded the development of a study by Rand Corporation on Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. The study which provided policy recommendations on how neighboring countries that are a temporary haven for more than (5) million displaced Syrians can adopt policies that help both refugees and their host communities find better employment while ensuring overall economic stability. Using the data collected, the study provides in-depth analyzes of the existing skills of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan that meet the needs of neighboring countries’ labor markets. The study specifies the steps needed to match supply and demand; measures to improve the general economic climate and strategies to preserve and improve the social cohesion of refugees and host communities.

Within the framework of economic development, the QFFD contributes through its strategic partnership between Spark and Qatar Charity to promote the stability of Syrian refugees, by investing in young Syrian refugees and facilitating access to quality education. The programs focus on empowerment, rehabilitating skills and creating jobs in entrepreneurial areas that promote independence and stability.

Refugees don’t just leave their homes behind, they leave their dreams, a part of themselves, seeking not just a safe home, but a place that will hold their hopes and their future, and that’s the real focus on which the QFFD works, not only giving refugees their needs today, but thinking ahead and planning sustainably to build the future of refugees.

Ukraine News: Kremlin calls 2 captured Americans ‘soldiers of fortune’ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 22:05:00 +0000
Credit…Emile Ducke for The New York Times

Russian authorities on Monday threatened NATO member Lithuania with reprisals if the Baltic country did not quickly reverse its ban on transporting certain goods to the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad by rail.

Citing instructions from the European Union, Lithuanian Railways said on Friday it was halting the movement of goods from Russia that have been sanctioned by the European bloc.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry S. Peskov told reporters the situation was “more than serious”. He called the new restrictions “part of a blockade” of the region and a “violation of everything”.

Accustomed to Russian threats, officials in Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, dismissed Moscow’s warnings as bluster – the latest in a series of increasingly intemperate statements from a country that is being severely stretched militarily by his invasion of Ukraine.

“We are not particularly worried about Russian threats,” said Laurynas Kasciunas, chairwoman of the Lithuanian parliament’s national security and defense committee. “The Kremlin has very few options to retaliate.”

A military response from Russia, he added, “is highly unlikely as Lithuania is a member of NATO. If not, they would probably consider it.

Russia’s fury with Lithuania followed a warning Monday from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that Moscow would launch “greater hostile activity” against Ukraine and European countries in the coming days in response to efforts to his country to join the European Union.

Up to 50% of all rail cargo shipped between mainland Russia and Kaliningrad – which Russian officials say includes building materials, concrete and metals, among others – will be affected by the ban announced last week. The restrictions revealed the acute vulnerability of the region, which is part of Russia but not connected to the rest of the country. It borders the Baltic Sea, but is sandwiched between two NATO members, Lithuania and Poland.

Kaliningrad, which the Soviet army captured from Germany in 1945, was once held up by Russia as a symbol of its growing ties with Europe. But it has recently become an unstable east-west fault line.

In the 1990s, Russian authorities promoted Kaliningrad’s past ties to Germany as a tourist attraction, celebrating its role in the life and work of 18th-century German philosopher Immanuel Kant, who was born and raised lived in Königsberg, the regional capital now called Kaliningrad.

More recently, however, Moscow has sought to erase traces of Germany’s deep historical ties to the region – even though Germany does not claim Kaliningrad and has shown no interest in reclaiming it, a stark contrast to the views of Russia on former Soviet territory, including Ukraine.

Plagued by increasingly aggressive nationalism, Russia abandoned policies that promoted Russia as part of Europe and moved advanced Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad. Lithuania’s defense minister said in April that Russia had stationed nuclear weapons in the region, which Moscow denies.

The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Lithuania’s top envoy on Monday over what it called “openly hostile” restrictions.

“If the transit of goods between the Kaliningrad region and the rest of the Russian Federation via Lithuania is not fully restored in the near future, Russia reserves the right to take measures to protect its national interests,” the ministry said in a statement.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis has defended the restrictions on shipments to Kaliningrad, saying his country was merely adhering to the terms of EU sanctions.

“It’s not Lithuania doing anything, it’s the European sanctions that have started to work,” he told reporters in Luxembourg on Monday ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers.

Аnton Alikhanov, the governor of Kaliningrad, said his government was already trying to find alternative routes for shipments of goods, especially those containing metals and building materials. He said one option could be shipping cargo, which would take up to seven ships to meet demand before the end of the year.

He added that the local government was considering at least three retaliatory options to offer the Kremlin, including a possible ban on shipping goods to Lithuanian ports via Russia.

Russia’s relations with Lithuania, once part of the Soviet Union, have never been close but have crumbled dramatically in recent months, with Lithuania playing a leading role in pushing for tough sanctions of the European Union against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

Just two weeks ago, a member of the Russian parliament from Mr Putin’s United Russia party introduced a bill outlawing Lithuania’s 1990 declaration of independence. The bill seeks to reverse the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which Mr Putin lamented as “the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century”.

But, as the hesitant advance of Russian troops into Ukraine has shown, there is a gaping gap between Mr. Putin’s desire to roll back history and his country’s capabilities. Any military action against Lithuania would bring the already beaten Russian army into direct confrontation with NATO.

Tomas Dapkus contributed reporting from Vilnius.

Turkey has done its part in the refugee crisis; now it’s west Tue, 21 Jun 2022 13:48:06 +0000

– The author is an associate professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Kilis 7 Aralik University, studying the representation of refugees in the media and political discourses, the implementation of migration policies and the integration of refugees in higher education.


Globally, mass migration and refugee issues represent a significant challenge for countries and international organizations. Turkey, on the other hand, is praised for its ability to host the largest refugee community in the world today and for its resilience and ability to manage the flow of refugees from its neighbors and conflict-ridden regions. .

For Türkiye, mass migration and mass refugees are not new phenomena; the country has long hosted various displaced people from the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere. A combination of factors explains the paradigm shift that Turkey has undergone. Turkey has maintained its political stability and economic growth against all odds compared to its unstable neighbors. Thanks to its candidacy for the EU and its growing prominence in world politics under the current government, it has undergone legislative reforms involving the acceptance and accommodation of refugees. These characteristics, along with other geographic and cultural characteristics, make the country an obvious choice for people fleeing death and persecution, as well as those seeking a better life.

Turkey has pursued an open-door policy

Türkiye is now home to 3.7 million Syrian refugees, except for more than 200,000 Syrians who obtained Turkish citizenship after 2012. In 2012, Türkiye continued an open-door policy and accepted all Syrians, regardless of their ethnicity and religion when the Assad regime paid none heeded opposition groups’ demands for reform and began slaughtering them with the help of Iranian militia and Russian jets .

When the Obama administration declared it a “fantasy” for Syrian opposition fighters to win the war with American artillery, it meant hunting down the regime and its patrons. The “strategic stalemate” – in the words of UN Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen – was created and prolonged by proxy organisations, first Daesh/ISIS, then the PKK-affiliated PYD and its YPG branch, leading to the biggest displacement crisis. While the former caused death, injury and calamity among Syrian Arabs, Kurds, Yazidis and Turkmen, as well as the destruction of Syrian cities, the latter never fought the regime, suppressed all parties Kurdish politicians and killed all dissidents, including well-known Kurdish personalities. political actors like Mashaal Temmo.

Millions of Syrians have escaped the atrocities of the regime and these terrorist groups. In order to eradicate the threats posed by these terrorist groups and to strengthen the security of its border, Turkey has erected a 4-meter-high wall along 98% of its land border with Syria and created security zones in northern Syria after 4 successful military operations.

European countries have never kept their promises

The Assad regime and Russia have strategically forced Syrians to resettle inside and outside the country, similar to what Russia has been doing in Ukraine since February 2022. Turkey’s response to this coercive pressure by opening its borders has saved millions of lives and potentially the future of Syria. Nearly half a million Syrian babies have been born in Turkey since 2011, and Turkey’s humanitarian and responsible approach to forced migration has eased the situation. Presenting the influx of Syrians as a “crisis”, particularly in 2014 and 2015, European countries shied away from their responsibility to protect by agreeing to share Turkey’s burden, but never delivered on their promises.

In the early stages of the mass exodus of Syrians, Turkey established temporary accommodation centers along the border and inside the country, most of which have been gradually closed. Today, only 50,043 Syrian refugees reside in temporary accommodation centers, and the rest of Syrian refugees live in city centers. Turkish cities now host Syrian refugees in varying proportions, with Istanbul and cities in the southeast holding the largest numbers. Kilis, a city in southeastern Turkey on the Turkish-Syrian border, has a ratio of Syrian refugees to local population of 38.4%, which is unimaginable in most European cities.

Facilities for Syrians in Turkey

All Syrian refugees registered in Turkey are granted temporary protection under Law 6458 and have access to free health care. In addition, 185 EU-funded refugee health centers are hosting Syrian refugees in 29 Turkish cities to overcome language barriers. In these centers, nearly 4,000 Syrian health personnel are employed.

To meet the basic needs of Syrian refugees, the Turkish Red Crescent, in collaboration with Halkbank, created the concept of Red Crescent Card to provide relief amounts allocated to people in need while saving time and avoiding logistics activities. Cardholders can make purchases without using cash by transferring money specified by the Turkish Red Crescent to their own Red Crescent card accounts.

Enrollment in primary education has reached 65% thanks to favorable legislation and exceptional initiatives. 730,086 Syrian students were enrolled in Turkish schools in January 2022, of which 40,547 attended kindergarten, 313,695 attended primary school, 268,753 attended secondary school, and 107,812 attended high school. Nearly 1.5 million Syrians attended free courses, mainly aimed at teaching Turkish language and vocational skills, in public education centers between 2014 and 2021.

Integration of Syrians

During the early stages of mass migration, Türkiye accepted and ensured the smooth integration of Syrian university students into the country’s higher education system by approving their certificate and statement when no other documents were available. Over time, Syrian university students under temporary protection enrolled in Turkish universities for the 2020-21 academic year totaled 47,482 or 21%, making it the largest group of international students in Turkey. This means that 9.5% of the 500,000 Syrian refugees aged 19-24 were enrolled in Turkish higher education institutions, which is higher than the global refugee enrollment rate of 5%.

In 2019, Syrian refugees created 15,159 businesses, employing over ten thousand Syrian workers. Syrian artists from Istanbul, in particular, have benefited and contributed to Turkey’s artistic and cultural life.

Voluntary return of Syrians

Overall, Turkey has the longest land border with Syria and has been most affected by the developing disaster and forced migration. Turkey has done its part in the refugee crisis; now it’s up to the West and the rest of the world. Initially, Ankara adopted an “open door policy” towards Syrians fleeing the conflict and terrorist attacks and exerted considerable efforts to persuade the Coalition, which was formed under American leadership, to stop the massacre of Syrians by the Assad regime and eliminate the threat posed first by Deash/ISIS and later by PYD/YPG, and establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria to facilitate voluntary return. However, these efforts were in vain.

Using its right to self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the United Nations Charter and customary international law and to secure its southern border and stop the influx of refugees, Turkey felt compelled to launch military operations in northern Syria in cooperation with the Syrian National Army. The safe areas reduce the need to approach the Turkish border and act as a vital barrier against new flows of migrants by providing safe haven for the civilian population and facilitating the voluntary return of Syrians to areas where life returned to normal.

* The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Anadolu Agency.​​​​​​​

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]]> The Earl and Countess of Wessex will highlight links between the UK and Cyprus Tue, 21 Jun 2022 11:35:00 +0000

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NICOSIA, Cyprus — The Earl and Countess of Wessex met the President of Cyprus on Tuesday as part of a three-day visit to the former British colony to highlight close bilateral ties and meet soldiers serving in a peacekeeping force peace officers and those stationed at two British military bases.

The Earl – the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth and her late husband Prince Philip – and his wife were received by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and his wife Andri at the presidential palace in the capital, Nicosia.

Anastasiades was due to discuss with the royal couple ways to strengthen relations between the UK and Cyprus, home to thousands of British expats and many other popular holiday destinations.

The Cypriot president also planned to discuss the government’s latest efforts to relaunch stalled negotiations aimed at reunifying the ethnically divided island nation.

Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Numerous rounds of reunification talks with the Turkish Cypriots – whose declaration of independence is recognized only by Turkey – have failed.

The royal couple will also meet British peacekeepers inside a UN buffer zone that runs through the Cypriot capital. The Countess will speak with women and young people working to support peace efforts.

The Earl and Countess will be briefed on ongoing operations by British forces stationed at two military bases which the UK retained after Cyprus gained independence in 1960.

]]> NATO summit ‘no deadline’ for talks between Finland and Sweden: Turkey | NATO News Mon, 20 Jun 2022 19:38:59 +0000

Jens Stoltenberg said the talks between Turkey, Sweden and Finland were “constructive”, but Turkey made it clear there was still work to be done on NATO bids.

Discussions between Turkey, Finland and Sweden over the Nordic countries’ NATO bid will continue, and an alliance summit in Madrid next week is not a deadline, the spokesman said Turkish President Ibrahim Kalin.

Finland and Sweden applied for NATO membership after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine four months ago.

But the nominations have been met with opposition from Turkey, which has accused the Nordic neighbors of providing a safe haven for the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a “terrorist” group by Turkey and its Western allies. , as well as other Kurds. groups in Syria.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with representatives of the three countries on Monday to try to push forward the Nordic countries’ membership applications.

He called the talks “constructive”, but Turkey made it clear there was still work to be done.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday’s talks were ‘constructive’ [File: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters]

Speaking to reporters in Brussels after NATO talks on the issue on Monday, Kalin said Ankara expected Sweden, in particular, to take immediate action regarding the PKK armed group in its country.

He added that any progress on the Nordic membership bids “now depends on the direction and speed at which these countries take action”.

“The NATO summit in Madrid is not the deadline, so our negotiations will continue,” Kalin told reporters after the talks.

Ankara has accused Finland and Sweden of serving as a haven for the PKK, listed as a “terrorist” group by Turkey and its Western allies.

Ankara also demanded that the two countries lift their arms freeze against Turkey.

Unexpected quick deal

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin recently expressed fears that unless the issues are resolved before the NATO summit in Madrid, “there is a risk that the situation will freeze”.

Germany also dampened hopes of a deal reached this month.

“I think it’s about managing expectations and putting this into historical context,” a senior German government source said on Monday, while stressing that a solution was still in sight, the report reported. AFP news agency.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin attends European Union Leaders Summit
Prime Minister Sanna Marin recently voiced fears that Finland’s NATO bid could be frozen [File: Johanna Geron/Reuters]

Speaking in Luxembourg on Monday, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde told Swedish media that “we have to be prepared for this to take time”.

Ankara’s anger has mainly been directed at Sweden.

Sweden has, however, repeatedly expressed support for the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a US-backed Syrian Kurdish group, and its political arm, the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

Ankara considers the YPG, which fought ISIL (ISIS) in Syria with Western support, to be the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.

To assuage Ankara’s concerns, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson pointed out that Sweden had tightened its “counter-terrorism” laws in recent years, with tougher new legislation coming into force on July 1.

Anastasiades: If electoral expedients are set aside, the parties could agree on reforms Mon, 20 Jun 2022 01:23:32 +0000

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Truce ends clashes between Turkish-backed rebels in northwest Syria Sun, 19 Jun 2022 22:45:00 +0000

Members of the Syrian National Army, known as the Free Syrian Army, drive an armored vehicle in the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer

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  • Jihadist HTS enters areas controlled by Turkish-backed rebels
  • Fighting between rebels undermines campaign against Assad regime

AMMAN, June 19 (Reuters) – Clashes between Turkey-backed Syrian rebel groups ended on Sunday after they agreed a truce, residents and rebel sources said, easing fears of a wider internecine war between opponents of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Rebel negotiators told Reuters that Turkey, which maintains thousands of troops in northwestern Syria, brokered a deal between Failaq al Sham, Levant Front, Jaish al Islam and Ahrar al Sham.

They are part of the Syrian National Army coalition of Turkish-backed armed opposition groups.

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At least eight people were killed and dozens more injured on Saturday in factional fighting near the town of al Bab in Aleppo province in northwestern Syria.

The clashes have prompted Hayat Tahrir al Sham, the former offshoot of al-Qaeda, to expand into areas under the control of its rivals in the Syrian National Army, raising fears that it is seeking to expand into the beyond the areas they control in Idlib province to the Afrin region.

As part of the truce, the factions surrendered Ahrar al Sham’s headquarters and returned to their previous positions. The agreement

ended the specter of prolonged combat.L8N2XO2RD

Northwestern Syria near the Turkish border is the last part of the country still in the hands of fighters seeking to topple Syria’s president, but control has been divided between jihadist factions and other Turkish-backed rebels.

Ideological differences separate militant Islamists from Free Syrian Army nationalist groups that have banded together under the banner of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army.

Turkey, with the help of the Syrian National Army, has carried out four operations in northern Syria since 2016, seizing hundreds of kilometers of land. Rebel commanders say they have stepped up their readiness to support any further incursions.

The armed opposition has been embroiled in infighting since the uprising against Assad began in 2011. Turf wars have helped the Syrian president, along with his Iranian and Russian allies, reclaim much of territory previously held by rebels .

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Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

EU: Turkish Cypriots must curb arrivals of migrants in Cyprus Sat, 18 Jun 2022 16:07:20 +0000

Nicosia, Cyprus — Dissident Turkish Cypriots in ethnically divided Cyprus must do their part to stem the arrival of migrants, a senior European Union official said on Saturday, as the number of asylum seekers has risen dramatically to present this year.

European Commission Vice-President Margharitis Schinas said Turkish Cypriot authorities should also be held accountable for limiting migrant arrivals.

“We will not let the Turkish Cypriot community view themselves as neutral in what is happening,” Schinas said after touring improved facilities at the Pournara migrant reception camp outside the capital. “They also have to take their share of responsibility and we will find a way to remind them.”

Cyprus was divided along ethnic lines in 1974 during the Turkish invasion following a coup aimed at union with Greece. Only Turkey recognizes a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence. Cypriot government authorities say the overwhelming majority of migrant arrivals are via Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot north via a loosely regulated student visa system.

Thousands of people then cross a porous UN-controlled buffer zone to seek asylum in southern Greek Cypriot where the internationally recognized government is based. Although Turkish Cypriots receive EU funding, only the south enjoys all the benefits of membership.

Schinas said EU Commissioner Elisa Ferreira will hold contacts in Cyprus in July to explore the best ways to handle the problem. He also said that Turkey has demonstrated its willingness to help reduce the number of migrants arriving in Cyprus.

The EU will also help the Cypriot authorities to strengthen control and surveillance of the buffer zone to deter crossings in a manner compatible with EU law since the 180 kilometer (120 mile) long zone n is not an official boundary, Schinas said.

Cypriot Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said the number of asylum seekers had doubled to 10,000 in the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2021, repeating that they represented a European top 5% of the 915,000 inhabitants of Cyprus in the south.

He said the Cypriot authorities were working with the EU to facilitate the return of asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected as well as additional funding from the bloc of 27 member countries to the tune of 72 million euros to build a new reception center for migrants.

Although overcrowding at the Pournara center has eased considerably in recent months, a 27-year-old Nigerian, Miracle Chidiebera, said there was still a lot of anger among migrants over what he described as a shortage chronic water, bad food and crowded facilities.


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Turkey arrests Kurdish journalists and politicians and prepares to invade Syria Fri, 17 Jun 2022 23:50:24 +0000

Sixteen of the 20 Kurdish journalists detained in Diyarbakir on June 8 were arrested and sent to prison on Thursday, as the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan steps up attacks on press freedom.

The World Socialist Website condemns these attacks and demands the release of all journalists. Faced with ever-increasing inflation and poverty, as well as growing opposition and a strike movement within the working class, the Erdoğan government is trying to use militarism and chauvinism to suppress the class struggle and targeting fundamental democratic rights.

IMAGE: Kurdish press journalists arrested. [Credit: Mezopotamya Agency]

Among the journalists arrested are Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) co-chairman Serdar Altan, xwebun Editor Mehmet Ali Ertaş, JinNews Director Safiye Alagaş, JinNews Editor Gülşen Koçuk and Mezopotamya Agency (MA) Editor Aziz Oruç.

The journalists were arrested for “belonging” to the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), a group that brings together the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, the Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK). ) in Iran and the Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (PÇDK) in Iraq. This so-called accusation is a pretext that the Turkish state has used for decades to make arrests.

According to the Mezopotamya agency, the investigation, based on secret and public testimonies, alleges that journalists used interviews with KCK leaders as “instructions” to make television broadcasts. One of the charges brought against the arrested journalists is of having made programs for Kurdish television channels abroad.

One of the charges against Elif Üngür is that she made a television program about the campaign to free imprisoned Kurdish artist Nûdem Durak, who has been supported by artists such as Roger Waters internationally. Üngür is also accused of showing images of Qamışlo, a town in northeastern Syria held by Kurdish nationalist forces, in a television broadcast.

When JinNews editor-in-chief Gülşen Koçuk was asked if she follows the “Justice Watch” campaign for sick prisoners, journalist Lezgin Akdeniz was asked about her phone calls with news sources and her TV show about murders by JİTEM. An unofficial state intelligence agency, JİTEM was infamous for numerous unsolved civilian killings in the Kurdish region during the Turkish state’s war against the PKK in the 1990s.

The journalists’ arrest was justified on the grounds that their reporting “informed the group [KCK] on the action plan of the Turkish army, hailed and encouraged the group [KCK] acts of force and violence”. Resul Temur, one of the journalists’ lawyers, told the daily BirGün that the whole process was full of anarchy and irregularities.