Every night, some 1,000 refugeesarrive at the Greek island of Lesbos, many cramped on rubber dingys carrying 35 to 45 people each. More than half of them fled Syria, others left violence-torn Afghanistan and Iraq.
After making it safely onto Lesbos’ shores, for many refugees, a harsh reality check awaits. The number of migrants arriving on the Greek island in hopes of finding safety and a better life in the European Union has risen dramatically in the past year, but the island lacks the resources to accommodate them properly.
A migrant family rests in the Kara Tepe transit camp in Lesbos, Greece.
New migrants usually arrive on the island’s northern shore and need to make their way 40 miles south to the transit camps, where they stay up to ten days before moving to a detention center to be registered. Some of the transit camps, however, lack adequate water or sanitation facilities as well as organized garbage collection, Kirk Day of the International Rescue Committee told The Huffington Post in an email. He added that the sites’ residents are exposed to communicable diseases and injury infections. Some migrants arrive with diarrhea, deep cuts or open wounds that are left untreated in the camps. Those in need of medicines for heart problems and diabetes often have to wait for supplies.
Faced with a crippling economic crisis, Greece’s government in Athens has been unable to provide the migrants on the island with the necessary assistance and the United Nations has urged other countries of the European Union to step in. In the meantime, it is often left to local residents, activists and aid organizations to fill the gap.
NY Times highlights possible plan to shut down critical media
Demonstrators wave Turkish flags as they gather outside the İstanbul Courthouse to protest the detention of a number of people including the editor-in-chief of Zaman daily and an executive of Samanyolu television on Dec. 19, 2014. (Photo: Reuters)
May 23, 2015, Saturday
MAHIR ZEYNALOV / WASHINGTON (todayszaman.com)
The New York Times has urged the US and other NATO allies to ask Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to turn away from “destructive path,” highlighting the prevailing fear among journalists that he might be preparing to shut down critical media outlets, including this newspaper.
In an editorial titled “Dark clouds over Turkey,” the newspaper pointed to fear of critics that a new crackdown is starting to ensure that the ruling party he founded wins in upcoming parliamentary elections slated for June 7. Erdoğan didn’t make it secret that he wants to see the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to win necessary number of seats to expand his presidential powers. Continue reading →
[Amid ever-increasing repression and attacks on migrant workers and organizations internationally, in Europe the highly-coordinated multinational police forces is the instrument of these attacks, along with the media, of course. These forces combine the European xenophobia with support for the most oppressive regimes, such as the Turkish regime of Erdogan, which has long urged European powers to suppress the large movements of Turkish and Kurdish migrants in Western European countries. The European powers are very compliant with these urgings, as it also suppresses the migrants as an important and militant and internationalizing influence in the working class as a whole. — Frontlines ed]
Germany arrests 7 suspected TKP/ML members
Special police forces arrest suspected left-wing Turkish extremists for membership of a foreign terrorist organization.
World Bulletin / News Desk
German police have arrested seven leading members of the outlawed group Turkish Communist Party – Marxist-Leninist, the federal prosecutors’ office has said.
The German federal prosecutors’ office said on Thursday that Muslum E., the suspected leader of the TKP/ML group in Germany, and six other leading members of the outlawed organization were arrested the day before in operations carried out by special police forces.
ON THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE,
ONCE MORE, WE CONDEMN THOSE RESPONSIBLE!
HISTORY WILL NOT ALLOW THEM ESCAPE FROM BEING TRIED!
On 24th April 1915 the Ottoman government massacred one and a half million Armenians. 24th April 2015 is the 100th Anniversary of this genocide. This genocide committed a century ago has been systematically denied by the Turkish state, which is a continuation of the Ottoman government. All the efforts and exertions of the Turkish state were not enough to erase this genocide from the memory of humanity within the past century. Human history has never forgotten this genocide.
The greatest fear of the Turkish state is: with the acceptance of the genocide, being tried at an international court, to pay remuneration and to return the assets, usurped from Armenians, to their descendants. It is no longer possible for the Turkish state that has been trying for a century to rid itself of this issue and to hide the Armenian genocide. Continue reading →
Political struggles over the future of Turkey have left the country profoundly divided. Former prime minister, now president, Tayyip Erdogan, has fuelled the growing polarization through his authoritarian response to protests, his large-scale urban development projects, his religious social conservatism, and most recently, through his complicity in the Islamic State’s war against the Kurdish people in Northern Syria.
US, UK and French imperialist powers raised, fed and armed the reactionary groups such as Al Nusra Front and ISIS in order that they would fight the Assad regime on their behalf. Only when they realised that these groups are not capable of overthrowing the Assad regime, they began to distance themselves from them until their interests in Iraq were threatened. Now they wish to be seen as standing against ISIS.
US imperialism created al-Qaeda to fight the Russians in Afghanistan, but then when al-Qaeda started contradicting with US interests, they turned on them. Following the capture of Mosul by ISIS, having realised that their imperialist dominance is threatened by ISIS they have now, through NATO, started an international coalition against ISIS.
The only reason why the Turkish state did not want to be part of the international coalition is because of its close relations with ISIS. The whole world should know that the resolution passed on October 2, 2014 by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, is not against ISIS. This official resolution that allows Turkish soldiers to be sent to Syria and Iraq is in fact directed against the Kurdish people in Kobani and Rojava (section of Kurdish homeland in Syria) who declared autonomy in the region. This official resolution allows Turkish state to set up a buffer zone on the border of Syria and declare a no-fly zone. The resolution further emphasises that in Syria, the PKK poses a serious threat, clearly revealing the main purpose of the resolution and the intentions of the Turkish state. Continue reading →
[Nearly one year after the massive Gezi Park protests in Istanbul — and only weeks after the country-wide rebellions at the death of hundreds of miners at Soma — Turkey’s government is launching yet another round of arrests and repression while the people’s solidarity, resistance, and commemoration of the year since the upsurge which Gezi marked, declares the coming weeks of struggle. — Frontlines ed.]
Hurriyet Daily, 27 May 2014 –– A Turkish court ordered the arrest of 47 suspects in the Gezi Park case on May 27, while the pioneers of last year’s protest called for a May 31 rally in Taksim to mark the anniversary of Turkey’s largest-ever civil uprising.
A total of 255 suspects, including seven foreigners, have been on trial since May 6 on charges ranging from “violating the Meeting and Rallies Law” to “resisting police” and “supporting a criminal.” Continue reading →
Soma, Turkey mine disaster creates widespread anger at Erdogan. Cartoon by Carlos Latuff
Hundreds of Miners Die, Turkish Government Sides with Company
May 20, 2014 / Emre Eren Korkmaz, Labor Notes
Coal miners in Soma waited for news from rescuers after the biggest workplace disaster in Turkey’s history. The prime minister has sparked renewed protests by defending the company, which had boasted of its cost-cutting business model. Photo: Hilmi Hacaloğlu (VOA).
People in Turkey are sad and angry.
At least 300 workers lost their lives in the May 13 mine accident in Soma, a small town 300 miles from Istanbul. It was the biggest workplace disaster in Turkish history.
But instead of punishing management and promising to improve safety, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has openly defended the company.
Not just in Soma but in all parts of the country, people are angry and mobilizing against the government. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has reacted with police violence, pepper gas, and water cannons.
A May 15 general strike called by several union federations was one of the biggest strikes in years. Last summer, protesters defending Istanbul’s Gezi Park against bulldozers touched off national protests against the Erdoğan regime and its pro-business agenda, with significant union participation. Continue reading →
[Capitalism kills, again. Notoriously unsafe working conditions (defended by Prime Minister Erdogan) led to an explosion and a mining industry mass murder. The miners work like slaves, their lives in constant jeopardy, while the owners-exploiters take it all to the bank. When hundreds died in this accident, and hundreds more injured, thousands gathered in grief and anger, and protests erupted and continue across Turkey. Scroll through the pictures below. — Frontlines ed.]
Anger and grief boiled over into violent protests across Turkey, as officials announced at least 274 miners died in an explosion and fire in the town of Soma – the country’s deadliest mining disaster.
Nearly 450 other miners have been rescued, the mining company said, but the fate of an unknown number of others remained unclear.
Mass graves were being dug in the town, as it prepared to bury those who were brought to the surface by nightfall, in line with Muslim tradition.
Tensions were high as hundreds of relatives and miners jostled outside the coal mine waiting for news, countered by a heavy police presence. In downtown Soma, protesters mostly in their teens and 20s faced off against riot police in front of the ruling NKP party headquarters.
The protesters smashed the party’s office windows with rocks and some in the crowd shouted that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was a ‘murderer!’ and a ‘thief!’ .
And in Istanbul, hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the headquarters of mine owner Soma Komur Isletmeleri A.S. , Erdogan, coal mining, Continue reading →
By Brandon Jourdan and Marianne Maeckelbergh, Global Uprisings, August 5th, 2013
This short documentary tells the story of the occupation of Gezi Park, the eviction on July 15, 2013, and the protests that have continued in the aftermath. It includes interviews with many participants and footage never before seen.
Since the end of May 2013, political unrest has swept across Turkey. In Istanbul, a large part of the central Beyoğlu district became a battle zone for three consecutive weeks with conflicts continuing afterward. So far five people have died and thousands have been injured.
The protests were initially aimed at rescuing Istanbul’s Gezi Park from being demolished as part of a large scale urban renewal project. The police used extreme force during a series of police attacks that began on May 28th 2013 and which came to a dramatic head in the early morning hours of Friday May 31st when police attacked protesters sleeping in the park.
Over the course of a few days, the police attacks grew to shocking proportions. As the images of the heavy-handed policing spread across the world, the protests quickly transformed into a popular uprising against the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his style of authoritarian rule.
[Protestors are detained by the plainclothes police officers during an anti-government protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul. REUTERS photo]
Thousands of protesters have gathered at the Taksim square June 29 to denounce the government’s response to the Gezi Park protests, a week after another demonstration was quelled with water cannons and tear gas. The demonstration has been carried out peacefully without tension and most of the protesters dispersed after a couple of hours following police’s warning to end the gathering.
Riot police pushed them away from the square with shields and slow moving water cannon trucks although no water was fired. Announcements were made for protesters to return to their homes.
However, part of the protesters remained in the surroundings of the Taksim area as police entered the side streets chasing the protesters who were gathering back. More than ten protestors were detained, according to Hürriyet. Live footages showed officer in plainclothes taking the protesters into custody. Continue reading →