PERMANENTLY A GUEST - Report about the situation of (female) refugees and migrants in Turkey


In recent years, since and even before the beginning of the so-called "refugee crisis", Europe has invested billions to transform its external borders into insurmountable walls. The EU-Turkey deal agreed on 20 March 2016 is part of the EU's externalizing-policy. Its effects on the lives of millions of refugees and migrants* are dramatic – lacking protection, insufficient support, illegalisation and serious violations of fundamental rights shape their everyday lives. The situation of women in this context is particularly difficult: In addition to their daily lives being filled with particular hardship, enormous challenges, and responsibility, they are even further discriminated and marginalised simply due to their sex, frequently resulting in physical and psychological violence, exploitation and abuse. Another aspect, relevant for Syrian women (which is the majority) is their legal status: The so called temporary protection, serving as a temporary residence-permit is granted to all Syrians without procedure and thereby without any further requirements. Accordingly, its legal “value” is humble/low and consequently comes along with massive restrictions and permanent insecurity; in particularly does it not provide those seeking to build up a new live in peace and security with the tools required to develop perspectives of a self-determined, dignified life in Turkey but rather determines treats them as long-term guests.

The circumstance of not having the right to apply for asylum for many would mean a death sentence or live-long imprisonment once a return-decision would be taken.

In the discourse "permanently a guest", a member of the collective/association Wothouq e.V. will give a short insight into the legal situation of refugees and migrants* in Turkey as well as into social tensions and the current political mood at site. Afterwards, recorded messages of female refugees residing in Turkey and struggling with these issues will help to understand what all this means in practise; how it shapes and determines individuals’ lives.

At the end there will be a short introduction in the idea and work of the planned Wothouq - Legal & Community Center Izmir - a project which aims at assisting female* refugees and migrant women through legal, social and psychological support in the enforcement, protection and perception of their rights and thereby to fundamentally and sustainably improve their everyday living circumstances.