Asylum and migration in the Aegean Region: Why Turkey and Greece failed to protect

Orçun Ulusoy,

The border between Turkey and Greece marks one of today's most contested EU's external borders, as during the past decade it is increasingly being crossed by irregular migrants and refugees from Africa and Asia on their way to the EU, which gave rise to heavy political debates on migration management.

Currently, Turkey and Greece are under even more pressure to regulate migration issues, particularly now that Greece is experiencing a large economic recession. Other factors have further complicated the situation, such as the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the armed conflict in Syria, both of which continue to produce increasing numbers of people on the move in the region. Migration in and through Turkey and Greece, however, goes a long way back in history; already centuries ago these countries formed the crossroads for large human movements between continents. Throughout history, mass human movements shaped these countries and gave them a unique perspective since both countries were (and still are) target, source, and transit countries for numerous migrants every year. In this presentation, Orçun Ulusoy will elaborate on the striking fact that despite these rich historical backgrounds on migration of all kinds in the region, both countries failed to create an effective, meaningful, and human-rights based system to manage and protect migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.

About the speaker
Orçun Ulusoy was born in Izmir, Turkey in 1976. After studying law in the same city, he actively worked with NGOs on human rights issues with a focus on LGBTT rights and asylum and migration. He has worked as a lawyer for the UNHCR, and is a founding member of the Association for Solidarity with Refugees and the Kayiki network which was created by Turkish and Greek lawyers working on asylum issues. Currently he is the Turkish coordinator for the ECRE-ELENA network.

Venue: Board Room

Date: 10 June 2013

Time: 12:30 - 13:30  CET