Gulf War Refugees in Turkey

by Ömer Karasapan
published in MER156

A largely ignored byproduct of the Iranian revolution and the Gulf war has been the large influx of refugees into Turkey. The economic benefits of Turkish neutrality during the Gulf war led Ankara to downplay the problem, but the recent arrival of Kurdish refugees has strained regional ties and clouded Turkish hopes for lucrative post-war reconstruction deals. The large Iranian refugee population of a million or more is also causing worries, as struggles among Iranian political groups spill over into Turkey.

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Escaping Eritrea

Why They Flee and What They Face

by Dan Connell
published in MER264

Said Ibrahim, 21, orphaned and blind, was making a living as a singer in Adi Quala bars when a member of Eritrea’s national security force claimed one of his songs had “political” content and detained him at the Adi Abieto prison. After a month Said was released, but he was stripped of his monthly disability payments for two years when he refused to identify the lyricist. “I went back to my village and reflected about it,” he told me over tea at an open-air café in the Adi Harush camp in northern Ethiopia. “If the system could do this to a blind orphan, something was very wrong.” After appealing to his neighbors for help, two boys, aged 10 and 11, sneaked him into Ethiopia and all three asked for asylum.


A Profile of Tulkarm Camp

by Sharry Lapp
published in MER175

Eighteen-year old Anwar is new to bastat, street peddling. Two days ago his mother bought several crates of corn on the cob, which she boiled for him to sell in Tulkarm refugee camp streets. Recently released from a six-month term at Ansar III detention camp in the Negev desert, Anwar returned home the first day having sold nothing.

“There were problems in the streets,” explains his mother, Umm Jamil. “Anyway, no one goes out as they used to. Something happens, the army comes, and everyone runs. Who will buy?” Tulkarm camp, near the northern West Bank town by that name, is home to nearly 12,000 Palestinians.

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The False Promise of Operation Provide Comfort

Protecting Refugees or Protecting State Power?

by Bill Frelick
published in MER176

The US-led response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait has had many immediate repercussions on the international humanitarian network set up at the dawn of an earlier “new order” -- the close of World War II. It also has more than a few similarities to the protection scheme set up then to assist and protect refugees and displaced persons, and similarly reflects the values and concerns of its time.

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The Displacement of Urfiya Hama Ahmad

by Joost Hiltermann
published in MER181

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Lebanon's Palestinians

published in MER186

This article was written by a special correspondent.

Residents of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon have been cautiously peeking out of their prison-like camps after nearly a decade of sieges and assaults. But looking out is now fraught with anxiety. There is no future in the camps, residents complain, and few means of earning an income where unemployment for Palestinian refugees may be as high as 40 percent.

The dismal outlook is only compounded by the recent PLO-Israel peace accord, which unambiguously signals the final abandonment of the refugees in Lebanon. Ironically, it is this same community that credentialized Arafat and the PLO’s representation of the Palestinian people and were the mass base supporting its operations in exile.

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An Interview with Mark Duffield

by Joe Stork
published in MER187

Mark Duffield visited Croatia and Bosnia between January 9 and 22, 1994, as part of a study of complex political emergencies. Joe Stork spoke with him on January 28, 1994.

In your field report you refer to the failure to provide protection as representing a political failure of historic consequences.


by Nu'man Kanafani
published in MER194

I was afraid. Why should I be? But once I stood in front of the young women in the white and blue-striped shirt I was reduced to shivering with a tongue as dry as the Negev. She asked me insistently, “Why are you here?” I had earlier thought of two or three convincing answers, but suddenly I could not decide on any of them and I stood there looking at her with empty eyes, trying to control my sweating hand.

Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon

by Muhammad Ali Khalidi
published in MER197

Palestinians have endured military occupation, deportation, torture, land confiscation, massacre, siege, aerial bombardment and internecine conflict but until this year they had been spared the experience of being boat people. That has now changed with the recent odyssey of a boatload of some 650 Palestinians stranded off the coast of Cyprus.

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Palestinians in Post-War Lebanon

From Refugees to Minority

by Julie Peteet
published in MER200

As Lebanon’s elite strategizes post-war reconstruction and national reconciliation, the future of the Palestinian community in the country hinges on the outcome of the Arab-Israeli peace talks, particularly the multilateral talks on refugees. [1] Popular sentiment holds that “peace” will not produce the conditions for return or compensation. In the meantime, Palestinians living in camps in Lebanon face insurmountable odds, including poverty, unemployment and political disenfranchisement.

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