The report entitled “Ghosts of Istanbul: Afghans at the Margins of Precarity” examines various forms of precarious conditions of Afghan population that constantly proliferates both during their dangerous journeys as well as lives in Istanbul. While they represent the longest-displaced and dispossessed population in the world, Afghans have not yet received the attention they deserve from the international community. By highlighting a wider international infrastructure reproducing the precarity of Afghan population, this report turns the spotlight on the city of Istanbul and analyzes the circumstances in which Afghans work under extremely cruel conditions, live a totally isolated and invisible life without legal status and are completely abandoned by the international community and civil society. The report firstly reanimates all the steps of Afghans’ journeys from Afghanistan on the way to Istanbul by portraying and visualizing their treacherous routes. Then, the reproduction of various levels of precarity in the city of Istanbul is scrutinized within the contexts of their bodily and ascetic labor force, invisible mobility, fear of deportation and abandonment by the regimes of international protection. The report is based on in-depth interviews conducted with Afghans in the districts of Zeytinburnu, Esenyurt, Tuzla and Beykoz.

The report is authored by Sibel Karadağ and coordinated by Didem Danış and Deniz Sert. It is the product of the research project which is pursued by GAR in March-December 2020 and supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in Turkey.

You can find Turkish and English versions of the project report below.