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TURKEY UNDER FIRE - After Irak and Syria violence now explodes in Turkey

ANKARA - Three weeks before the national elections, two bombs exploded in Ankara during a peace demonstration, killing 97 people and wounding 248.








Turkey has a key role in the region separating Europe and the Middle East. After years of stability and economic growth the country is on the brink of civil war. With reason it did not succeed in separating its governance from religion and ethnicity and several factors are getting out of control: the rise of radical islamist forces coming from Iraq and Syria, the influence of Kurdish PKK fighters outside and inside the country, the presence of two million refugees and a president with authoritarian visions. The bomb attacks in Ankara are a symptom of a broken up country.

Europe is facing one of its biggest dilemmas: On one hand Turkey did not manage to initiate a transition between a traditionalist Islam and a modern secular state. Besides it has a particularly deteriorating track record on human rights and democracy.  On the other hand it remains a vital ally to face the refugee crisis and the Islamist State in cooperation with an American-led coalition.

Turkey is the largest refugee-hosting state in the world with more than two million refugees, and more are arriving every day. When the flows of refugees got out of control, Turkey began easing the passage of refugees to Europe by lowering controls on its Western coast. Now, with the bombing attacks in Ankara, Syrian refugees will be all the more urged to leave Turkey and head to Europe.


Europe is now paying through the nose the consequences of its inaction in the Syrian conflict. So far, Assad has killed more citizens than Milosevic in Bosnia. Thanks to Russia’s backing, a country that has recently started celebrating again other mass-murderers like Stalin as national heroes, Assad will probably stay in power for a long time. While everybody focuses on the barbarism of the Islamic State, that has killed some 1500 people, the discussions tend to ignore that Assad has murdered more than 250.000 people.

Turkey’s suggestion to create a safe-haven for refugees, with a no-fly-zone in the north of Syria, wasn’t supported by the Western allies. Instead of dealing with the origin of the problem the allies had rather deal with the consequences.  And so they are trying to cope with the refugee streams by either welcoming them, for instance in Germany, but without any plan of ever integrating this one million refugees or by rejecting them by force, for example in Hungary. In both cases we are lending weight to right wing populists and neo-Nazis who create fear and opposition.

Against the background of the proxy war that the USA and Russia have started leading in Syria, we are finding out now the implications of our inaction. We found ourselves in an inextricable situation between on one side the USA and Russia antagonists in their vision of Assad’s war policy, but in agreement with bombing ISIS and on the other side Turkey, Saudi-Arabia and Qatar supporting ISIS while Russia is bombing the moderate rebels, whose weapons were given by Washington.

Our own peace and stability are at stake until we don’t make alliance to put an end to the conflict in Syria. If governments are releasing themselves now from any responsibility in not standing up for human rights like in Cambodia, Rwanda and Bosnia, they will have to face the responsibility of their inaction when their own citizens will be eventually affected by the war.


Trailers of the Week:

ISTANBUL UNITED / Farid Eslam and Olli Waldhauer / 2014

Istanbul United - Official Trailer

THE BEGINNING / Serkan Koç and Beste Gül Öneren / 2013

Başlangıç - The Beginning Official Trailer

BAKUR / Çayan Demirel and Ertugrul Mavioglu / 2015

BAKUR TRAILER (subtitled in english)

COME TO MY VOICE / Hüseyin Karabe / 2014

Come to my voice - Trailer


Preview for our next Monthly Screening:

On November 2, 2015, the day after the elections in Turkey, the Cinema for Peace Foundation will present
its monthly screening in Berlin and a dicussion about the future of Turkey and peace in the Middle East and Syria.