‘3.5 million Ungrateful Syrians in Turkey – Cengizhan Çelik – Medium
The Syrians are associated with terrorism and security issues.
They’re accused of ungrateful behavior.
They are portrayed as the source of the economic problems.
They are alienated, being described as ‘we and they’.
They are presented as a threat to health.
Their women fall victim to a corrupt political matter.
The discriminatory language fuels hatred and hostility towards the Syrian refugees.
I want to start the video by telling you the story of a Syrian who is very dear to me;
Hamude left her house, school, street, grocery store, friends, toys to survive the Syrian Civil War and came to Turkey.
In the tragedy that started with primary school students in the Syrian city Dera writing slogans on the wall and that has evolved into a civil war and caused hundreds of thousands of people die, the number of those who have left their country in order to survive is 5 million.
The number of the Syrians who have passed just across the border and stayed in Turkey is 3.5 million.
As to the number of the Syrians who have dispersed to the rest of the world, it is only 1.5 million.
I wish we could just read this data!
If we could evaluate it with our conscience, did not lose our morals, were not politicized, did not sell our souls to the devil
Indeed, even if we could understand that these 3.5 million people do not move inside Turkey and usually remain in the border provinces
If we could read it like a novel and think about this on the last page:
These people believe that the war will end one day and that they will get back their homes, foods, schools, streets and even their platonic loves that come back from the Hungarian border, if they are alive.
I still have hope says Sufi Mazhar; they have never heard of the lyrics, but they still have that hope.
In fact, even if they don’t know it, or they don’t know them, they are on the side of Mazhar, just like Sezen.
They swarm with us little by little.
Do you ask “who is Hamude?”
Hamude was my best friend.
Hamude the Syrian, she’s just like Super Mario.
If we look into what is done to the Syrian people, our neighbors; those people with whom we share our bread, our home, we can see that our country is in the grip of a disease like the racism of the West that we criticize.
In Turkey, as in the world, the discourses spreading racism, ethnic discrimination and other forms of intolerance are on the rise.
Hate speech and polarization; the political and the socio-economic developments, the refugee crisis and the refugee policies of states,
the civil wars and the armed conflicts continue to affect particularly the lives of the disadvantaged groups, with the rise of the extreme-right and the nationalist parties in many countries.
The social and the political issues are tried to be resolved with the antagonism of ‘we’ and ‘they’.
Those who cannot properly oppose the government think that they practise opposition by taunting the Syrians.
Now there is only one point on which the journalists, the politicians, the pop singers and the athletes unite as a whole in our country; hostility to the Syrian!
Is there any difference between the slogans “Turks out” in Germany and “Syrians out”?
It has been directly proven by various experts and people in the field that the rumour that there were privileges for the Syrians was an urban myth, a lie, and that it was fictional.
And it is obvious that the aid for the Syrians mainly comes from foreign international organizations.
This is how racism develops all over the world. (03.10) It is assumed that there are certain privileges for undesired persons.
”They’re fleeing the war, their country… “ etc. etc. (03.16) Look, we’re living in a country where hundreds of thousands of people apply for military service by payment.
Not having refugee status is a great challenge for them on its own.
In normal circumstances, anyone who escapes from the war conditions in their country and enters the protection of another country is a refugee.
The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of the United Nations, also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention in Geneva, provides for the provision of international protection for persons in refugee status, by this article.
Turkey, signed the contract in question in 1951, ratified it ten years later, but also made a reservation. According to this reservation, Turkey grants refugee status only to those coming from Europe.
The Syrians do not have refugee status! They are “guests” in quotes.
According to the announcement of the Ministry of Interior, we know that 59 thousand 747 people were given citizenship.
These are people who have enough capital to deposit in the banks, the doctors, the engineers, etc.
However, people who actually need this right are the poor, those who are exploited as cheap labor, those who cannot have education and those who cannot go to the doctors.
Refugees who have taken refuge in other lands, leaving the land they grew up in, their loved ones, their homes, their pasts, try to hold on to life in the new country of which they do not know the language and try to live in the framework of the identities that the society has assigned them.
As in many parts of the world, the anti-immigrant movement shows itself in a solid way in everyday life in Turkey.
In Europe, the number of campaigns for the expulsion of the refugees is increasing and the Syrian asylum seekers are seen as threats in the society, with the impact of the mainstream media in Turkey.
The discrimination and the racism against Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Alevis and Romans existent in the past and the present, are now being practiced against the Syrians.
The mainstream media, some politicians and columnists regard the existence of the Syrians as a threat through these issues and encourage the attacks on the Syrians in many cities of Turkey.
How do they do it?
The rhetoric by which the politicians use the refugees as propaganda tool both in foreign and domestic politics is being reinforced.
By concepts such as ”hospitality“, ”sacrifice“, ”philanthropy“, ”generosity“ and ”goodness” ‘we’ is glorified, but they rarely regard the refugees as subjects with rights;
They materialize the tragic and highlight the sensational;
Through statements such as “fugitive”, “refugee”, “illegal”, “operation”, “dominant”, they position the Syrians in an illegal point and mark them as a “security problem”;
They label the Syrians as “threat” to security by associating them with tension and with criminal incidents such as murder, harassment and theft, through isolated events;
They refer to the refugees along with the concepts of “bill”, “burden”, “unemployment”, “cost” and other concepts that echo with “economic burden”; the refugees are degraded into statistics and numbers;
In the news where words and phrases that highlight the dramatic situation such as “matter of life and death”, “humanity drama”, and “disaster” are used and where an emotional discourse is dominant, the Syrians are represented as ”helpless”, “aidless”, and “victim”.
They need to remind that it is not the Syrians to oppose, but those who exploit their pain and take advantage of the situation they are in.
It should not be forgotten that the right to asylum is a human right.
Anyone who is a human should take something to heart from a Syrian woman in her 60’s saying “I don’t want to learn Turkish because I’ll understand what they’re talking about me when I go to the market.”
The racist parent who says “is my child going to study at the same school as a Syrian child?” is the murderer of the future of this country’s children.
Expressions like “potential culprit”, “child-bearer”, “unjust university student”, indicate that we consider them to be second-class human beings.
According to the latest data from the Immigration Authority, the number of the Syrians who are under temporary protection in Turkey is three and a half million.
When the demographic characteristics of the Syrian refugees in Turkey are examined, it is found that almost half of them are under 18.
We can actually see a summary of all these in just a few news stories.
What was those news stories?
The CHP’s Bolu Mayor cutting the aid to the Syrians even before removing his certificate of election from his pocket
Galatasaray’s football player Sinan Gümüş who was going to the Fenerbahçe game saying “they are like Syrians” to his own fans
The tweet of the actor Tolga Çevik criticizing the government after the elections:
I think they’re right. The votes must be recounted, in fact the Qataris should recount, the Saudis should approve and the Syrians should applaud. After all, they have more property in Istanbul than we do…
Or, the pop singer Demet Akalın’s tweet:
“#SyriansGoHome I totally agree! We’re fed up with robbery, mugging, stabbing news!”
In fact, a single headline can sometimes tell what a long article or a long video like this want to tell. That’s why we wanted to share this headline with you at the end.