It has been mentioned by a couple of people across social media that I could present a more nuanced picture of the ongoing conflict between PKK and Turkey, and sure, I accept that. In some basic beliefs I’m however not nuanced; killing is inexcusable, torture is unacceptable.
I profoundly believe in people’s right to freedom, to exercise their culture, to learn their language, to speak their mind and participate in politics. The opinions I present are coloured by this. I also think every human life lost is one life to many.
My opinions are coloured by the fact that there in many media-outlets is bias. This plays out both in local and international reporting, in governmental bans on certain websites, the occasional blockade of social media, creating uneven grounds from which to grow a nuanced perspective. In some ways, as a storyteller, activist for human rights, peace and freedom of expression, as a filmmaker, photographer and writer I see myself as someone who works to level the playing-field. My role is to listen, but also to speak, expose, and to give a voice to those who need it in the fight for a better world.
My opinions may be further coloured by among others the fact that while PKK spends approximately 500million USD a year, the budget for the Turkish Armed Forces surpass 18billion with more than one million personnel in active and reserve forces. While more than 17,5 million are deemed fit for service in the Turkish military. PKK, by Turkish estimate, consist of 15000 fighters. I’ve been to concerts ten times the size of that…as I say every life matters, every death on all sides pains me. Every loss is one loss too many. These vast differences in military and economic power does however colour my views, I accept that, and I will take it into consideration in further posts on this issue. At the same time I must also admit that I think Turkey is a great country filled with beautiful, warm and helpful people of all kinds and cultures, my personal relationship with the country, my life here, my studies, my friendships, does of course also colour my views.
I do not support violence, nor do I condone terrorism, neither by states, individuals nor insurgencies. (I have in fact devoted most of my life to work against just that.) I do not think these are in any way excusable means in fighting for freedom, for your nation, your state, government, culture, religion, people, your land, your oil, your gas or your mining rights etc. I believe everyone should have the right to thrive, to exercise their free will, to have access to coverage for their basic needs and for their cultural needs, and I believe this can be achieved through peaceful means. I do not believe in the supremacy of any nation, nor of any individual. By that standard I believe nobody has the right to take lives.
May all those lives prematurely lost to violence, on all sides of the war here in Turkey, and in the wars, conflicts, classrooms, streets, islands, warehouses, hospitals and everywhere else Rest in Peace! May people one day have their freedom! And may the playing-field for the exchange of opinions, views and facts grow ever more equal!
tl;dr this is probably my most nuanced post ever, I’m not objective, I’m firm in my stance; do not kill, do not torture, do no harm!