Saturday, April 5, 2014

forced migration

The elections came and went with some isolated violence and as expected, allegations of fraud and corruption. The Twitter ban has been lifted, and there are rumours that YouTube will be accessible soon. White and Black Storks, as well as thousands of raptors (and one Egyptian Vulture I was lucky to spy yesterday at Keskin Viraj!) continue to cross the Bosphorus into Europe, as the third bridge construction drones on.

I returned from a three-day trip to southeastern Turkey yesterday morning, which was a strange mix of excitement and sadness. It was wonderful to be back in Urfa, but the reality of the war in Syria was much more apparent than it was last May. The one millionth refugee registered in Lebanon the other day (though there are many more who remain unregistered), and there are hundreds of thousands who have crossed into Turkey. I came across many Syrians in Urfa, as well as prejudice against them— for instance, a polite gentleman I had met warned me to stay away from the Syrians, as "they" were not to be trusted and hinted that "they" were dangerous.

I refuse to believe that the opinions of one man reflect the overall attitude of people in Urfa, or other cities inundated with refugees— and I met so many kind people during both trips, that there must be plenty of compassion.

His comments left me both sad and frustrated.

No comments: