10/07/2011

The Syrian Camps: We Want the Clear Position of the Turkish

So here are the pictures we got out of the camps last week. People protesting against the Syrian regime and the situation they find themselves in Turkey. The cut-throat sense of irony of amongst the Syrian protestors was clear as soon as videos came out of placards escribed with the message "Syrian germs saluting the Libyan rats!", a reference to the various insults used by the leaders of those countries against their respective pro-democracy protestors.

And the irony continues as a vital component of discussions amongst refugees here: "Are we in Syria?" is an obvious comment on the restrictions and self-imposed censorship of the media. International organisations and the media have by-and-large accepted Turkey's handling of the crisis alone as acceptable. Syrian media makes alot of describing the terrible conditions in the camps as a means of keeping the protests within its reach, and the opposition is far too concerned not to annoy Turkey for which it eventually hopes will step up and support it. Eventually.

Turkey has been playing such a careful game, despite the tough words of the pre-election period, that its position is not clear to the opposition in Syria. In any case, for the moment Turkey has time to wait for which side of history it's best to be on. It has little to lose but in the mean-time pro-democracy protestors will just have to be content to trickle in and out of camps on the southern border having no-one to hear their stories.




In the end, Today's Zaman published me and beth's article here, with a good chunk of editing. See it here.

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