10/11/2015 | Writer: Barış Can Sever

For instance, have you ever asked yourself about that what these concepts are: migrant, asylum-seeker, refugee, refugee rights, displaced person or refugee sur place, prima facie refugee?

Barış Can Sever | Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+ Rainbow Forum Opinion Columnist Barış Can Sever

For instance, have you ever asked yourself about that what these concepts are: migrant, asylum-seeker, refugee, refugee rights, displaced person or refugee sur place, prima facie refugee?

I participated in an important training in İzmir last Saturday. The content of this training was about the refugees whose living conditions are getting worse in recent times. Young people from the Activist Group in İzmir for Amnesty International and The European Law Students' Association attended this meeting which comprehended extensive assessments and information about the refugee issue.

The training, organized for the members of these civil society organizations, lasted 5 hours. During the training, while the opinions were being exchanged intensively, detailed information about the refugee issue was shared. Dilan Taşdemir from the Activist Group in İzmir for Amnesty International was the facilitator of the training. İrem Somer who is project coordinator from Multeci-Der, clarified numerous aspects of the refugee issue. In the light of such information, there was a variety of questions and comments among participants. One idea voiced by a participant lingered in my mind. “Being refugee is like a pending form of life.” The most relentless form of uncertainty.   

At first, various concepts about the refugee issues were elucidated. Now, I am looking back on these notions with a desire to convey following lines. For instance, have you ever asked yourself about that what these concepts are: migrant, asylum-seeker, refugee, refugee rights, displaced person or refugee sur place, prima facie refugee? Or escapee and guest for the sake of particular political and social aims, which entailed bad conditions for the people… If you haven’t yet asked yourself these questions, perhaps it is time. The Syrian War is approaching its 5th year. While other wars, conflicts and abuses of human rights have been occurring, millions of refugees have been trying to survive under incomprehensible conditions. Isn’t it time to make the move together with learning the concepts about the refugees? Isn’t it good to question what is going on about refugees within your house, neighbourhood, workplace and put aside your routine newspaper and magazine to consider browsing for alternative sources? At the very least, can’t we follow the facebook and twitter pages of the individuals and associations who share volunteer works for the refugees?

Going back to the training. I must say that all the differing opinions and perspectives among the participants were mindfully considered. In the meantime, several interesting circumstances drew my attention. Within the following hours, one of the participants noted “I think that I should question the already questionable education system more than ever”. The participants articulated that many things expressed and introduced by the media, in the schools and around us are not necessarily in favour of protecting individual rights. Considering that the compounding effect of being a refugee with the added suppression of individual rights, we felt how vulnerable groups can be exposed to such pressures and are at risk of being abandoned.

In my opinion, individuals and civil society organizations in many parts of the world are working more than the official bodies which do not work adequately and are also depicted as the sacred mechanisms to persuade the individuals towards their perspectives about the current refugee situation. Nevertheless, it is not enough. There is a need for insuring the rights of the refugees and pushing the official bodies to be more active. Both questioning and researching more, as well as coming into the contact with refugees, making them feel that ‘we are living together and we can live together’, are necessary.  

I wish I could keep writing about the content of this training in more detail. However, I also live in an ecosystem(!) – an artificial system that daily steals from the naturality of life, puts a strain on individuals – which prevents me to write more. I made a suggestion to activist friends and youth workers, that we may organize the series of trainings together with other actors, in order to discuss the important content of this training in detail. If the aspects of the refugee issues such as education, health, labor and shelter, along with viable solutions, can be profoundly assessed, it could potentially generate positive results.  

Our refugee friends have just as many social and biological needs as everyone does. Today, for many people who live in this geographical area, these humanitarian and natural needs have been suppressed. Diversity is being disregarded. In light of these facts, I would like to express one last and little wish; more support and more research for constructive solutions implemented within both short term and long term timeframes. In the long term, this could help make people happier.


Tags: human rights
Nefret