Over the past week, news about Turkey has centered around the military coup attempt and subsequent detentions, arrests and suspensions. The plight of Syrian refugees in Turkey has become widely overshadowed, but some have brought attention to the coup's impact on Syrians - and vice versa. While Nick Ashdown explains why Syrians supported the anti-coup demonstrations, Omer Karasapan offers a wider lens on the possible impacts of the coup on Syrian lives in Turkey.
Over the past couple of months, Suzy Hansen has investigated the perception of residents of Karagumruk, an Istanbul neighborhood known as an AKP stronghold, towards the influx of Syrian refugees. Her long-read article is based on conversations with Turkish and Syrians living in the neighborhood, and offers a unique insight on questions of identity, coexistence and integration. Salih Yazun’s article on the education of Syrian youth in Turkey reveals the main possibilities and challenges of present educational opportunities for Syrians.
A number of articles this week shed light on the creative and cultural agency of refugees, such as this NY Times article about Omar Imam, a photojournalist and refugee who wishes to capture refugees’ memories, fears and dreams. Earlier, the Guardian reported on the power of poetry to voice trauma and loss. With a rare focus on Southeast-Asian immigrants in Iraq, this niqash article reports from a park in Sulaymaniyah where Indian, Bangladeshi and Nepali migrants sell their local foods.
This week, Europe, as well as other parts of the world, witnessed another wave of violent attacks. Alex Shams offers an important perspective on the Munich shooting by a German teen with an Iranian background, urging the media and public to shift from a discursive focus on Islam to a serious conversation about Whiteness, masculinity, gun control and anti-immigrant violence in the West. On a similar note, this interview with Neda Maghbouleh talks about her new book on Iranian-American identity and the limits of whiteness in the U.S. In an interview with Nando Sigona, Open Democracy discusses the concept of ‘superdiversity’ and interrogates what happens to identities in the process of globalization and migration, while states cling onto their borders and reject a change in national identity.
Jadaliyya offers a historical overview of Europe’s wish to wall itself off from the other, including those who were once subjects of European colonial rule. With the route to Europe blocked off, many migrants get stuck in transit, as this MSF report on hazardous conditions in Libya reveals. Walid el Houri discusses how the Western narrative of exceptionalism, on whose lives matter and whose don’t, contributes to the dehumanization of refugees.