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Demonstrators in Taksim Square, 15 June 2013
Demonstrators in Taksim Square, 15 June 2013via Wikimedia

What is happening to young people in Turkey?

Despite a worrying rise in political violence and corruption, the voices of the country’s younger generation remain unheard

Three gunmen killed 41 people and injured hundreds at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport last week. Unknown to many, this was the fifth attack in a central spot in the city, and one of a number of brutal attacks in the country since July 2015. 

Exactly one year ago, Turkey had an election and was stuck at a political crossroads. The country was experiencing a faltering economy, and was witnessing the rise of a corrupt and authoritarian government. It was also becoming more and more entangled in the Syrian Civil War. Our fraught June election – which could have remedied these issues – only led to further difficulties; stoking political violence and electoral fraud claims. The Turkish people have witnessed political unease in recent months, even though one year ago there was hope for peace and a brighter future.

“Many people believe that creativity thrives in difficult times. Last year, that was proven to be a myth”

The image of my country has drastically changed from a vibrant cultural hub, to a dark and dangerous place. Music venues, museums and cultural institutions have seen a drastic decline in attendance of locals and tourists at events. Economic stability and social security are long gone. Most importantly, innocent people are dying at the hands of the so-called Islamic state every day. People are still struggling for a better future even though their existence is forgotten by many. 

Many people believe that creativity thrives in difficult times. Last year, that was proven to be a myth. All of a sudden, everything turned upside down. Society was paralysed by extreme horror and violence; with many getting scared of going to the supermarket over the fear of a totally random attack. The young in Turkey are now asking the most important question: “Who is creating this horror?”

Because seriously, who is the brain behind this chaos? Despite the headlines in the mass media, there are no claims of responsibility for these many brutal attacks. 

Like Fritz Lang’s thesis in The Testament of Dr Mabuse: “The ultimate purpose of crime is to establish the endless empire of crime. A state of complete insecurity and anarchy, founded upon the tainted ideals of a world doomed to annihilation. When humanity, subjugated by the terror of crime, has been driven insane by fear and horror, and when chaos has become supreme law, then the time will have come for the empire of crime.”

Most of the artists of the last century predicted the upcoming horror of world wars before they became a reality, yet they couldn't prevent them from happening. Today’s youth, both in Turkey and the other nations, speak louder and draw a map of a better tomorrow. Yet no one is listening. As the violent attacks proceed to induce fear into the world, nations close their borders and walls are built between cultures. Unfortunately, this creates mazes for criminals to hide in; where hatred can grow and new attacks are planned. Only a unity among the ones who would like to a create a better tomorrow can prevent this darkness. There needs to be global awareness of these struggles. It has to start with international relations.