Arab – Turkish Springs

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Arab – Turkish Springs do not occur because of religion, but because of the lack of freedom and the distribution of power.

The conflict in Syria is an ongoing civil war that has been detrimental to thousands of lives. The war is between two parts: forces loyal to the Syrian Ba’ath Party government and those seeking to overthrow it. These two groups belong to different Islam sects; however, this is not a religious war but it is a war to decide the distribution of power. The conflict began on 15 March 2011 by popular protests that spread across Syria. These demonstrations were part of a larger movement known as the Arab Spring. The protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar Al Assad, whose family have lead Syria since 1971.

According to a United Nations report, made public on May 15 this year, the death toll from the war there is 80 thousand people. 10 thousand have died only in February this year. There is a significant number of Kosovars who have joined the war in Syria.

“Life in Kosovo” interviewed a Kosovar, who had been a part of the Syrian war but had since returned because of injury. He claims that the main reason for going to this war was mainly because of religion (jihad). There have been many reports in the media about whether Kosovars that join the war in Syria are paid or there is an Islamic organization that organizes them. In relation to this, the interviewee adds: “We do not take any amount of money. I have also read some newspaper articles that talk about places, addresses and mosques which organize the Kosovars who want to join the war. But these are just big lies and misinformation. If someone wants to go the front line is open and no one can stop them. There is no need for the organization”.

Former Middle East correspondent for Rilindja, Nehat Islami, said that in Syria there are Albanians who are part of the war because they are Syrian citizens who have gone before and after 1912. “They are Syrian Albanian descent,” Islami said.

There are more than 2 million refugees who hope to get back to their homes but there is no fine decision upon their fate. Haki Abazi, of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, said that this is a very difficult and complex process. The fate of these people does not depend on them but on the ones who are fighting the war. Mr Abazi also adds that these people have lived in dictatorship for many years and they deserve to become democratic. There are a lot of conflicts of interest involved in this war, for example Russia, Egypt etc. Ajni Sinani, professor of Islamic studies, claimed that the Islamic Medias are constantly asking the population to remain strong and destroy the totalitarian regime.

Regarding the protests in Turkey, they started as a result of the urban development plan of Istanbul. Gent Gjikolli, University of Ankara and researcher at KIPRED, in relation to Turkey added: “Turkey is economically developed, also in other sectors such as health, education etc. But the problem is freedom. All the Turkish population has the right to have access to these areas.”

According to Haki Abazi, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the main problem with Turkey is the expansionist external policy since it wants to take the leading place in the vacuum created in the Middle East. He also explained that Turkey wants to become a presidential country but the clash is between the two agendas: the one from the president Erdogan and the one from the army line, since there is no fine agenda to show the exact requests that Turkey wants.

Arab – Turkish Springs are a product of the unsatisfied population who want more freedom as citizens. The war in Syria is still going on, as well as the protests in Turkey.