Perspectives - Issue 11
As we were preparing this issue of Perspectives we faced serious turmoil in Turkey, the neighboring countries and in Europe. Commentators at the daily evening news that normally refrain from emotional expressions even started to talk about a world in crisis, a world that is losing its anchor. They used terms like sinking ships when talking about the global order.
The culmination of IS cruelty was transferred into every single household via Internet, the killing of Charlie Hebdo journalists, and the extensive use of the social media for propaganda and inciting fear by IS, the rising racist, xenophobic tendencies especially in Germany as expressed by the demonstrations organized by PEGIDA and others… All these tendencies made many people worry about the future, living in peace and democracy.
While we were preparing this issue of Perspectives, we developed a new habit: before going to sleep we wanted to get the last information about the situation in Kobanê. In many senses Kobanê became a symbol: a symbol for the power of the Kurds, a symbol for Kurdish unity and solidarity, a symbol for the strong role of women inside the Kurdish movement, and finally a symbol for the struggle of the Kurds in Turkey against nationalist policies and their strength in the upcoming negotiations and parliamentary elections in Turkey. We do not even want to imagine what would have happened had Kobanê fallen.
Confronted with developments that seemed to shake the international world order, our original plan for the content of the Perspectives in 2015 seemed, at first glance, to have fallen apart: we planned to embed the Perspectives of 2015 in the global governance circus of this year: the anniversary of the millennium development goals, the anniversary of Beijing, the climate change negotiations in Paris and –last but not the least– the G20-summit in Istanbul under the Turkish presidency. But, if we have a look at the facts behind the current threats to world peace, especially this year’s “global governance circle” might help us understand the dynamics underlying some of these threats. We therefore decided not to change the concept of this year’s Perspectives but to point to the complexity of global governance, to so-called double standards and discontent as well as opposition against this kind of a system of global governance.
Against this background, it is not astonishing that the buzz word in Turkey seems to be “perception”. Policy, convincing members of parliament about a law, convincing voters during elections campaigns or the people of a protest…. Everything is presented as a matter of “perception operation” or public relations work –as if the world is nothing more than a bubble of competing public relations campaigns. To have a look at the global governance circle of this year from a Turkey perspective will sharpen our understanding that it is mainly not about perception, it is about reality.
On behalf of the Perspectives team