tv Doc Film - German Exile - Flight from Turkey Deutsche Welle January 31, 2018 6:15am-7:00am CET
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my name is john didn't die i lived in exile. i served time in prison in turkey i was a marked man there i could i would die in prison or leave the country i chose exile . in the autumn of twenty sixteen i moved to berlin i'd left my country my home and my wife behind. on the last day of september twenty sixth the police stormed and searched our home in istanbul they took away my wife's passport when i was in prison we'd meet separated by a glass partition now we talk to each other on the internet.
me all foreigners have been holding my wife hostage for a year now they have filed no charges against her their only crime was to be married to me. drive fifteen twenty sixteen was a turning point in our lives i was in spain and watched the coverage of the turkish crew attempt on t.v. the crew was defeated with the help of the turkish people. it was clear that president out of one would use these events to strengthen his grip on power that's exactly what he did through state sponsored repression. my name is cut your dice i'm a journalist before the coup attempt i've been to turkey several times. afterward i noticed that the people i interviewed were reluctant to speak up i saw right away
that the coup attempt would make the situation much worse for critics of the government in turkey. gendron dar was the editor in chief of the newspaper jury yet now he's on the government's list of wanted criminals i met john in barcelona where i was working on a story he told me at the time that he couldn't go back to turkey and was thinking about moving to berlin he arrived a few weeks later the number of turks seeking asylum in germany tripled after the coup attempt john is one of the most prominent people to have gone into exile and he and i decided that we would give these new expatriates a voice and tell their stories. so this is a new wave of refugees i mean it's completely different than the sixty's you know the first couple years we were in the prison. it's workers except true but this
time this is the could emissions artistry and its authors so this is the brain of turkey coming to germany. one of them is lucky for our kids a sociologist the teacher signed a petition that called for peace in turkey is kurdish region and it got her fired from her university job. she and i met at a demonstration in support of university lecturers who'd been arrested. now the two of us are meeting again in germany. latif arrived in december i was there when she met jan it was an emotional moment.
how are you. and you. better now that you're here. you had a meeting today yes we did how many questions. could create about forty and some people could make a decision when the bill they would have jobs at universities. has been home and just about all of them but some came here on a tourist visa and they're having serious problems with the immigration authorities to. chew on what should but they're ok. i don't know any. but it'll be even more difficult for those who want to come now they're not allowed to leave the country she thought it would be hard juggling and the german authorities are sure i would have no problem or but these people can't leave turkey but you got out . because i did it it was
a real adventure. why did i choose germany in fact it was germany that chose me while i was in prison i wrote a book and it was later published in germany the weekly german paper did cite hired me to write a column writers associations offered me fellowships i want to wards and was invited to speak to distinguished audiences about the situation in turkey. in the one nine hundred thirty s. and korea welcomed german jewish intellectuals who had fled but nasser's now berlin can return the favor. since the nine hundred sixty years large numbers of turks have emigrated to germany and the majority of them now support and one.
like me many people in germany are concerned about the way the turkish government has cracked down on its opponents. for example denice u j turkey correspondent for the newspaper to event has been held without charge in jail for months. and i notice that john is still a little nervous here in germany. he hesitates when i ask him why he doesn't use taxi cabs after many discussions with the trucks the drivers i decided to take or taxis and. driving is better for me and that's why. i decided to get a car. drive yourself so. it's much more secure. but when taxis aren't safe i can't believe that so i talk to
a few taxi drivers. i did i wouldn't let chandon door into my cab. invitations and shamus there's failure he's a traitor wards of the jungle or there is a traitor for me. finish and they're going to talk well if he's innocent what's he doing in germany he's guilty all the sudden up there why did he leave enough to feel he's a patriot he should stay in turkey and if i don't go why did he come to germany because he's been persecuted by a lot of forethought. many in germany's turkish community believe what they see and hear in the state controlled turkish media which claims that chandra dhar is not an objective journalist but a dangerous enemy of the state. john has put together an online portal that allows turks living in exile to present critical reports about the situation in turkey. i set up this portal as soon as i
got to germany it's called. we are free. of the but we are in solidarity. with our sister we were i was a bit concerned that there are many koreans in jail so how can we say that we are free. but in there were hope you know that we are still because the boss. since john will be arrested if he travels to turkey he and i decided i would go i do research for him there. i applied for a journalist visa if i went to turkey without one i could end up in jail. the author of she spent months reviewing my application and didn't reply. they seemed to be stalling. then we decided to work with some turkish colleagues they shot this video in ankara for us we're not going to
identify these people because they could be arrested. there are now more reporters in jail in turkey than in any other country. from germany we arrange for our turkish crew to meet with john's colleague at didn't go to trial against the two of them is still under way in turkey. adam girl and i were colleagues and shared the same fate because of our reporting. we posted a video showing turkish intelligence officers sending weapons and ammunition to islamist rebels who were fighting the assad regime in syria. adam's crime was that he published these allegations the turkish government says that the trucks contained humanitarian aid not weapons and president had no one made a very public threat. your
point the journalist who published this story will pay a high price. and we did pay we quarter at one committing a crime and were arrested we tossed us in jail for allegedly revealing state secrets adam and i were put in solitary confinement sounds right next to each other . but the constitutional court ruled that we had done nothing wrong and ordered our release but added one doesn't care. i'm only a couple of big i don't accept the court's ruling. and i don't respect the will of the blue he went after my newspaper jim hood yet early one. morning while i was out of the country ten journalists were arrested. adam finally how are you you know if you're the thing you did you did and our
colleagues in jail. they're doing fine they're optimistic but now the authorities are using handcuffs we've never seen that before. where the way. you lay are. the situation in the prisons is a lot different now than it used to be. each yeah even on the prison grounds. because i'm clear that's how they treat our colleagues. it's happened to some of them. yet is keeping track of the days that our colleagues have spent in jail and one hundred fifty other journalists are being imprisoned just for telling the truth as newspapers told the government line. they've been told to portray arson as terrorists. is headline says terrorists in germany support all of these animals.
there are always different factions within the turkish media. there were those who supported the government and those who opposed it. i watch but we've never seen a case where journalists would be arrested for expressing political opinions or. mislead pressure but now some journalists are even calling for some of our colleagues to be killed as if that you. would have a shim the rush. this is seven scott the wife of my friend most are can't go we used to enjoy meals together now we share our pain. seven she's on her way to visit my son in prison. is one of
turkey's best known caricaturists uses his arm to defend his country. and says human rights will light our way. get rid of the courts. get rid of the parliament and i can certainly rule wants laughed. w. it was downside is it simply ridiculous you know horrible person would allow this that they charge me and send me to jail for drawing cartoons because of the other. seven she's allowed to visit her husband once a week. they can talk by phone for an hour separated by a glass panel all turkish colleagues have been accompanying her and we asked them whether our media coverage had had any effect on mossad cuts trial or on prison
visiting hours seven she says conditions in the prison have become a lot to us on our shores they have a courtyard that's twenty metres square last week i saw something that made me sad . in the court. the prisoners used to be able to see the sky but now they've covered the yard. it was the only place where the prisoners could feel at least a little free and now it's gone. that made me very sad. as. the prison is located in the city of symlin free about sixty kilometers west of istanbul the closer you get the more police you see we're not allowed to film here . this is the first time john has seen the video footage taken by all turkish t.v. . this is
a more thorough cannot grow as seen every during the month there was a ration there can you imagine the mean people allowed to come there and make the most rationing over the place to. by. god. you know you're not allowed to through. this unbelievable. your friends were thinking they're your friends and colleagues or in their hand and then you. really and can you imagine that. you know coming there to visit me and now they're in with the . three of them and the other military insignia.
some say there are now more intellectuals in this prison than anywhere else in turkey able to india earlier than that you know. yesterday was especially difficult valentine's day is three days away it'll be the first time in years that we've spent that day of heart. on the prison phone or wished me a happy valentine's day. it was very touching and i'll never forget it. i'm on my way to visit a friend who came to berlin before i got here he's a doctor and film director he publicly diagnosed president at one as having a narcissistic personality disorder he was charged with libel so he got on a plane and flew to. chicago the plane of the last minute i got to my father's funeral and then went
straight to the airport. when i got on the plane there were still dirt from the grave site on my shoes. we have left behind the graves of our loved ones we've left behind a piece of our sounds and our lives as they once were. but a limb is our refuge but it's also our place of exile you can be happy here but also sad. you can't be peaceful. but also dangerous. here in berlin mostafa opened a school for actors is making good use of his experience. the school is for young turkish people many of them dream of finding work in turkish television. while john watches his friend at work i try to interview some of the turkish students but they don't feel like talking they'd found out that we were coming and debated whether they should talk to us some said that if they appeared in the same
reporters jan it could have their careers. because they would have been talking and somebody says that he was in the course of job. once they get cut off. from the project i think their duty is to these kinds of things as of. mustapha is working on a new project. it's a film about the twenty for teen taksim gazey park protests in istanbul showing how the turkish people rose up against repression. in the summer girls little. break you may be and how they had their hopes dashed.
or starve i was among those who tended to the wounded. only to do. good work. we didn't leave our country our country left us. if you still read the book it's not a good feeling gen ducasse of the day i did it you should know your own you work for your country for half a century. you fight for a better society and a better world. and then this country that you've worked so hard for jealously just tosses you around the city at the center. of the trio. we're on
our way to visit a man whose life is in danger not only in turkey but also here in germany where he now lives in exile. or hunch on cider was a mayor in turkey's kurdish region he believes he could be killed by islamic state supporters or by agents of the turkish secret police. action so has defended the rights of turkey's kurdish minority. that's prompted threats from turkish nationalists here in germany. he never leaves his home without a bodyguard. i don't go out very often and when i do it's only for half an hour or an hour but i'm happy to be able to do that. so. it.
has been living in germany since twenty fifteen i want to find out what the situation was like in turkey before he left. turkey my homeland has been wracked by d.k.k. terrorist attacks for thirty five years the p.k. demands autonomy for turkey's kurds last year forty four people were killed in an attack in istanbul in twenty thirteen the government and the p.k. had agreed on a ceasefire. but hopes for a peaceful settlement were shattered in twenty fifteen after a suicide attack in the kurdish region. the assailant was said to be a member of islamic state but the p.k. k. blamed the turkish government the violence continued. the k.k.k. called for self-government in kurdish senses p k k fighters took up positions on
the streets of the turkish government viewed all this as a declaration of war. the kurdish cities that had declared autonomy were raised to the ground this video was shot by a turkish soldier government troops fired at civilians who were transporting the wounded under a white flag that people who were filming these events. this video was never shown on turkish state t.v. . or hunch ansal also treated the wounded even though he's a dentist by profession. that's what we call the ambulances sometimes they showed up or sometimes not a good first of the two there was a news blackout of the time you thought what was it really like that is the new blow through of the battle you call an ambulance and they'd say we're not coming
over they told us to bring the wounded to them well how do you do that. they were bleeding out so you picked them up. and then you'd be arrested for trying to help them through the. one thousand five hundred people were killed over three months in thirty cities and towns half a million people were forced to leave their homes. was one of them he was suspended from his job as mayor and was charged with supporting a terrorist organization leading members of his political party the h.t.t.p. were arrested. it is signed it that he had to leave the country is now armed conflict here obviously but chancellor is terribly lonely he left his wife and children behind in
turkey. other turks in germany have been persecuted for speaking out. we need latif accusing a sociologist who is now living in frankfurt in turkey she supported efforts to end the fighting between the kurds and the government. that prompted a sharp attack from president. obama. these fake intellectuals' accuse the government of carrying out a massacre there are no numbers that. you intellectuals' are not educated you are evil people are the. ones remarks had serious consequences for that she felt. she shows me some social media comments from the same day at the time she was working at a university in the town of dujail suddenly she was targeted by critics.
coverage of ed once comments spread like wildfire there on order to make that a regional t.v. station portrayed as a p.k. k. terrorist. what's particularly appalling is that this sociologist who works at the university and dues just has actually put her name on a petition. latifa lives in this dormitory room in frankfurt she feels safe here but she had to leave her home in turkey and quit her job she no longer has contact with her students and colleagues people she
really liked it all disappeared in just two days. on wednesday evening my friend said it was too dangerous for me to stay induced or . they didn't want me to leave on the regional bus. or that they sized up the situation and then drove me to the nearby province of is met by. their i took a bus to istanbul. the next morning i found out that the authorities had issued a warrant for my arrest they searched my home and my office at the university they claimed that i disappeared even though they could have easily reached me by phone so they issued a warrant and then they passed the story along to the press. which that. latifa wasn't arrested but she was banned from working and from leaving the country
. later she secretly made her way to frankfurt she describes the situation of the university before she left us that it's some of my colleagues didn't actually speak out against me but they just sort of disappeared from my life i was pretty upset about that. people on social media took me off their list of friends. people who had phoned me every day to chat he just stopped calling that really hurt. all. talk to our schedule and he no longer turns the authorities campaign against us had created an atmosphere of fear among my colleagues that they were afraid to talk to me or speak up we tell that it's a it's only vehicle and i think that this is the main reason why we're in the situation we are now a little since in the song no use the. gucci
university in frankfurt has awarded latifa a two year grant. it's a political gesture to show that germany will support exiles who've been oppressed by all thora tarion regimes. but turkey says the german government is harboring terrorists. turkey's domestic political troubles are now playing out in germany. in february twenty seventh teen turks in the western german city of obama campaigned in favor of a referendum that would give president head one more executive powers the turkish prime minister attended a big rally there john didn't go because of the charges against him in turkey german reporters once exactly welcome there either. no matter what means freedom everyone means freedom. i mean it's looking armisen that's at the top
of what we've heard every certainly noticed that some people are criticizing the turkish government without any justification all. lloyd we've invested so much in germany some of us have lived here for decades we pay taxes and contribute to this country's prosperity that we feel betrayed it sliced into garbage for us i was an officer i don't know why but since the one nine hundred eighty s. the german media have to trade turkish working as asians in germany the turkish people and the turkey. nation in a negative light on abortion medium you've got the stars and. most of the people at the rally believe everyone is doing a great job some told me that when they went back home to visit they found that the government had improved the health care system and feel to me read that. there are about three million turks in germany but a larger percentage of them vote for everyone's political party then turks in turkey and that's been the case for years. that's why john took the referendum
campaign very seriously. some people who were opposed to the referendum held rallies. means no turkish but there were just a few dozen people at this one some demonstrations were even cancelled due to low turnout. these groups were supported by private funding while the preference of groups were backed by president ed one's political party. many people here are willing to criticize the government on camera. but we found the feel when this private club all of those levels of the. party i don't know should be your country i don't want to dictatorship i live well here. four of their finances authority in serious on t.v. criticizing turkey we could get into trouble this is it's not good. in the end it's
a dictatorship now. but everybody will want to turkey will probably be arrested. but. it's difficult for john to find supporters in germany most turkish reporters don't want to work with him in the beginning i was dreaming of i was thinking of that i mean there are two thousand three thousand to talk his journeys into. and there would be no problem to find out people to work with it but now i understand that it's not that easy because it's then journalists for them when they they feel threatened by the government because of that and i can understand that but this of course in the beginning it was a bit disappointing for me. in january twenty seventeen turkish journalist heiko baghdad moved to berlin to work with jan he left his wife and children back
in turkey. heiko has visited billie and often. so you will not run b.c. if you were me this was just another trip. i'll do some work here and then go back home. that's what i plan to do religiously she rejects him i think that things in turkey will calm down soon and i can go back and live in peace. but i didn't book a return flight this time because i feel strange as. i go tells me that he is concerned about his family will the allstar actually take away his wife's passport as they did with chan's wife. used to have his own t.v. show and he was often a guest on talk programs but not anymore show was cancelled he's half armenian and half greek an opposition journalist puts him high on the list of people whom the
turkish authorities consider dangerous. there are more and more friends against him. it is less hard to plan the even simple i knew personally started making threats young people who live near me. watch them grow up to be threatened by young people it was really depressing. hikers family are now on their way to berlin is looking forward to their arrival. times are. usually. really. just going to check this. better when they get near it will not look and sound as if you don't know when i should start looking around for an apartment and take care of all the other stuff because the end of organising is to have them here all of it always
taking it which are such that the younger ones ok i'll talk to the older one do what he understands just don't wish i think he'll understand. but i'll explain that we'll just have to make the best of things and most of the time said he would and then what about school. start working on it i'm. imagining you wake up one morning and everything that you had is gone you you're living in a foreign country where you don't speak the language that's what we've been forced to do we have far away from our homeland and i'm loved ones we have to live with threats we try to overcome anger and our sorrow with our work. heiko was a welcome addition to our team we got started right away. but has been out of my dismay i came here to take a break and have a normal life to be and that's what i ended up working for chandu and are the most
wanted man in turkey or. maybe i did it because i'm a fighter. i haven't been able to relax much so far but in the middle. john shows me the threats that have been posted on social media. he says he pays little attention to them. how do you react when someone points a gun at you you have two options you can either be afraid of everything or you can be afraid of nothing. i haven't been afraid of anything since someone tried to shoot me outside the
courthouse in istanbul mom live t.v. . at the official opening of the old you could use internet platform earlier this year security was very tight. but i hope this platform will give us the opportunity to do our profession freely. but there were no police on hand just a few days later when a pro-government turkish journalist tried to break into john's office for an interview. then we came to berlin to meet with term dinner but he didn't want to talk to us either by phone or email. and this is our window.
it's fifteen minutes to the city center it was called plays. as you know the. third leg of the invitation toys that are here. so no protection there own so if something like. great has happened to our. office who will be the responsible. women. there. you can appropriate. research on. order to make. it was a risk. we were told that police cannot do. this really goes to show how good. despite the danger john will appear in public to support denise eugen the german
turkish journalist now in jail in turkey. people a newscaster demanding his release john feels that he must speak out on eugenics behalf and that those who oppose president ad one should stick together in germany and in turkey. yeah there was a protesting campaign. in january i guess he came to live it the protests are worthless and stayed there for a couple of hours. and the other day there was the news about him. then. the protests. in germany. more and more journalists in turkey are being jailed more people are being put on trial and we will continue to write about being sent to speak out to people in our homeland because so many there cannot. on the evening of the referendum i did one
appeared on the balcony of his palace and he looked more worried than we did and i probably sixteenth nearly half the voters said no to giving him more power despite the crackdown on his opponents and all the manipulation. of that point we started to smile. does john consider the referendum result a victory for the opposition i feel victorious really yeah i mean. at least we saw that the people is behind us i mean we got together with them. and which is. the result was indeed close but the opposition still lost. many church in germany celebrated the result. president add one won by
a wider margin here than he did in turkey. i did some research on the german results only half of the turkish voters registered in germany took part in the referendum but four hundred thousand voted yes and by so doing we can democracy in turkey. everyone intended to divide the turkish german community and to intimidate referendum opponents and that's just what. there's a huge divide actually uses the tooling as interfere either for or against conscripts lago there's no in between. neither side wants to have anything to do with the other. i'm quite concerned by the fact that many turkish germans feel closer to president ed one then they did to chancellor america how do we get people to take democracy and freedom of speech more seriously. that's
a decisive issue for germany for turkey for europe and for all of us the turkish exiles aren't going to win this fight by themselves. if european people need to keep that lot is going on in turkey. refuses soon. people in neutral need to act against these. latifa mustafa heiko me and the others are exiles from a country where democracy is dying. january. was.
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to move. this is d w news live from berlin paling a new american moment president donald trump delivers his first state of the union address there has never been a better time to start living the american dream optimistic words after us her first year in washington the president calls for a bipartisan push to rebuild infrastructure and over a whole immigration bring you analysis coming up. also on the show a shortage of life see.