tv Doc Film - German Exile - Flight from Turkey Deutsche Welle January 29, 2018 2:15am-3:00am 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.
the author orators have been holding my wife hostage for a year now and i filed no charges against her only crime was to be married to me. dry 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 either 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 daoud was the editor in chief of the newspaper general 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 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 were no pay. sounds crew six are true but this time this is
the could emissions artistry of its authors so this is the brain of turkey coming to germany. one of them is lucky for our kids a sociologist the t. first 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 are here. you had a meeting today yes we did how many questions. could create about forty and some people could make a decision when there was a will have jobs at universities. have 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 i have a terminal to artists she or her would have no problem or that these people can't leave turkey good but you got out. 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 ward summers 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 the nazis now in berlin can return the favor. since the nine hundred sixty years large numbers of times have emigrated to germany 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 eugen turkey correspondent for the newspaper to events has been held without charge in jail for months. 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 drugs the drivers decided to take or taxis and. driving is better for me and that's why. i decided to get a car. drive myself so. this was more secure . but when taxis aren't safe i can't believe that cho i talked to
a few taxi drivers. i did i wouldn't let chandon door into my cab. and shamus their failure is a traitor was a feared of jungle disguise 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 only set up why did he leave the field 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 folks not. many in germany's turkish community believe what they see and hear in the state controlled turkish media which claims that chunder 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. my setup there is portal as soon as
i got to germany it's called. we are free. that. we are in solidarity. with our sister and we were i was a bit concerned that there are many journeys in jail so how can we say that we are free. but in a way it's a hope you know it's a hope that we are still they've become stop us. since john would be arrested if he travels to turkey he and i decided i would go and 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 him 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 our side regime in syria. adams crime was that he published these allegations the turkish government says that the trucks contained humanitarian aid not weapons and president had 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. all a couple of big i don't accept the court's ruling. and i don't respect those. 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 them you did they 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 our. the situation in the prisons is a lot different now than it used to be. conversely yeah even on the prison grounds . it isn't clear that's how they treat our colleagues. it's happened to some of them. that's offered to. them harriet is keeping track of the days that our colleagues have spent in jail and one hundred fifty other journalists have been imprisoned just for telling the truth as newspapers told the government line. they've been told to portray ourselves as terrorists. this 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. but we've never seen a case where journalists would be arrested for expressing political opinions. mystic pressure but now some journalists are even calling for some of our colleagues to be killed is it that you. would have a. this is seven scott the wife of my friend most are can't go we used to enjoy meals together now we share. seven she is on her way to visit me in prison. as 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 left. not with these downside is it simply ridiculous you know moral person would allow this they charge me and send me to jail for drawing cartoons that goes off with all the other. seven she's allowed to visit her husband once a week when they can talk by phone for an hour separated by a glass panel all turkish colleagues have been accompanying her we asked them whether our media coverage had had any effect on most accounts trial or on prison
visiting hours seven she says conditions in the prison have become a lot less. should they have a courtyard that's twenty metres square last week i saw something that made me sad . in the quarter. 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. just. the prison is located in the city of salinity 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. yeah this is
a gross sneery during the month there was a ration there can you imagine i mean people were allowed to come there and we'll make the most rationing over the first. was. was that. you know you're not allowed to. your friends were thinking they're your friends call legs or in their hand of the name for then you. must really and can you imagine that my lawyer you know coming there to visit me and now they're in with the. three of them and the other will to me instantly or three of them.
some say there are now more intellectuals in this prison than anywhere else in turkey it will be in the earlier that you know. yesterday was especially difficult valentines day is three days away it'll be the first time in years that we've spent that day apart. 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 rather one as having a narcissistic personality disorder he was charged with libel so he got on a plane and flew to. chicago the plane at 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. a limb is our refuge but it's also our place of exile you can be happy here but also sad you can be. 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 student 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 hurt their careers. because they were going to. and somebody says that she was in the course of a job. once they can cut off. from the project i think the duties of these kinds of things together is of. mostar is working on a new project. it's a film about the twenty thirteen taksim gazey park protests in istanbul showing how the turkish people rose up against repression. in the summer girls legal. age you may be and how they had their hopes dashed.
or starve i was among those who tended to the wounded. to do. good work. we didn't leave our country our country left us. even just to read the book it's not a good feeling can do this in the day i did. 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 journalists just tosses you around the city at the center. 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 i'm sorry 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. 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. it was weak 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 p.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 thirty in 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 said his p k k fighters took up positions on
the streets of the turkish government viewed all this as a declaration of war. in 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. and so we called ambulances sometimes they showed us a sometimes not a good first of the two there was a news blackout at the time i thought what was it really like that says then you all blow through 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 if. people were bleeding out so you pick them up. and then you'd be arrested for trying to help. 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 man and was charged with supporting a terrorist organization leading members of his political party the h.t.t.p. were arrested. in decided that he had to leave the country there's no 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 accuser gave 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. you intellectuals' are not educated you are evil white people and these. 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 common spread like wildfire there and make that a regional t.v. station portrayed latif as a p.k. k. terrorist. but you know 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. well on wednesday evening my friend said it was too dangerous for me to stay induced. 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. my goodness of what 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 to 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 a joke just gives you a long long term 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 them 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. 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 jan didn't go because of the charges against him in turkey german reporters weren't exactly welcome there either. but there are a lot means freedom everyone means freedom. and it's not been homeless and that's
at the top of what we terms of recently noticed that some people are criticizing the turkish government without any justification all right 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 we feel betrayed. i was out and afterward 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 really i'm eager to start with. 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 builds new roads. 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 preferential groups were backed by president ed one's political party. not many people here are willing to criticize the government on camera. but we found the feel when this private club. is going to. hire you know should be your country i don't want to dictatorship i live well here. four of the of the transitions already in serious on t.v. criticizing turkey we could get into trouble because it's not good. in the end it's
a dictatorship now. we went to turkey we'd 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 what i was thinking of that i mean there are two thousand three thousand he took his journeys into. and there would be no problem to find out people to work with but now i understand that it's not that easy because it's their interests for them when the they feel threatened by the government because of that and i can understand that but it is 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 chen he left his wife and children back
in turkey. heiko has visited billy and often. sunday will not only to see if you know what i mean 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 so 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 chandra's wife. hyderabad that he 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 and 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 to plan the way even people i knew personally started making threats young people who lived near me. i'd watched 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 the members of the. band that would better when they get in here go to the germans if you can and start looking around for an apartment and take care of all the other stuff because you know horton thing is to have them here all of it always taking it which is such
that the younger ones ok i'll talk to the older one. understands that i think he'll understand. 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 every think that you had is gone you know living in a foreign country where you don't speak the language that's what we've been forced to do we're far away from our homeland and our loved ones we have to live with threats we try to overcome our anger and our sorrow with our work. heiko was a welcome addition to our team. we got started right away. none match that has been on my list for i came here to take a break and have a normal life to do 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. east john shows me the threats that have been posted on social media. he says he pays little attention to the. county 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's live t.v. . at the official opening of the old gaiters 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. we came to berlin to meet with term did our but he didn't want to talk to us either by phone or you know. this is we know.
it's fifteen minutes to the city center it's called plays. you know. so it's like an invitation. so no protection there own if something like. great has happened to our. office who will be the responsible. marijuana you can appropriate he's going to be in. order to make. it was a risk to shoot on i think. they can't do anything. we were told that police cannot do anything. 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 the people in these cars are demanding his release john feels that he must speak out on eugenics behalf and that those who oppose president everyone should stick together in germany and turkey. there was that. during our prison. in january i guess he came to live it to protest our earth will. stay there for a couple of hours. and the other day there was a news about him and. then. to protest his their assessment 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 my son to speak out to people in our homeland because so many there cannot. on the
evening of the referendum that one appeared on the balcony of his palace and he looked more worried than we did on april 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 i mean. at least we saw that people is behind us i mean we got together with them. which is. the result was indeed close but the opposition still lost. many turks 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. that despite it was a norm there's a huge divide actually goes to wingers and you're here either for or against conscripts lago there's no in between missions 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 than they did to chancellor merkel 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 knew 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. they will increase their war there is going to be less so much more if the jesus inserts here and also turkish people will become refugees soon. people who are in neutral need to act against these. latifa mustafa heiko me and the others are exiles from a country where democracy is dying. again in. my.
call it the doing it to expletive that face and learn to seal it straight stairways highest mountain and. she's taking a brand new cable cut that suits summit's and descending into the pop not a good. experience something very in the wings of magic with genuine inside is. thirty minutes of. this is you get a nice comfy life from god and let's go right to our correspondent news in central istanbul joined by michelle a cup thirty two of us but it will correspond let's bring in a full check from a poland a deficit going through the bottom correspondent frank for more on those stories in just a minute but first this news just in it's all about the prospective cancer d.w. news fiesta. freedom of expression. of value that always has to be defended and knew. all over the world are to
a freedom freedom of art. a multimedia project about artists and their right to express their views freely. d w dot com order freedom. i've. a rational thought is have detained opposition leader and kremlin critic alexina valmy police arrested him after he made a brief appearance at a moscow protest one of more than one hundred rallies planned across the country the opposition is calling for a boycott of the march presidential election which is certain to extend lydia putin's eighteen year grip on power.