Tears of Regret, Tears of Fear, Tears of Grief:Its raining tears in Istanbul

Tears of Regret, Tears of Fear, Tears of Grief:Its raining tears in Istanbul

Kevin P Clements

Its the final day of  electioneering in Turkey before tomorrow’s Presidential election. Erdogan is expected to win  and the opposition is already crying foul, fearing that they have been outmanouvered, silenced , out paid in the polls.

The fighting has resumed in Gaza,people are being killed in Yemen, the US is trying to save the  Yazidis ,Christians and Kurds in Iraq by bombing and dropping humanitarian supplies at the same time. There are thunderstorms around Istanbul which sound like  heavy artillery. Its raining, each drop represents a human tear. Its funny that tear and tear are spelled the same. When we cry it normally represents some kind of tear. A broken relationship, sadness, grief, regret, fear… isolation aloneness. We seem surrounded by tears and tears at the present time…. more destruction than construction, more barbarism than civility, more  hostility than conviviality.

The challenges are always the same .How do we help and save those in need without generating  problems and harm in the process? How do we attend to those who cry -allowing them to cry so that  when the tears have finished they and we might be softened to face the tasks that confront us. How do we confront thugs who can never see the tears, or feel the tears and divisions that they have created? How do we do this peacefully and non violently. Someone said to me we can’t put a peace circle around ISIS forces but I wonder what would happen if we tried?

In any case like all of you I am tearing a little at the wounds, the divisions, the suffering and the tearing that is taking place all around us. I’m doing it from a a strange place where  the whole world seemed gathered for breakfast. There were Africans and Germans and Arabs from the Gulf and Syrians and  Egyptians and Italians and French. We were able to eat breakfast in peace and even muster a smile and  a thank you and celebrate  who we were in that moment…

Its strange to think that two hour’s flight from here people are pulling themselves apart, uprooting those who have been  in the same place for centuries, are exercising no mercy, no compassion and shedding no tears in the process,

No wonder its raining and tearing here in Istanbul. I hope someone is paying attention   so that they might softened by all these tears. I hope someone out there is listening. I hope there are people brave enough to go and place a circle of peaceful human being around those who have temporarily lost their humanity.


About kevinclements2012

Short CV Professor Kevin P Clements. I am the Foundation Chair of Peace and Conflict Studies and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago, Dunedin New Zealand and Secretary General of the Toda Institute for Global Peace and Policy. Prior to taking up these positions I was the Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies and Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia . I went to Queensland from International Alert where I was Secretary General from January 1999 to September 2003. International Alert is one of the world’s largest NGOs working on conflict transformation. It pioneered innovative policy and practical approaches to conflict prevention and transformation in Africa ,Eurasia and Asia . It has also made a major contribution to the mainstreaming of conflict prevention within European Foreign and Development Ministries, the EU and a variety of UN institutions. During his time there I was on the Board of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention and past President of the European Peace Building Liaison Office in Brussels. Prior to becoming Secretary General of International Alert I was the Vernon and Minnie Lynch Chair of Conflict Resolution at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University Fairfax Virginia USA 1994-2000 and Director of the Institute from 1994-1999. My career has been a combination of academic analysis and practice in the areas of peacebuilding and conflict transformation. I was, for example, formerly Director of the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva and Head of the Peace Research Centre at the Australian National University in Canberra .Prior to this I was Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Coordinator of Peace Studies at Canterbury University, Christchurch New Zealand . My first academic position was as a lecturer in Sociology at Hong Kong University . I took up this position from a Post Doctoral Fellowship at Oxford University where I worked on development issues with Paul Streeten and others. I have been an advisor to the New Zealand, Australian , British , Swedish and Dutch governments on conflict prevention , peace, defence and security issues and advised the German Government and the OECD on States and Violence. I was, a member of the New Zealand Government’s Defence Committee of Enquiry in 1985 and I currently conducting Problem Solving Workshops in North East Asia with high level participants from Japan, China and Korea. Iwas President of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) from 1994-1998, President of the IPRA Foundation from 1995-2000 and Secretary General of the Asia Pacific Peace Research Association. I was Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association 2008-2010. I got my B.A, B.A Hon ( First Class) and Ph.D in Sociology from Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand. and held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Oxford from 1970-1971. I have been a regular consultant to a variety of non governmental and intergovernmental organisations on disarmament, arms control, conflict resolution, development and regional security issues and I have written or edited 7 books and over 160 chapters /articles on conflict transformation, peacebuilding, preventive diplomacy and development with a specific focus on the Asia Pacific region. Research Expertise 1. Peace Research Theory- Conflict and Conflict Resolution Theory . Preventive Diplomacy , Development and Peacebuilding 2. International and Regional Regimes-APEC, ASEAN, the ARF, ECOWAS 3. Political Sociology-International Organisations. Multilateral/bilateral negotiating processes. 4. Fragile States, Legitimacy and Political Hybridity 5. Alternative Defence and Security Policies-Peace and Security in the Asia-Pacific region. 6. The politics and ethics of international humanitarian intervention 7. Altruism and Compassion In my spare time I like to paint with acrylics or pastels, go to the theatre, listen to classical music, visit art galleries etc!
This entry was posted in #Ottoman Empire, Building Peaceful Community, Erdogan, Gaza, Hamas, Israel, The Middle East, Violence and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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