My first week back at work and straight back into dealing with the Department for Work and Pensions. I was in a state of disbelief when I was told that a vulnerable adult was informed of a medical by text and his benefits had been disallowed as they hadn’t turned up. On several other occasions I waited patiently listening to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons before being told that the ‘systems’ were down. Code for telling you that their IT progerammes have crashed. This is happening so regularly I’m beginning to wonder how truthful it is. On the whole a positive week with progress being made in all areas.
The new year was barely 90 minutes old before someone shot 39 and injured many others in an Istanbul nightclub. A friend of mine asked for my opinion of what’s occurring in Turkey. I harked back to Malcolm X’s comment when JFK was killed and he said America’s chickens were coming home to roost. Turkey’s affairs are intertwined with Syria’s and there won’t be peace in one until there is peace in the other. You may have heard the news that the Turks and Russians have negotiated a ceasefire. Of course we should welcome that. But this ceasefire is an illusion. There are many more groups fighting in Syria than just the Turks and the Russians and it only covered certain areas of conflict. The ceasefire even if it works will not be the end of the civil war. There is still the Islamic State occupying parts of Syria as well as the Syrian Kurds occupying another. And preventing the Syrian Kurds gaining autonomy is the real reason for Turkey taking such an interest in that country. Instead of following Ataturk’s wise philosophy of peace at home, peace abroad there is conflict abroad and conflict at home.
After the new year attack and every other terrorist attack the Turkish government promises to bring such attacks to an end. Like every other Turkish government since 1984 when the PKK started their war against the Turkish state. What is the current government going to do that is different to previous ones? If they carry on doing the same the outcome will be the same. I once said to a Jewish friend in reference to Israel that as a Cypriot it is better to be at peace with your neighbours than at war with them. And in Turkey and Israel there is no prospect of peace until there is a political resolution to the Kurdish and Palestinian problem.
In Cyprus there are talks between both communities and others that may result in a political settlement. I hope so. The pain of the past is still ingrained in people’s psyche and we have a duty to our children to leave them a better future than we have experienced.
Things I recommend; watching Saving Mr Banks, a lovely film.