On Sunday, March 13th, Ankara was assaulted once again by a terrorist attack. This is the third high-casualty terrorist attack in the past five months, and many Turkish citizens are wondering why more people around the world aren’t rallying Ankara. In one Guardian editorial, the author asks, “Where was our “Je Suis” moment?”
This particular quote is from a call for European solidarity by British expat pianist James Taylor. His 400 word Facebook post “went viral,” and subsequently was picked up by not only the Guardian, but also Metro News, Huffington Post, and a slew of other web news sources. This post asked the European community, “It is very easy to look at terror attacks that happen in London, in New York, in Paris and feel pain and sadness for those victims, so why is it not the same for Ankara? “ However, Ankara does not have the soft power that London, New York, and Paris have over affluent nations.The global citizens Taylor is trying to reach have probably never heard Turkish pop song, seen a Turkish film, or read a book from a Turkish author. While the popular aphorism generally declares that “culture drives commerce,” in this case, culture also drives compassion, and there are not enough cultural ties to cash in on solidarity between people separated by a continent or an ocean. His poignant call for empathy fell on ears who already are overwhelmed with compassion fatigue and who see Turkey as “other” rather than “us”.
In conclusion, his rallying cry for solidarity (“You were Charlie, you were Paris. Will you be Ankara?”) would have been better expressed if it created a transnational resonance between Turkish citizens and the affluent global society. As ISIL is responsible for the most deadly of terrorist attacks on Turkish soil, perhaps a mashup of Boromir’s speech of his land being a buffer zone from militarized evil would garnered even more attention and made a stronger, and more memorable impact. romir asserts. Turkey is geographically between ISIL strongholds and the rest of Europe. The best argument to be made is Boromir’s “By the blood of our people are your lands kept safe.”
The Council of Elrond: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suLkDkj8OpQ
- “Where is Ankara’s ‘Je Suis’ moment?”
- James Taylor’s Facebook Call for Solidarity: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207609723633971&set=a.1436921975860.55092.1617305179&type=3&theater
- BBC’s article covering the Ankara bombing: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35599323
- Is ISIS responsible for the Istanbul attack? http://www.ibtimes.com/isis-responsible-istanbul-attack-suicide-bomber-may-have-been-member-islamic-state-or-2339595