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Developing Night Shift

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29/01/2022 – A few days ago, I left Italy after 6 days of non-stop talking, hearing and thinking film. These short-term experiences are very intense, and suddenly what you have imagined in your head as a potential film begins to feel ever so real. This is further exacerbated by the impending next phase of development; leaving the comfort zone of writing and moving on to putting together the other pieces of the puzzle. Cast, crew, locations, and of course, seeking funding.

Being selected for Midpoint Shorts has opened up opportunities for us. We pitched at the When East Meets West co-production forum. We’ve spoken to acclaimed filmmakers, festival programmes, sales agents and potential co-producers. However, none of this means anything if we don’t make the film. So 2022 will be a year of trying our best to see what is possible, in order for us to make our short film ‘Night Shift’

pitching - When East Meets West

Night Shift is an absurd drama that takes place in Cyprus, or at least a near future version of Cyprus where extreme beliefs have become normalised. A young and enthusiastic cadet named Yasin is assigned to his first shift guarding the Cypriot coastline from the enemy they call outsiders. Yasin is quite excited to be mentored by Gokhan; an exceptional veteran of the border patrol. However Gokhan has a new found passion in life: baking cakes.

Using drama, humour and absurdity, we have attempted to create a narrative that will serve as a warning of prejudices already present in our society. Any co-producers and collaborators out there, reach out to us as we would love to find a way to work together!

My TOP-11 of 2021

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30/12/2021 – Another year of obstacles, barriers, negativity, and the rich getting richer. On the flipside, professionally I moved on to a new job at Imperial College and was selected to develop my new film through the Midpoint Shorts programme. We will be pitching the script in Trieste, Italy during the When East Meets West co-production forum either in person or online. 2022 will be a year to further develop the project and start putting together a team of cast and crew to realise this idea for production during Summer 2023.

I usually like to make my top-10 list of films and tv that came out during the last year. I decided to go with 11 different works; all I think deserve a mention.

NO 11 – IT’S A SIN


NO 9 – BARB & STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR (one of my favourite scenes of 2021!)









My TOP-10 of 2020

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31/12/2020 – What got most of us through the rotten 2020 was endless amount of film and tv content. Out of the countless things I watched this year, these are the ones that stuck with me the most!

My honourable mentions for 2020:

My Top-10:

NO 10 – SOUL: This isn’t as strong as something like Inside Out, however it definitely pushes the boundaries of what Pixar has done in the past. I loved all the very experimental and strange parts, and it came together to tell a funny, heartwarming and at times, very bizarre tale. Have no idea how this plays with the children though!

NO 9 – THE PAINTER AND THE THIEF: What happens when a painter gets in touch with a thief who has stolen her work, but can’t remember what he has done with them? The connection that forms between these two people is captivating to watch, and keeps on surprising until the very end.

NO 8 – COLLECTIVE: A slow burner of a documentary that shows the aftermath of a tragedy from the perspective of a journalist and a politician. The filmmakers had great access to showcase the unfolding corruption and it’s a fascinating insight into a society on the brink of emergency.

NO 7 – THE MOLE: UNDERCOVER IN NORTH KOREA: I had no idea what I was getting myself into before I clicked play on BBC iPlayer. What actually takes place throughout the 2 episodes is insane, mind boggling and just plain absurd! I didn’t know much about North Korea, but watching this, I realised I didn’t know anything at all! A must-watch.

NO 6 – DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD: Another absolute gem of a documentary, where a filmmaker decides to face the fear of her fathers illness and begins to stage different ways of his demise. A strange premise becomes one of the years most touching films. You will smile and cry, confusingly probably at the same time!

NO 5 – MOGUL MOWGLI: Similar to Sound of Metal mentioned above, this film also stars Riz Ahmed coming to terms with an illness that will change his way of life. I really liked how this film depicted the inner turmoil of ones struggle with family and heritage, and how that played out visually. A film with a big heart worth seeking out.

NO 4 – ROCKS: The last film I watched on this list, but what a film it was. The characters, the child actors, the filmmakers capturing the innocence of their world with such ease. I was fully engrossed! A magical film from start to end, which in ways, reminded me of The Florida Project. That’s high praise!

NO 3 – BOYS STATE: Aside from Covid-19, this year was also dominated by the US elections. Watching Boys State in advance of that was a real help to understand not only the structure of such an election, but the dynamics and mentality that drives this important event. Witnessing a fake version of it unfold from the perspective of teenage boys says a lot about the current state of the world. It’s also one hell of a documentary full of all the feels.

NO 2 – I MAY DESTROY YOU: I have already written separately about this amazing show – a unique, brave and significant piece of work that entertains as much as it does subtly educate. A real eye opener of what is possible on television.

NO 1 – LOVERS ROCK: From the comfort of my couch, I was transported to the most amazing house party, where the rhythm of the music took hold, hypnotising me until the credits start rolling. A film where a conventional story or narrative has no place; only the magic of cinema is a requirement, of which there is plenty. My favourite film of the year by far.

Konsomatris is now online!

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16/12/2020 – It has truly been a unique and troublesome year. As someone who is passionately involved in filmmaking, I can’t imagine writing and preparing to make a film, for it to be postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic. The time it takes to fully realise a no/low budget short film, especially in North Cyprus, is enough to take a few years off your life. So I’m very grateful that we were able to shoot our film Konsomatris long before the whole world went into hiding.

Earlier this year, I organised a small invite-only ‘Corona’ screening through Facebook to my friends in Cyprus, and I was truly touched by the response. During the live Q&A, people were vocal and supportive of the themes we were tackling, encouraging me to arrange further screenings. It would have been ideal to have an official screening in a Cypriot cinema where I feel the film is most relevant. There are many reasons for why this hasn’t happened, a lack of political will being one of them. However, I do take into account the sensitive nature of the film’s subject that even today, most Cypriots have not come to terms with. By having the film publicly online, there is always the possibility of creating a spark for a healthy and positive debate. There is also the chance of me getting a phone call to take the film down. We shall see.

Criticism is a desire to want better, for positive change, to create awareness, to not settle for the status quo. Yet a machismo mainstream exists through a significant part of the population that rejects any kind of scrutiny. It’s within this absurd reality that I will attempt to write and produce future work. Until then, I leave you with the story of Ahmet and the journey of many others he represents, with the link to Konsomatris (Hostess). My writing and directing partner Alasdair Bayne and I are forever grateful for those that supported us.

Duality: The grey lines of The Last of Us and I May Destroy You

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16/07/2020 – During the pandemic of Covid-19, many of us have found ourselves consuming media on another level, to an extent that streaming services had to decrease the quality of their videos in order to make sure the internet doesn’t come crumbling down. And thankfully it hasn’t, otherwise I wouldn’t have experienced the two masterpieces that I would like to talk a bit about.

I recently completed my play-through of a game called The Last of Us: Part Two. It’s rarely that I write about games, as I still feel the stigma of the negative connotation it has; waste of time, childish, non-productive, non-serious etc. Yet, time after time, I have been taken aback by the advance in quality of the storytelling it can offer, and the immersion of the player in the protagonists story.

The Last of Us: Part Two was a long awaited sequel to the original 2013 game, another masterclass in the craft of narrative gameplay. Yet, Part Two takes things further in such a way that it leaves you gobsmacked in its audacity. A game that dares to piss you off, to challenge you, to put in you in the shoes of someone you want to hate, to push you to see things through different perspectives… It’s overlong, it’s depressingly grim, yet flashes of life affirming scenes keep you moving forward, with characters you love to hate, and hate to love. Whether it’s better or worse than the first game, it’s undeniable that it’s a game that has to be experienced.

Around the same time, I also began to watch the BBC series I May Destroy You. Set in a pre-Covid London, it tells the story of Arabella – a writer trying to focus on her new book whilst also being a twenty-something; hanging out with friends, drinking, doing drugs, basically being a human being. Then along comes a blankness in her memories. A scar on her forehead. The premise of her tracking down what happened one night in a bar eventually becomes an example of superb storytelling, as each character struggles to come to terms with errs of judgment, confusion over consent, guilt and their own silence. One episode focuses on a character gaining her voice back in such a way that they become another cog in the machine, to be used and consumed by those who express their extreme love. Other episodes take the characters back to their childhood in their school days. Seeing how those we have identified with until now treat others, is what binds this game and series together for me; the courageous duality so expertly expressed by the creators is mind blowing.

As someone who enjoys writing for film, to analyse both has been fascinating. The Last of Us: Part Two begins with familiar characters you have spent hours with in the first game and love dearly. To spend even more time with Ellie and Joel is spine-tingling. Seeing their life-like faces on the TV screen again is a profound experience. Yet, it doesn’t take too long before the narrative shows its true nature and you as the player find yourself falling deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. The crescendo leading up to an unexpected perspective shift is so strong, as is the hollow feeling you are left with soon after. Like the game, I May Destroy You also forces you to see things from multiple perspectives. It’s a challenge that we aren’t accustomed to, yet it’s one we all should face. This series is so fun, colourful and full of funny characters; whilst the subject matter of each of their storylines, the very opposite.

For me, it was all about coming to terms with the reality of each world. I May Destroy You presents London as most of us know it; a metropolitan city full of opportunity, joy and deceit. It showcases a high level quality in drama and comedy, wrapped in rape, sexual harassment, identity and gender issues, to ultimately broaden the mind of those who deem themselves open minded. The Last of Us: Part Two does something similar. By focusing on two severely damaged characters, and forcing you to spend time with them, with actions you openly reject, it questions our own nature on how open we are to empathy, understanding, and ultimately, moving on.

To take the decision to leave a relationship, to quit a job, to leave our comfort zone is extremely difficult. It’s not really in our nature to do so. Yet, doing so is usually what frees our mind. Nothing is really black and white, and when we tackle the grey lines of life, that’s where we can further ourselves as human beings.

The Last of Us: Part Two is available on Playstation 4.
I May Destroy You is available on BBC iPlayer and HBO.

Konsomatris: From Conception to Culmination (Part-2)

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12/01/2020 – The advantages of filming in North Cyprus are also equally balanced out by its disadvantages. There isn’t a functioning film industry, so seeking cast and crew is not the easiest task. Yet there is a crave for art and creativity and this means you are bound to find the right leads with enough luck. Following a tip from a close friend, I met a young man named Nehir in February 2018 for a chat. I had also brought along a couple of pages of a scene that I had written down for him to read. On subsequent visits, Ali and I met many other aspiring actors, most of which were studying drama and stage performance at university. Yet Nehir always brought something special to each of our meetings, and that solidified our thinking to cast him in the main role of Ahmet.

                                                               Nehir Karaaslan as Ahmet in Konsomatris

To cast Veronyka, we had to forgo the possibility of casting in Cyprus. Being a relatively small community, people were not keen on portraying a sex worker which meant looking elsewhere. Although nightclubs and what goes on within them is very clear to everyone, it also sadly remains a taboo and not many people like to speak about it. Following a call out in London, and meeting a few candidates, Maja Laskowska clearly emerged as the one to commit herself to embarking on a memorable visit to Cyprus for our short film project. I say memorable not only to describe the production itself, but because during her stay, her flat welcomed an uninvited guest one evening. To Maja’s surprise and delight, that guest, a very loving white cat, gave birth to two tiny kittens on her bed on the first night. The intricacies of filmmaking at its best!

                                                         Maja Laskowska as Veronyka in Konsomatris

Production took place over 6 days towards the end of February and early March 2019. Also on board was Andrew O’Connor, an immensely talented Director of Photography, who with limited resources, made the film look like a film. Every day was a mix of an adventure and a nightmare, and it’s hard to summarise all that what went on. February was one of the rainiest months in a long time, leading to floods. There were flight cancellations, meaning Gunyol Bakoglu (playing the father character) who we were flying in from London, would nearly miss the shoot. Yet, beautiful surprises also occurred, when thirty extras turned up for a much-needed crowd scene when we were hoping for ten at best. Watching the footage at the end of each day gave us confidence that we were piece by piece, putting together something worth our while. Running around like headless chickens, occasionally, does pay off.

In June, we returned for pick up shots and additional dialogue recording. Most importantly, we had one week to fully focus on the edit and craft the film we had envisioned. It was comforting to see the film cut together nicely; our elongated planning had paid off. A few scenes were removed in their entirety, other scenes trimmed to the length that best served them. The colour grading, the sound mix and visual effects, are all vital to the film and can only come together after a long process of careful deliberation.

In nine minutes and forty seven seconds, we tell the story of Ahmet, a young boy, who desperately wants a girlfriend, but is considered to be inadequate. This lack of machismo is re-enforced by his father, a dominating patriarchal figure, and his gung-ho, laddish friends. Only by going through the Turkish Cypriot teenage tradition of losing his virginity to a sex worker will Ahmet gain the right to become a man and win the heart of the girl he desires.

Thank you to everyone that supported us on our journey during the last 3 years – we truly appreciate it.

MY TOP-10 OF 2019

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31/12/2019 – Another year, another bunch of great film and television! As I was busy making my own short film, I initially thought I didn’t get a chance to watch as much as I did last year. Looking back though, I seemed to have watched 98 films and 15 seasons of various television series this year. So… I guess overall not too bad 🙂

My runners up for 2019 are:

Time for the Top-10!

NO 10 – LEAVING NEVERLAND: A two part documentary that analyses in detail the sexual abuse inflicted on two young men by Michael Jackson. It’s hard to imagine watching this and still doubting whether the events actually took place or not. A harrowing but important watch.

NO 9 – YEARS AND YEARS: A six episode series that says so much about the current state of the UK, and the world as a whole. In its core, its a story about a dysfunctional family which we can all relate to. Yet, each episode takes us further into post-Brexit, a second term with Trump, a civil war in Ukraine with refugees in the UK, and even nuclear explosions – a world that is scarily not too far removed from the one we currently live in now. It’s geniusly put together, and never been so relevant.

NO 8 – ONE CHILD NATION: When I think of China, the first thing that pops into my mind is that its the place where families used to be allowed only child. After watching this documentary, it really puts the whole process into perspective – forced abortions, mandatory sterilisations and a dark industry for child adoptions. It goes to show that a state having total control over bodies will never be at our best interest.

NO 7 – THE KINGMAKER: Documenting the life of Imelda Marco, the first Lady of the Philippines, may seem like a boring subject matter at first. Yet, Imelda is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve watched in a long time. Rich, powerful, deceiftful, and potentially, a mass murderer. By telling the story of her life, the film impressively reveals the history of the country and the lead up to the current events that has led the people to elect Rodrigo Duterte as President.

NO 6 – THE NIGHTINGALE: I watched this film shortly after finishing the book ‘Thicker Than Water’ by Cal Flyn, which was a great companion piece in order to familiarise myself with Australia’s dark past of colonial genocide. Aisling Franciosi stars in this immensely dark story of brutality and revenge, and she is something special indeed.

NO 5 – HONEY BOY: Who would have thought a film written by Shia LaBeouf, one that is based on his own life story and where he plays his own father would turn out so good? Well, it did. Pretty damn good!

NO 4 – GIVE ME LIBERTY: An independent low-budget film that may not even make it to the theatres; one which I’m so glad to have caught at the London Film Festival in October. Filmed and edited with a frantic pace quicker than a Michael Bay production, this magical story that takes place in a run down American city (Milwaukee) is full of passion, excitement and love for humanity.

NO 3 – PARASITE: Bong Joon-ho, a master at analysing the society and the divide in rich and poor, once again has put together a film that blends multiple genres that tells one cohesive story. Imagine riding an unpredictable rollercoaster ride; risky but oh so exciting.

NO 2 – FOR SAMA: As the Syrian war continues on, those that live far away in safety feel more comfortable in ignoring it. This documentary brings back the immediacy and human side of the struggle to the forefront. The horror of the siege of exposions and carnage is at times unbearable, as the main characters – a couple and their child – document their daily lives in a makeshift hospital. There is one particular scene that involves a baby that is guaranteed to stick with you long after watching the film.

NO 1 – HONEYLAND: A bedridden mother and her daughter, in an empty village in rural North Macedonia, who survive by beekeeping. The drama that unfolds by simply following these two characters is pure cinema. It’s always hard to list films in a specific order, but Honeyland has stayed in my mind the most out of all the films this year.

Konsomatris: From Conception to Culmination (Part-1)

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29/12/2019 – Alasdair and I arrived to a supermarket and had parked the car; we needed some snacks. To our left, also parked, was a white van. And one by one, a group of young women (sex workers) in colourful, sporty attire, led by one man in sunglasses (their pimp), got out and walked towards the entrance of the supermarket. His attention now solely on them, Alasdair gestured towards me with an enquiring look. As a Cypriot from North Cyprus, this wasn’t something out of the ordinary for me; it’s oddly very normal. Yet, to see my colleagues fascination with this instance was something that created that initial spark. It was the March of 2015, and we were on a short trip to Cyprus for a reccee of locations for Haftasonu, the film we were going to make later that Summer. And inadvertently thanks to this brief interaction, we knew what we would try to do next.

Consommatrice (french) [ feminine ]
1. One who drinks alcohol in a bar.
2. One who purchases a product or service to satisfy their needs.

Konsomatris (turkish).
1. A female bar hostess who can be purchased for sex with men.

Konsomatris was born from a multitude of experiences. It’s also a predicament I found myself in during my late teens. Whilst most boys around me were boasting about their delight at visiting the nightclubs, I was never too keen to do the same. It’s acknowledged that not all nightclubs in North Cyprus are simply a place for boozing and dancing, but a destination for debauchery that includes prostitution and sex trafficking. Deeply embedded into the society, these clubs attract all sorts of characters full of machismo and are accepted as venues for the rite of passage of young boys to lose their  virginity. This particular culture forms the backbone of the patriarchal society and shapes the lives of the people within the Turkish Cypriot community.

In November 2016, having already agreed with Alasdair (who I will refer to Ali from now on) to co-write and co-direct a short film, we began to note down our thoughts, and outline a rough structure. Weekly meetings at cafes, getting excited over new ideas, jotting down new pathways… By the Summer of 2017, we ended up with a 40 page script. A page-turner full of drama, intensity, and thrills: A story of a young woman from Ukraine, charmed by a young Turkish Cypriot man, who invites her to work at his club in Cyprus. Only on arrival, she realises what the job really entails, and her fantasy of a perfect island life disappears. She escapes the clutches of the evil club owners, and eventually finds herself at the border crossing between the North and South divide of the island, without a clue what will come next. A symbolic representation of both her predicament, and the island itself. Realistically, it wasn’t something we could even fathom putting together, and more importantly, not a story we particularly wanted to tell. It lost that personal, honest touch and had become, in essence, a cliched drama about a young women forced in prostitution. What captured our imagination the most though was a group of young boys who she encounters during her escape; these innocent looking teens out for an adventure to fulfill their desires.

                                                                       Storyboards from Konsomatris

Ali prodded me to talk more about my personal experience as a young boy. The feeling of peer pressure, raging hormones, the fear of being called gay, the wish to be like others and fit in… Trying to remember the most banal details; how much money it cost, how did you get there, who did you go with, how did you choose, who greeted you, what the women was wearing, her age, what you talked about, how was ‘it’… The aftermath, feeling of being a man, the guilt/non-guilt, nonchalance… Suddenly, the film wrote itself. It stopped being a drama, and became a piece of observation. What became apparent was our desire to have less dialogue and more emphasis on visual storytelling. We liked the notion of the audience taking a step back and witnessing the scenes, not fully empathising with the protagonist – now a 17 year old boy in high school. And over the course of a week or so, a new 15 page script emerged.

                                                                       Storyboards from Konsomatris

After some attempts of seeking funding, it became clear this was going to be a self-funded project. In 2018, we began looking into how to cast the film. Between Ali and myself, we travelled to Cyprus five times. We met potential cast and crew, we did readings and rehearsals, we were introduced to people that volunteered to help us, we spoke to many men and their experiences of visiting the clubs. We spoke endlessly about our ideas, debated our themes constantly, storyboarded each scene to both of our satisfaction, redrafted the script until we knew it by heart. We even paid a visit – strictly for research purposes – to one of the clubs. Overall, we embraced the bizarre feeling of being on the precipice of the unknown future. We both had full time work, and to balance that with making a short film abroad, combined with all the responsibilities of being a producer, made us think: Would we really get the chance to make this film?

MY TOP-10 OF 2018

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31/12/2018 – According to my calculations, I watched 104 films and 14 seasons of various television series this year. Out of these, here are my best and worst ones that came out during 2018 in the UK.

First of all, my list of Runners up in no particular order. The first five are amazing documentaries which are thrilling, informative, and shocking; the other four range from a beautiful Palestinian father and son story to the most mainstream superhero film ever.

I also absolutely hated three films this year, the first of which I will never fathom how much praise it has received. They don’t even deserve a trailer hyperlink.

  • Annihilation
  • Downsizing
  • Erase & Forget (the perfect title haha)

So, time for my Top 10!

10- Coco: Pixar did it again, just in time to counteract all the racial hatred and instead embrace the love and humanity that all people can embody. You will laugh, you will sing and oh boy, you will cry.

9- American Animals: A very unique take on a true life story, where the narrative combines fictional and documentary elements to perfectly put together a mainstream piece of cinema. Exemplary work.

8- Eighth Grade: Every year, it seems there is one amazing high school film that shows the highs and lows of the growing up years. This film is that, but goes a step back into the secondary school years of the main character instead. Very funny, immensely touching, and also has one of the scariest scenes I’ve seen in a long time.

7- Of Fathers and Sons: Imagine spending years with an extremist family, documenting the family dynamic, watching kids being slowly engrossed in a dark, sinister world. And despite all that, seeing so many similarities with the day-to-day life of any family on this world. Eerie, and an essential watch.

6- Roma: One of those films that grows on you. It starts off very slowly, and continues with a constant but intentional pace. But with each frame, and with each left to right pan, scenes begin to create an absolute epic story of a family life, and the people in the background who are never given the spotlight. The film could’ve been overloaded with nostalgic sentimentality, but instead masterfully tells a very personal story with enough distance to create a gorgeous tale.

5- Evelyn: The film I cried the most whilst watching. The best documentary I’ve seen this year. So simple in nature, yet that’s where its beauty comes from. Effortlessly powerful. The most human film you will see this year.

4- Leave No Trace: The story of a father and daughter, both who trying to stay connected with each other and the world, yet constantly on the move. One of those films you know is great from the get-go. When a film masters the art of being subtle, yet being able to say so much, all is left is to lean back and enjoy the craft at work.

3- Better Call Saul Season 4: Still for me the best television series out there. The attention to detail in each frame, and the creation of such an atmospheric soundscape continues to mesmerise me each year.

2- Blindspotting: This film absolutely took me by surprise. I could easily write a whole piece on the subtext of each scene, how every line of dialogue and action has a meaningful pay off, how the film can change its tone so expertly from comedy to dark drama… It’s the film I have rewatched the most on this list. The best script of the year by far, with one of my favourite film scenes EVER. You will know which scene I mean when it happens. Breathtaking.

1- The Square: And at number one, we have the funniest film of the year. And the film isn’t even a comedy. It’s a film you can’t fit into any genre, it contains everything about the absurdity of life, people, situations, but does it in such a fresh way, you can’t help but sit in wonder and astonishment as the whole thing bombards you with greatness. I loved, and adored this film. It’s strange and peculiar, and ever so crazy. Definitely not everyones cup of tea, but it was mine.

The Curse of a Short-Term Existence

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02/08/2018 – The all mighty homo-sapiens seem destined to live in cycles of repetition. They aren’t infinite – on average, they exist for about 80 years. During this lifespan, it’s very hard for most of them to make long term decisions, knowing that they won’t be around to witness the outcome. Homo-sapiens aren’t that humble; we gain emotional satisfaction and pride from the results of our actions.

We think, act, and seek short-term.

Humans have normalised and conformed over millennia, to the idea of having a family and continuing the blood line. Therefore, we find ourselves in a bubble that requires immediate attention, emotion and priority. This is now the real world, and its safety is of upmost importance. As the world continues to struggle along, for many, it’s all about strengthening the exterior of the bubble.

This bubble eventually becomes the old generation, and whom the new younglings look down on, just how the old look down on the young. The youth now look and act different, even speak strangely, whilst the inhabitants of the bubble see everything as a conspiracy to bring down what they have worked so hard to put together (It’s never really considered that putting a safe haven together shouldn’t be so hard, and be made much easier by our governments, who on the contrary, have fields of money trees).

In any case, a threat to this system is what the state and government fears the most. The best way for authorities to counter this is with basic human emotions. This will, in most cases, win over factual arguments or scientific research. A bus with an ad on the side stating a slogan of millions of pounds going to the NHS is more effective than newspaper articles saying this is not true. A politician, loudly and confidently stating what he is thinking, no matter how insensitive and horrifying, is more powerful and rewarding than someone else calmly observing the situation and stating the case of the opposite.

This is why governments and authorities speak a lot about change and vision, but in reality, especially in the attempt to seek re-election or to keep the people on their side, resort to more immediate and emotional responses to problems that arise. It’s all about the short-term, and how to preserve their existence during this time period.

This can be traced back to the history we have been taught in school. We were told that 1945 is where the modern world begins. Following two World Wars, we said ‘Never Again’. The United Nations is established and all is jolly good. This has always been the ultimate simplification. Maybe it is what most of us wanted to hear as a way to move on, but in reality, wars and atrocities never ended.

1946 birthed the first sign of the Cold War, with the USA and the Soviet Union on the brink of war over Iran. The establishment of the state of Israel, a safe haven for Jews following their horrifying near-extinction, brought upon the ongoing persecution of the Palestinians. The Korea War was around the corner, along with the Greek civil war. Vietnam was boiling. West vs. East. Right or the Left. Democracy and Communism. Us versus them. Establishing an opposite to maintain a superior ground. The means justify the end, no matter what it takes…


It does not take much to get lost in the countless articles detailing the amount of wars and death this has resulted in since the Second World War. Both the USA and The Soviet Union, now Russia, continue to install bases of influence around the world in order to keep their narrative going. Oppression somehow still continues on, no matter how much freedom to the people they are offering.

From the age of 6, I grew up in Northern Cyprus, on an island so small, its division is still relatively unknown to the outsider. During my childhood and early teens, we were pumped with propaganda, both by the state and the ‘motherland’ of Turkey. We were the good guys, always struggling for existence, whilst the enemy now to the south, were the barbarians, always on the look out for blood. Lucky for me, I was able to widen my gaze to learn about differing perspectives, and the grey area in between the black and white. In war, there are no innocents. In an elongated struggle, the cause defies morality.

People are very easily duped in to the idea of waging an ‘honourable’ war. It’s so easy to look at a group of refugees and say ‘let them drown’, or not to care about yet another bomb going off in the Middle East. It’s scary how people get swept up in a nationalistic speech by a leader and suddenly forget, the homeless, the poor, the corruption, the oppression, caused by the same leader. As we all seek comfort, even for a second, we close our eyes and imagine the utopia that is promised us can be a reality. Most of us give in.


We can easily step by step follow the results of the 2003 Iraq War, a war that started based on non-evidence, to the present day:
– A ruined Iraq
– Thousands dead
– Civil war
– A ruined Syria
– Thousands dead
– Millions homeless
– The refugee crisis
– The rise and fall of ISIS
– Extremists bombings abroad
– Conservative politicians continuing a war rhetoric
– Liberals struggling to find a way through the hate
– EU Referendum/Brexit
– The Trump effect
– Far Right governments in Europe
– Less support for human rights, arts, culture and equality
– More emphasis on fear, racism and intolerance
– The further division of people within a country

With the rise of the extreme far-right and fascism now clear as ever, the narrative to conserve, to protect and to see an outsider as a threat is at the forefront. To see yourself as a superior being. To suddenly fear the end of the White Race. To look at a past life through the prism of nostalgia, and wish for its glorified return. Suddenly, racist businessman, hypocritical politicians, murdering dictators, affluent King’s and Queen’s, and all the greedy Excellencies, represent the people, or so they say. Newspapers word the headings to articles in such a way, that you start thinking Tommy Robinson is a hero of the people, and not a dangerous, violent criminal.

war peace

The impact of hate and wars fought due to carelessness and ignorance goes on for tens and hundreds of years. Generations are still traumatised by wars they were never in; for children and the grandchildren of the Holocaust survivors, and other atrocities since, it becomes inherited into their, and our very fabric. This may harden us and we shut down. For some, it offers an opportunity to keep a consistent higher morale ground to never let it happen again.

The struggle with short-term will continue on.

Images were sourced online, and can be removed upon request.