Peace and People


Sunday 06 December, 2015 by Uncle Spike

Like any conflict on the world stage, everyone of us has very personal views, and the situation in Syria is no different. This post isn’t about political debate; that’s not my thing. But however you want to look at it though, ordinary people are yet again the victims of brutal oppression, war, and terrorism on a scale hardly imaginable.

There are 4 million Syrian refugees outside of the country, 2 million of which are in Turkey, and 7.6 million internally displaced. The war just entered its fifth year, so far claiming the lives of around 250,000 civilians. 
See “Travelin’ Kait” below for attribution of this quote

We have so many refugees living on the streets here in Türkiye. To put the numbers into perspective, we have a refugee population that equates to over half the population of Ireland, Norway, or New Zealand, or that which would exceed the entire populous of countries like Namibia or Qatar, or twice the residents of Bahrain or Estonia. Irrespective of our views on tackling the war(s) in this region, the level of human displacement is staggering.

That’s just within Türkiye. Total displacement of Syrians amounts to FIVE TIMES that.




Recently I came across a small mosque (image above) in the backstreets of Izmir, the third largest city of Türkiye, situated about half way down the western coast. The concrete grounds that surrounded the mosque was packed with refugee families. There were barefoot children, blankets shared by whole families, and an air of hopelessness. I chose not to photograph the people; that’s not my thing. I believe they have a right to privacy too. We helped a bit, and my son was able to see first hand how grateful the kids were (as was the teary-eyed ‘elder’ we chose to seek advice on how best to distribute what we had).


And then this week I read this…

“It is so hard to see how much they [have] gone through and how poorly they are being treated in the countries they are fleeing to. The Syrian people have already gone through so much already, I wish the rest of the world could realize that they are all people just like us and should be respected and loved like anybody else.
My wish for all people around the world is that the refugees could be looked on with eyes of mercy and compassion. They have been through unimaginable things and are only hoping for a brighter future. I hope one day the world can come together to realize that behind the label ‘refugee’ are people who just want to be treated with respect and love.
For one month we volunteered with the Syrian refugees in Bodrum, Turkey.”
Source: Travelin’ Kait


The words quoted above are not from some multinational charity, they are not from any left-wing/ liberal politician either. These are the words of a 16-year old. A young woman travelling the globe with her family and is making an effort to understand humanity for what it is.

It sometimes seems that the world has a lot to learn from our younger generation, if only we’d listen. For all the military action and political inaction out there, it’s all about people, isn’t it?




19 thoughts on “Peace and People

  1. Janice says:

    Reblogged this on Ontheland and commented:
    There are so many ways that we are informed these days. What we hear, see and absorb depends on a variety of factors. I am quite moved when I read this straight forward post from Uncle Spike in Turkey, in which he reports on the plight of Syrian refugees. I am touched by the vast numbers of people displaced within Syria, fleeing Syria, and seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. I am also moved by the compassion and concern shown by Uncle Spike and another blogger who he quotes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Janice says:

    Hi, I am thinking about reblogging this post tomorrow. It had a significant impact on me and I’d like others to see it. I’m hoping this will be OK with you.


  3. It is a complex issue Spike and you have my respect for trying to tackle it. To some extent it comes down to priorities. This month of Christmas our TV commercial breaks in the UK are overwhelmed with appeals – Water for Africa, Homeless People on the streets, Syrian refugees, Adopt a Snow Leopard etc. How are we supposed to prioritise?


  4. A beautiful post Spike .. And yes those people have been through so much. Bless them ..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. dayphoto says:

    The air of hopelessness…oh how my heart bled, when I read those words. Yes, it really is about people, but those in charge only see power and money. People are expendable.




  6. Janice says:

    Thank you for this post…I respect your choice not to photograph.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sue Slaght says:

    Bravo Spike! I have goosebumps reading this beautiful post. Although it is a drop in 4 million, as you may know ,Canada hopes to bring 25,000 refugees here by the end of Feb. Dave and I and a group of friends await our family which we have been approved to host. We keep saying ‘Any day now.’ We hope their arrival and life in Canada will be full of welcome and love. How wonderful that you and your son could help out in your country which must be overwhelmed with need.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. tchistorygal says:

    What a touching story, Uncle Spike. God bless. Have a wonderful Christmas season.


  9. What a genuinely lovely post…you are right the post is not about any political issue but one of compassion to our fellow people who have no-where to go – no home to live in. It’s very very sad. Did love the comment from the 16 yo…what a smart and caring person. But what a lovely compassionate and caring person you are to do what you did…

    Liked by 2 people

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