COP 26 is coming to an end this week. We’ve heard pledges of coal phase outs and ending fossil fuel finance. Pledges are good, but action is better: people across the world are already struggling with the impacts of the crisis and every second the world leaders delay action, the crisis deepens.
Last week, I visited Konya – a historical city and a home of whirling dervishes in Central Anatolia in Turkey – and witnessed the impact of the crisis with my own eyes. Once known as the “granary of Turkey”, the fertile lands of Konya are under threat from drought. As if this is not enough, coal extraction is busy destroying the agricultural lands, basins, and livelihoods of communities in Konya.
An open coal pit mine has been destroying the livelihoods of villagers in Konya for some time. In the first half of 2021, for the first time, villagers in Ilgın / Konya organized protests and at least temporarily, they succeeded in stopping the expansion of the coal mines. Yet, once the resistance slowed down, coal mining restarted.
Throughout my trip, I followed news from Glasgow but the fancy words of politicians fell too short to grasp the destruction in the middle of Anatolia. I kept asking myself “is it still possible to hope?”
The answer is yes.
Watch a story of hope, told from the middle of Anatolia:
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Hope is in the eyes of young people, climate activists, and dreamers filling the streets of Glasgow and public spaces all around the world.
Hope is with the frontline communities across the world rising up for a fossil free future. And hope is with us if we join the people at the front, fighting for a better world.
No matter how much the darkness surrounds us, as long as we continue to fight, as long as we keep up the pressure, there is hope. Because we are hope.
With special thanks to 350 volunteers in Turkey to spread the seeds of the video in a workshop with Artivist Network.
Performer: Hilal Sibel Pekel
Videographer: Sıla Ünlü İntepe
Music: Ozan Baysal
Sounds FX: Ozan Baysal & Barış Manisa
Mix & Mastering: Barış Manisa
Video project coordinator: Ezgi Öz
Story & Producer: 350 Türkiye