A Film Review: ZAP BRIDGE THAT CONNECTED THE EAST WITH THE WEST

1103-zap_afis_02_fl1960s was the period for hope and rebellion. For Arthur Marwick 1960s was a cultural revolution. With the destruction of Berlin Wall and the decline of USSR, many viewed 1960s as a failure. Maybe it was politically a failure; however, the values of 1960s still exist with feminist, civil right, black, LGBT movements, etc. Director Bahriye Kabadayı’s documentary” Devrimci Gençlik Köprüsü” is a look into the 1960s student movements in Turkey. To tell the story she uses film clips from the 1960s movements all over the world, footage of Hakkari and interviews with local people, the politicians of the time, and then students who went to Hakkari to build the Zap Bridge. It is an interesting and didactic documentary for the audience to look at the 1960s from the perspective of the main actors of the era- students.

In Turkey, revolutionary youth built a bridge in Hakkari since they “believed in the possibility of a different world”. Working class people, military, youth and the peasants came together for the “revolution”. The publication of the poem, Anayasso, in the late 1960s by Şemsi Belli in Milliyet was about the difficulties of Hakkari people in passing the Great Zap to go to Şavata. Meanwhile government was planning to build a bridge in the Bosphorus to reduce the İstanbul traffic. Revolutionary youth claimed that it would cause the establishment of other bridges and unplanned urbanization in İstanbul, environmental problems (some neighborhoods were destroyed for the bridge) and create unequal regional development. The government, on the other hand, viewed them as anarchist and resisting the change.

Bahriye Kabadayı gives in the first place, brief information of the era which paves the way for those who are unfamiliar of the history of 1960s. She then focuses on students to explain what really pushed for students to build that bridge in Hakkari. She points out the fact that in the first place, the student movements emerged for equal education opportunities for everybody and a democratic university. However, with the civil rights defined in the new constitution of 1960, it easily turned into a protest against “anti- democratic government actions, American imperialism, common market, and assembly industry.” The young people believed that they had a mission and they could do something beneficial for this country as they were the educated minority in Turkey.

At this time the world was talking about the first man, Armstrong, walking on the moon while Turkish media published a picture showing people passing the Great Zap with a wire. This led to the emergence of a campaign for building a bridge in Hakkari. The educated young people would build it and also get a chance to get to know the Kurdish people. They found the East isolated and consisted of bandits. Railways were ignored and people were afraid of the terror. It was like a different planet says then students in the interviews who were mainly coming from the cities. Local people also surprised that they were working for the benefit of them who mostly never hold pickaxe before. Deniz Gezmiş was especially a symbol of the movements of the 1960s. Since he was in jail of Bursa, he could not participate in the establishment of Zap Bridge. However, local people identified the bridge with Deniz Gezmiş.

Throughout the documentary, Kabadayı speaks as the narrative and explains his experiences when she goes to Hakkari. Through the interviews we learn that people could not speak Turkish and make themselves visible for Ankara at that time. They even did not know what tomato or aubergine is. Thus there were inadequate infrastructural, educational and health structure. However, by not providing subtitles for those of us who cannot speak Kurdish, the audience can only learn the feelings and experiences of the local people through the interviews made with then students or the politicians of the time.

Kabadayı emphasizes that 1971 memorandum and 1980 coup also created an apolitic youth and new debates surrounded in the Kurdish question, debates on secularism, increasing terror and migration to urban areas which left the East especially more isolated. As a result, Boğaziçi Bridge could not solve the traffic problem in İstanbul and led to the creation of more bridges which are all costly despite governments’ promises over its free status. With the increasing population of İstanbul, the city lost its socio-cultural and historical structure and turned into an unplanned metropolis.

Since Zap Bridge was the symbol of a good future for the people in Hakkari “where people wishing the peace live in”, this bridge for the young people also connected the West with the East. However; in May 1999, Zap Bridge was destructed although it is unclear who did this. Throughout the interviews we see that whoever did destroy the bridge are the ones wishing for the “war” rather than the “peace”. In the last scene of the film Bahriye Kabadayı sums up the main argument of the film by saying that “the only solution is to look at the life from the perspective of the people”.

Gülşen DOĞAN

 

Advertisements

SECOND WORLD WAR THROUGH THE EYES OF GERMANS: ‘’OUR MOTHERS, OUR FATHERS’’

*German version is also available
asd

‘’Most people think that war usually goes by fighting. This is not true. War is about waiting. Waiting for the next attack, waiting for the next morning…’’

We all know that there are many movies about the Second World War, made by certain countries, especially by the U.S. However, it is not always the best idea to try to understand a certain historical process from only one perspective. Actually, to have a better understanding of history, we should focus on how it affected the people living in the location where the incident happened, and how the narratives are constructed through such feelings. Mini Tv-series titled ”Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter” will be covered within this context, to see how WWII is regarded to German society, which will also provide us to see what is beyond the war.

The unstoppable German army Wehrmacht is 500 km away from Moscow. All German people is sure about the victory, or seems to be sure to a certain extent until the approximate time of the end. All kinds of discourse of the loss on the war will be lost is forbidden. German youths who have entered the age of 17 in every house have sent to North Africa for war, Soviet, Balkan, Europe, shortly to the whole world. Adolf Hitler, who wants to bring the Soviets into line before the United States enters the war, is waiting for an exact win. Adolf Hitler lost the Battle of Kursk, which was the scene of Stalingrad and then the greatest tank battle of history, due to strategic mistakes. After the extraordinary destruction resulting from inevitable withdrawal, the greatest evil was made not to the Jews or the people of Europe, but to their own people.

“Five people, five friends. We’ve known each other since we were kids. We thought ourselves invincible. “

The mini-series, written by Stein Kolditz, tells the story of five childhood friends gathering together in Berlin June 1941 to hold a goodbye party for the three among them who are soon to head for Russia, Wilhem Winter and Friedhelm Winter in the army and Charlotte as voluntary nurse while Greta Müller and Jewish Viktor Goldstein stayed in Berlin. The group hopes to come together again in Christmas, however, not only it became impossible but also the war became brutal to the extent to survive and to preserve their humanity in inhumane conditions.

Unlike their counterparts, the stories of extraordinary heroism were not included in the Jewish persecution and Nazi fascism while doing their self-criticism desperately. In addition to accepting the heavy responsibility of being the loser side of the war, it has been barely told how the German people are being brought about by the Nazi ideology. Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter was actually a small cross section of the despair of millions of Germans, whose lives have been shaped by Nazi ideology that spread to every house. It is the dramatic cry of the Germans, who say that millions of innocent people are losing their lives and that “Our mothers and fathers have died for nothing, we suffer as well as everyone else.”

ZWEITER WELTKRIEG DURCH DIE AUGEN DER DEUTSCHEN: ‘’UNSERE MÜTTER UNSERE VÄTER’’

“Krieg ist die meiste Zeit nicht Kämpfen, sondern Warten, warten auf den nächsten Kampf, warten auf den nächsten Morgen…”

Wir alle wissen, dass es viele Filme über den Zweiten Weltkrieg gibt, die von bestimmten Ländern gemacht wurden, besonders von den USA. Es ist jedoch nicht immer die beste Idee, einen bestimmten historischen Prozess nur aus einer Perspektive zu verstehen. um die Geschichte besser verstehen zu können, sollten wir uns darauf konzentrieren, wie es die Menschen betrifft, die an dem Ort leben, an dem der Vorfall passiert ist und wie die Erzählungen durch solche Gefühle konstruiert werden. Mini-TV-Serie mit dem Titel ”Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter” wird in diesem Zusammenhang behandelt werden und wir werden sehen, was der Zweite Weltkrieg für die deutsche Gesellschaft bedeutet. Es wird uns auch gezeigt, was es außerhalb des Krieges gibt.

Die unaufhaltsame deutsche Wehrmacht ist 500 km von Moskau entfernt. Alle deutschen Leute sind sich sicher über den Sieg. Alle Arten des Diskurses, dass der Krieg verloren sein wird, ist verboten. Deutsche Jugendliche, die in jedem Haus 17 Jahre alt geworden sind, haben nach Nordafrika für den Krieg, Sowjetunion, Balkan, Europa, kurz in die ganze Welt geschickt worden. Adolf Hitler, der die Sowjets in Einklang bringen will, bevor die Vereinigten Staaten in den Krieg eintreten, wartet auf einen genauen Sieg. Adolf Hitler verlor die Schlacht von Kursk, die der Schauplatz von Stalingrad war und dann die größte Panzerschlacht der Geschichte aufgrund von strategischen Fehlern. Nach der außerordentlichen Zerstörung durch unvermeidlichen Rückzug wurde das größte Übel nicht den Juden oder dem Volk Europas, sondern dem eigenen Volk gemacht.

“Fünf Leute, fünf Freunde, wir kennen uns schon seit wir Kinder waren, wir haben uns für unbesiegbar gehalten.”

Die Mini-Serie von Stein Kolditz erzählt die Geschichte von fünf Kindheitsfreunden, die sich im Juni 1941 in Berlin treffen, um eine Abschiedsparty. Wilhelm Winter und Friedhelm Winter gehen in der Armee nach Russland und Charlotte als freiwillige Krankenschwester, während Greta Müller und der jüdische Viktor Goldstein in Berlin blieben. Die Gruppe hofft, wieder in Weihnachten zusammenkommen zu können, aber es wurde nicht unmöglich. Der Krieg war brutal, deshalb ist es sogar schwer zu überleben und ihre Menschlichkeit unter unmenschlichen Bedingungen zu erhalten.

Ihre Selbstkritik ist einer der wichtigsten Teile der Geschichte. Außer der Akzeptierung der schweren Verantwortung, der Verlierer des Krieges zu sein, hat es kaum gesagt, wie das deutsche Volk von der NS-Ideologie herbeigeführt werden. Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter war eigentlich ein kleiner Querschnitt der Verzweiflung von Millionen Deutschen, deren Leben von NS-Ideologie geprägt, die zu jedem Haus verteilt. Es ist der dramatische Schrei der Deutschen, die sagen, dass Millionen unschuldiger Menschen ihr Leben verlieren und dass “Unsere Mütter und Väter umsonst gestorben sind, wir leiden wie alle anderen”.

İlayda BAL

Political Science and International Relations