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tv   Quadriga - The International Talk Show  LINKTV  April 23, 2016 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT

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>> is islam a religion of peace or a jihadist ideology? theus -- theus a question provoking sharp questions here in germany. it says that unlike christianity or judaism islam pose as threat to democracy. at first glance developments in the arab world might be seen as supporting the claim for popular movements there have largely been stifled.
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how combatable are islam and democracy that's what we want to talk about on "quadriga" with woodland kramer. she sa it dends on w slims understand and live islam. muslims can be good democrats. and tip bauer is a political scientist and an expert on islam. she says the recourse to religion is often used to coverup simple power interests. this is true for islam and other religions as well. and bill posner. he says being religious means serving god before the state and in this case islam is no different from buddhism and christianity. let's begin by taking a look at what's driving the a.s.d. it won quite a bit of support in regional elections with its anti-migration stance. so this this latest turn simply
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a faurter refinement of that zeno phobia? >> i think so to an extent. it's a shift of focus because the majority of refugees that have come into the country the past few years are of muslim creed and religion. but i think they also feed into a widespread feeling of unease and possibly even a sense of threat among segments of the population and they're constantly feeding into it. i think adding to a very, very problematic atmosphere in the country. posner he fact is ellen that the number of migrants have been falling since some of the initiatives that have been taken by the government. is this a desperate ploy on the part of the a.s.d. to stay in the headlines? >> no. it's -- what they realize is the more radical they get the more they tap into the vast number of
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people who haven't voted, who don't vote, who are dissatisfied with the system as a whole. nd they take xenophobia, islamophobia as an event for the whole parliamentary system. so saying that islam is somehow undemocratic is like caling the kettle black because what the a.s.d. is after is attacking the whole parliamentary system as nonrepresentative of what the people really think. >> populace pears everywhere at the moment are in revolt against what they call political correctness. is that part of what this anti-islam talk from the a.f.d. is about? >> some -- somewhat, yes. because the political correctness was for example used last year when there was a million refugees pouring into germany. so what they see is that -- that there's nobody who is really
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descending occidental interests or the interests of germany, the right wing and those on the extreme right and what they say is they want to create a picture which is to say the islams they are too soft and they are avoiding germany to develop and to have the strength what they shall have in the world. >> polls this week showed the a.s.d. with record numbers if an election were to be held this coming weekend. the a.s.d. would get 13.5% of the national vote. that's only about six percentage points less than the junior partner in the governing coalition the governing democrats. that puts them with the greens and kramer. does that mean people like to new message of anti-islam? >> it's very difficult to say. i would come back to this word a term, rather, of unease and
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lateened sense of threat among people who would not vote right-wing if they were at the polling station, i would argue some of yes, it's expressive of a wider sense but it's also a conscious urge to push people further in this direction. i would say that we're not yet at the polling station. we'll see what comes over the next few months and of course, the other parties they are active trying to shift the focus of attention to other issues. so as to sort of take off some of the weight that's been put recently on the question of immigration and cultural cohesiveness and authenticity. identity politics are truly interesting. of course, we also have to look at the contra dictions between depicting german values on the one hand and this claim that be
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true to -- true western values that the a.s.d. is putting forth. points?it win is it winning points with this talk? >> it is and it will. it's happening all over europe. and it happened in the 1920's and 1930's. you know, this is what you do. you mobilize people's unease. you turn it into angle. you direct that angle against a part of the population. be it jews, be it muslims, be it whatever. it's says to say it's different and not they're the same as us as you use it for political ends. t works in poland for mr. ka chinsky. it worked in the 30's for mr. hitler. and so this is -- this is just -- it's bad.
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it'ser visit. -- it's evil. and evil works. >> the head of germany compare this is talk on the a.s.d. on the part of naziism? >> i think this might be a little bit exaggerated regarding the die mention which it has -- dimension which is coming out right now in germany. it's something that we haven't seen in 40, 50 years. i think we see a part of the ciety coming up and having a weight inside society which they did not have before. maybe because they didn't speak out like you said because they didn't vote. i think there's something else. i think there's -- like a feelinof parts of the germans right now that they don't understand the world anymore, that it's not the world they
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used to know. it has become more complicated. germany has taken a lot, a lot of years to understand that it's a migration country especially he right part of the conservative part of the population tries to deny that and say they will go back. now is the point where they have to recognize there are many people coming from outside and the difference of religion or maybe a different culture and they come here to stay. and so i think what's going on right now is a lack of capacity to a changing situation and to understand that in the globalized world things are different and germany is different. >> that's a detailed description of the unease that you talk about, professor kramer. do political elites get that? they have roundly condemned these statements by the a.s.d.
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aren't they doing enough to reassure those who feel a sense of unease? >> the thing is how do you reassure someone who is xenophobic? society will have to change and of course, i understand that certain people don't sigh why they should change simply because refugees come into the country who they welcome. but that's life. and i do not think you can reassure them. what you can do, of course, is work on social policies and really do something against this -- within the limits of the rule of law, of course, against the violent expression of xenophobia. just like you have to do something against islamism. >> speaking of political elites, this latest controversy arose in connection with a draft party
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program by the a.s.d., in which it turns on its head a formulation used by a former president. he said islam belongs to germany. and the a.f.d. says islam does not bloppings to germany. the chancellor reinforced that earlier message. let's take a look. >> for my part, i'd like to report from former german president said. islam belongs to germany. that's true. i also hold that opinion. >> islam is in the a part of germany but we have fully integrated citizens they are part of germany. >> so ellen posner, the second half of those two sound bites she doesn't sound like the neo nazi she is often felt to be. what's to object to there?
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>> the first part of your question, does she sound like a neo nazi? of course. she doesn't. she isn't a neo nazi. she is a racist. she's the leader of a party that's going for racism ever more. the point they won't run around with skinheads going like this. that's been proven not to work. now the softer approach. and t second is, what does it mean "fully integrated muslim." am i a fully integrated muslim if i demand that they serve her haran meals? it's my right. there have been attempts to force schools to serve pork in germany in order to exclude these people. i mean, what do you mean by fully integrated? and this is -- this is the kind of soft talk that, you know, in the end the point is to say that they can want be fully integrated because their religion isn't going to allow them that.
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>> up to 5% of the population is muslim. a negligable number. is that fully integrated? >> do muslim women who wear scarves are they fully integrated? because for the a.s.d. asked hem to push away -- not to use the head scarf. and so the question is the definition. i think it's clear here. i think the authorities talk about 1,000 people who are triffs or would be terrorists -- possible terrorists and all the others are not obviously. and the most of the muslims here in germany even don't go no the mosque. they don't even pray. that's not our deal to talk about this.
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do they pray or do they go to the mo k? don't care if my so-called christian neighbor goes to the church or not. that's their private thing. as long as they stoic our constitution and live peacefully. that's what the big majority of them do. i don't have a problem with them. >> look at this draft program of the a.f.d. does indicate some of the points that it might expect fully integrated muslims to give up professor, kramer. it would ban the cull of the muasen. it would ban the public wearing of both the berka and the nihab. isn't that tantamount to banning the religion itself? >> not necessarily because according to muslims, theologians and lawyers you can practice islam without those elements. but that's a minority position. that's not really representative. i would argue that the problem is that this position stands in conflict with the german
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constitution because we are a secular country with the freedom of religion with the bounds of legal requirements and there's nothing in the constitution na bands the wearing of the head scarf. that would be my position. you can argue about the full body veil because that is a different matter all together. but i do not see how constitutionally you can defend the ban on minerettes. when the muez disturbs the public peace there might be a limb to that. but that's not what they're talking about. they're trying to make islam invisible and to ban any expression of muslim affiliation and that is a problem and it does not go together with our laws. >> the draft program appears to want to make a distinction between orthodox islam and other forms of islam and it claims
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that orthodox islam is not really john but a political program. would you say that that's true if not for moderate muslims then perhaps for fundamentalists? >> in order, does islam lead to thee ottke si if you take it at its most fundamental? >> yeah, every religion leads to thee yocksi so does catholism and protestantism. geneva.ive -- we've had -- we have theocratic communities like the mormons in the united states of america. we've had parts of jerusalem you try to drive a car friday evening you're going to get stones thrown at you because it's shabat there. 's a tendency in all religions and of course within islam.
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it's the job of moderate people within the religions and it's the job of moderate states to curve that. the point is within the islamic world there are such things as moderate states not because of islam but because of the general dictators have been oppressing the majority of the people ever since it cake out of turk and have forced islam -- since it came out of turk and forced islam. >> you said in your statement that in the end there really isn't that much difference between the various religions when it comes to politics and the potential for violence. >> but is that really sflue the bible for example, contains potential ex-sort tations to violence but in fact, few christians would be ready to gird their loins and marning into holy war. >> the question is how you live this? i think the important point here
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is how is the influence of religion on the state where you live? and i think that's the important point. people abide to the state's laws . the role of religion is something which goes back to private life. so -- and in the moment in which there's a conflict between religion and the state obviously it is the state law which is -- which is the important one. so i think that makes a difference in the end. and you have -- you said that kama ataturk was authoritarianian. i agree. he was. he was a sort of model. it was an approach step down but he was a model who tried to try to make a secular state work in long m state with a muslim history. there were some things which worked out.
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education, they have something. they have a core of democratic values. i think it can work. but the point is you have to kick religion out. what they're doing now right now in turkey is that religion is coming more and more. >> i want to come back to the turkish example until a moment. let me ask you this, professor, staying with the question of theology. one muslim intellectual said after the 911 attacks by no means every muslim is a terrorists, most terrorists at the moment are muslims. is that link a theological link or a apply cal link? what's going on? >> it's difficult to clearly sort out whether something is purely religious or purely political. i would think that a whole combination of factors have led to that statement and entities correct. but if you look at the present
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situation, the majority of terrorists are muslims and claim to act in the name of islam. but the problem lies in the generalization that you say because that is the fact now it has to be like that and it's within religion. they tell them to do that and those y act and follow injunctions. that's where the problem resides. and the imperative is to deal rather than ists deal with the violent and such which makes it harder because if you constant tell them that they're the same as the militants, how should they act? how should they be part of society if they're under this constant cloud of suspicion. >> let's look beyond western societies now because when we take a look at the arab world, it is the case that popular
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democratic movements there appear to be in retreat. >> in the country's first freely contested election the islamic brotherhood took power but the movement didn't hold it for long. after months of turmoil, a cue dethat led by al-sisi, the former general later became general in disputed elections. since then both the military and police have cracked down on opposition even more than during the mubarak era. despite that many ejections except the autocratic regime, they feared if al-sisi was toppled the country could descend into chaos. is this evidence that western
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democratic principles simply don't it in the arab world? >> why did the arab spring fail to produce a democratic summer? is islam somehow not fertile soil for those democrat ink -- democratic seeds that were planned there? >> on one end you had islamic party who is said they did politics in the name of islam. in fact, it was a power play. and they didn't want to share. they were in the tradition of dictatorship like the dictator who is had been forced to leave. so in most of the countries people who did not agree to them, they thought the only other alternative was the other sight. we have come to the old
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polarization with this sem lar lead which has established a dictatorship before and is establishing a dictatorship before. here in yemen, same thing and iraq, the situation is different but it's also along the lines of power play in the end. and religion is being used for this. >> the done country -- the one country that's being held like that is tunisia. how stable is democracy there? >> impossible to say because i would fully agree with what was said. i would not look at religion as the decisive element here. i would look at the complicated mixture of economic problems and power politics and the fight betweener let's there are islamists elites and muslim elites in these countries. so it's not just one side only. so tunisia will suck seize r -- itf it saw some of the
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solves some of the demick economic d -- problems. it wou have deal wh the economy and if that does not succeed, it will not be a question of islam or not. it will not be a very prosperous society, let's put it that way. >> let me add something to this. the interesting thing is that tuesday thing? sha has since -- in numbers, the maximum of female the islamic state but they really all come from the internal part of the country which is much less developed, where young supreme no perspective whatsoever. that is something where they go where they can identify themselves where they get money from and glory. >> the negative examples don't only drom the arab world. turkey was mentioned as a positive example but the fact is democracy is looking pretty
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embattled there as well. >> well, turkey -- democracy is always 'em batted. it's embattled in ukraine. it's nonexistent in russia. nonexisstant in wide russia. look at spain, greece. common. this is not a specific problem. and if it is a specific problem of the arab world it has to do with the fact that all these countries, egypt, syria, iraq were basically socialist countries with state owned everything. the masses didn't have anything. there was no such thing as the middle-class which is the pillar of democracy. it emerges that this middle-class is often turns to islam as a vehicle for gaining power as they have done as the a.k. party has done in turkey. if we clamp down on that and side with the elites who we call secular are just as repressive as anything we know from our own history. then we're making a huge
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mistake. we have to -- i'm not sure that, you know, the muslim brotherhood is a partner anymore but they could have been if we turned to them in time. with ve to realize the more that you oppress a religion and a group of people the more they're going to radicalize. this is what has happened. >> professor, a cup of -- couple of sentences. islam and democracy how can we invite a better fit? >> you cansk them about tir eas aut good sopet and good government. what you'll hear rule of law, transparency and democracy. not necessarily -- so it's not islam. it's muslim. >> thank you very, very much. thanks to you out there for joining in. and i hope to see you soon. çó@♪
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damien: hello and welcome to "focus on europe" -- with some of the very best human stories behind the headlines from all over europe. i'm damien mcguinness. thanks very much for joining us. on the programme today, saving the programme today, saving -- on the programme today, saving norway's fjords. turkish delight for syrian refugees. and why the amber of poland is more than just a trinket. but first the northern english town of rotherham.
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a place, which for many of us from the u.k., has become synonymous with one thing -- a shocking sex abuse scandal. for a decade-and-a-half, hundreds of vulnerable teenage girls, my of them underage wereroomed a sexuallabused by ggs of me and what made the case evemore diurbing ithat manof the people w were supposed to prect the rls ignored what s going . some pole office even bled the rls themlves forhe abe. and cause ma of the perpettors werof pakisni origin, some officials turned a blind eye, because they were nervous of being branded as racist. but now, one of the survivors is using her traumatic experience to help other victims. >> rotherham is a typical northern industrial town. but now, it's also known as "the most shameful town in britain." it's where hundreds of children and teenagers were groomed and sexually abused. jessica was one of them. sixteen years ago, the now 29-year-old was basically still
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a child when she met a man who turned out to belong to a gang whose members were largely of pakistani origin. >> he was 24, smartly dressed. i was quite enamored with him. he was kind and gentle. he came into my world and he found out everything there was turned know about me. what music i like. who my friends were, my family were, what school i went to. what my interests were, my hobbies. >> jessica never suspected that this kind and friendly man, ten years older than she was, was a drug dealer and child molester. she gave everything up for him, isolating herself from her friends and family. only gradually did he start to reveal his true, violent nature. jessica, overwhelmed and helpless, went alo with everything.
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jessica: he used to beat me. i was in over my head. at my age, i did not even know it was physically possible to do that to someone. >> shame kept her from confiding in anyone, even her sister. but her parents, who had briefly met the man, sensed their daughter was suffering. jessica's father would spend evenings searching the pubs and hotels of the city, trying to find his daughter, who sometimes disappeared for days at a time. her family was gravely concerned and turned to police early on. >> they used to threaten us. threatened to remove me dad from the police station. >> that was the experience of many families rotherham, whose children fell into the grip of the pakistani gangs of child molesters. rumours were rife about the gang' criminal dealings. they victimized some 1,400 children and teenagers in
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rotherham. but neighbors remained silent, and for years, the police covered up for the perpetrators. jayne senior was part of an independent youth project helping victims of sexual violence. she was one of those responsible for bringing the scandal to light. jayne senior: we had a lot of comments about not wanting to upset the muslim communities. this has actually caused more damage then if we did ask a gone into those communities 10 years ago and said this is happening, can we work together? >> nearly 200 police officers in rotherham are under investigation, but much remains unclear. there's a great deal of shame over the matter, and questions about the scandal are unwelcome, not just within the muslim community.
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>> no. >> we have to finish work. we have to go on. >> sorry. >> i cannot talk about it. sorry. >> the police commissioner has failed to do his job. and a lot of people in the council building have the failed to do their jobs. at the minute, we have government and our town. they are solving things, which is good. hopefully, it will get done soon. the media makes it too big, i think. >> jessica was finally able to have her story heard, and with the help of a victims' support organization, she filed charges against her abuser, arshid hussein. he's been sentenced to 35 years in prison in one of the first trials against the rotherham gangs. jessica's mother did not live to see the sentencing. her family believes she died of
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grief. the trial ended just two months ago, and jessica hasn't yet recovered from her experiences. the best thing for her is to be with people she trusts. jessica: i want to focus on my health and spending time with my family. in the investigation has taken up so much time. it went up to one half years -- up two and a half years. >> jessica intends to continue helping to uncover the child sex abuse scandal. she encourages other women to file charges against their abusers. but that activism has also made her a target of threats in rotherham. damien: clearly, a very brave young woman. joining me now in the studio is susanna doerhage, who made that report. now, susanna, when you were out filming in rotherham and talking to local people what was the atmosphere in the town like? susanna: it is very bizarre.
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the people do not want to talk about it, because it was very scandalous. we had to film in private because it was dangerous for jessica. the man who tortured her raise in prison now, but his friends are still outside. damien: four other young woman in that region, how risky is it to be out at night and to be on your own as a young woman? susanna: it is still risky, because the men are still there. there is still a woman telling the stories, who met one mother. she had an older daughter, who is still in this group and cannot go out, even if she is late. damien: the women themselves, it is difficult for them to break away from these almost relationships they have with their abusers. susanna: that is theroblem. that means they are sometimes living with them for years.
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these are very horrible relationships. even a horrible relationship, it is difficult to break out. some even have children with these men. damien: i remember when the scandal broke, it was really big news in britain how has a change society? susanna: the police will take very seriously what young woman tell them. they did not take it seriously, because these young women often came from poor families. they just did not listen to them. damien: because these were young women the police thought were themselves at fault for what happened. susanna: yes. they thought the woman were lying. perhaps, there is all so complicity with these gangs, because of their arch rock dealing gangs. -- because these are gerard dealing gangs -- these are droid dealing -- drug dealing gangs.
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damien: how part of the race aspect is in the story? susanna: they do not realize the asian-british committee in the motto veil and, they do not realize what happened. we talked to a taxi driver, and he said he is sure these women are just trying to get money in e end. damien: it is a very complicated situation. susanna: we also met a young boy, pakistani british, who told us it was hard for him at school, because he sees young girls and he does not want them to be raped. damien: it is a very complicated and disturbing story. we'd love to hear your thoughts out it, and in particular how you'd react if a young person in your family was affected. you can reach me on twitter, email, or facebook. let me know what you think about that or about any of the stories on today's show. i don't know about you. but i always imagined scandinavia was exemplary when it comes to looking after the environment.
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and when i was last in norway, i was amazed by the beauty of the norwegian landscape. but norway is also one of the few nations where tipping mining waste into the sea is allowed. even into the country's stunning fjords. which is why local people living near one particular fjord in southwest norway are particularly worried. >> today's catch is pretty good. plenty of monkfish, cod, and tusk. eiliv erdal has been fishing the waters of the forde fjord for many years. after a short career in the military, he decided he'd rather work and live surrounded by nature. eiliv erdal: on a beautiful day like this, it is impossible to understand that someone would think it a good idea to destroy this beautiful scenery. i think the only natural thing to do is live here and enjoy the nature. as the people here do. or as a tourist.
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>> the fishermen here are under pressure from a mining company that wants to begin extracting a mineral found in the cliffs of the fjord. erdal fears that if the miners are allowed to get to work, the days of plenty here in the fjord are numbered. by the time operations are in full swing, he says, he'll probably be out of a job. eiliv erdal: they're going to take the top off the mountain, and then they are going to quarry it out then start tunneling in. the worst part is that the waste from the production goes into the fjord, and they will fill it up to 250 meters, destroying local life in the fjord. damien: -- >> the norwegian government has given the firm nordic mining a license to exploit the resources.
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politicians in oslo hope the project will create jobs. there's little work to be had in the region. vidar helgesen: it is about balancing industrial jobs, value creation, with effects on the natural environment. when in this case we have given approval for this industrial development, it is based on thorough environmental impact assessment. >> people in the village are very worried. together with conservation groups, they're demanding a ban on the marine disposal of waste from mining. only five countries in the world still allow it. opponents say if the project goes forward, the seabed in the fjord will take generations to recover -- if it does at all. hanna louise thingnes: the company admits it will die, but they say it will be the same after 50 years. but it will not.
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it has taken thousands of years to shape of this environment and the sea, and all of the animals and fish will not be here. some will come back them up a will not be the same as it is now. >> nordic mining is after the mineral rutile. it's used as a pigment -- for example to make the brilliant white in toothpaste. the company wants to extract it for the next 40 years -- which would create 250 million tons of slurry. eiliv erdal: the whole area around us is going to be the wasting ground. >> erdal is also worried that toxic sludge could be carried out into the open waters of the north atlantic. many people here rely on the fjord for their subsistence. around half of erdal's income comes from either fishing or tourism. eiliv erdal: it means a lot to me, locally growing up.
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i am 47 now, and i am really looking forrd to the catch this time of year also. >> the family also runs a cafe right on the water of the fjord. guests come here to enjoy the breathtaking natural surroundings and home-style norwegian food. traditional baked goods, and of course, lots of fish. the mining company claims that fishing is little more than a hobby for the people here. that accusation makes the fishermen angry. eiliv erdal: it is a selling point, that it is a clean fish. to say it is a hobby, it is interesting -- it is more people working with regard to nature in this area then nordic mining is providing. >> many of the families in the area that will be impacted most by the mine are refusing to accept the government's decision. hundreds of demonstrators have blocked streets leading to the site. some have been hit with stiff fines. erdal is happy that his problem
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is now a topic all over norway. despite the opposition, nordic mining has been pushing ahead. tracks like these left by digging equipment are fresh. the boreholes help illustrate exactly how deep the company plans to go. it's a long way to the bottom. eiliv erdal: i hope this is the biggest hole they are going to make. >> eiliv erdal hopes that in the end, the social and economic costs of the mining project on the forde fjord will eventually cause the company to cave in. he dreams of building and running a hotel on its crystalline waters. one that -- of course -- would serve fish. mien:ext, to rkey, whh after ars of bng practally ignod by theuropean ion, is suddey being ken extremelseriouslby policians. nothat's becausturkish lp
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is beingeen as ccial to solvg the regee cris. but heren german dealing with turkey is extremely controversial. some people i talk to are nervous of relying on the turkish government, which they accuse of clamping down on freedom of speech. but chatting to others, i've also noticed a certain amount of anti-turkish prejudice that is deep-seated in some sections of european society. which is one reason why many europeans just don't realise how much turkey is already doing to help syrians fleeing war. particularly in the border city of kilis, where there are now more refugees than local people. >> what they're doing is creating something beautiful, that will bring pleasure to others and put a smile on the face of a child. after years of war, misery, and death, these syrian women have found a new purpose in life here in the turkish border city of kilis. najlaa sheekh used to be a teacher in damascus. she fled the fighting three
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years ago and set up this project called "kareemat," meaning proud, independent, and generous women. >> as i walked through the streets of kilis, i saw all these syrian women with nothing to do. i asked them whether they had any skills. many told me they could sew. i told our turkish landlord about it, and he oered me money. so i bout some fric and equipmt and inted the women to my ho. and that's how we got started. >> their toys are selling well. most of the women working here have children, so najlaa has also set up a kindergarten. she now employs 20 syrian women. a landlord giving money to his tenant to start up a project is surely a rare event, but that's what happened here in kilis. before the syrian civil war, kilis had 90,000 turkish residents and a small syrian
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community. but when the fighting broke out in syria, refugees began pouring into the city. 130,000 syrians now live in kilis, which lies just ten kilometres from the border. turkish flags still fly in the centre of town, but the influence of the syrian arabs is evident right across the city. most of the refugees live side by side with the turkish residents in modest accommodation, paying cheap rent. but a few thousand syrians are also housed in a refugee camp on the edge of town. hasan kara is the mayor of kilis. he says his city has been so successful in integrating the refugees that he believes it qualifies for the nobel peace prize. and so, he's more than happy to support the kareemat project. he releases a dove of peace for the cameras.
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this particular initiative doesn't quite want to get off the ground -- but kara remains optimistic. >> i invite the united nations and all the aid organizations of the world to come to kilis and see how hospitable people are here towards syrians, even though the economy is not doing well and our options here in kilis are limited. >> he's certainly right about one thing -- even though there are now more syrians in kilis than turks, there have been no attacks on refugees or refugee housing. it's a model of integration. so the mayor has started up an official campaign -- calling for the nobel peace prize for kilis. and to prove to us how well syrians are doing in kilis, he takes us round the local shops, where many of the refugees have found employment. >> i've lived here for four years.
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some turks are nice, others don't treat us so well. but all in all, we're living here together well. >> our boss is turkish, and she treats us like sisters. >> this is the sunny side of kilis. but the civil war continues just ten kilometres away, and often overshadows life here on the turkish side. two shells landed in kilis while we were there -- one just 50 metres from a school, a second hit a residential building. it's impossible to know whether they just strayed across the border or were a targeted attack. a short while later, some turkish residents complain about the syrians in their town. >> i don't want all these syrians living here anymore. i want them to go. we can't do this anymore, they need to leave. >> there's no work here because of the arabs. i'm out of a job.
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there's more and more coming. >> but najlaa sheekh says that's not the opinion of the majority. she and her husband are convinced that relations between turks and arabs here in kilis could hardly be better. >> when i walk around kilis, the vegetable man greets me, and so does the hairdresser. we have a good relationship, and they're very friendly to me. i do not get that in syria. >> najlaa would love to have her relatives in syria join her. but turkey has closed its doors to syrian refugees. so for now, kilis won't be getting any more newcomers. even this exemplary town has its limits. damien: whenever i get to poland, one of my favourite destinations in many towns and cities is the amber market. amber is, of course, a speciality of poland. tens of millions of years ago, scandinavian conifers ended up buried in sediment in the baltic
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sea, where their resin hardened to lumps of golden amber, often with insects still visibly trapped in the translucent stones. until recently, amber was mainly seen as bargain trinkets for tourists. but today, it's becoming more and more valuable -- and not just as necklaces and earrings, as we found out by taking a tour of a rather unusual collection of amber on the polish baltic coast. >> lucjan myrta's life's work. the largest private collection of amber in the world. the artist and collector is proud of every piece, every picture, every figure. he made all of them himself. myrta has turned around four tons of raw amber into art over the course of his career. he started with a single kilo. the collection is now worth around 40 million euros. >> this piece is dedicated to the sea.
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down here at the bottom, i've created the seabed. further up are different fish. and then up on the surface and above it is the world of birds and plants. >> demand for amber is growing. many chinese, for example, believe it has healing powers. buyers have offered to purchase myrta's works -- possibly to turn them into cheap jewelery. and wealthy russians have also shown an interest. they wanted to buy the entire collection and ship it to moscow as a gift for vladimir putin. but myrta wants it to remain in poland. >> they were a bunch of greedy middlemen who wanted to grab as much as they could for themselves. but their greed got them nowhere. there won't be a permanent exhibit in the kremlin. >> this is what raw amber looks like -- fossilized sap from trees that lived millions of years ago.
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only when the dull chunks are cut and polished do they reveal their true beauty. prices for amber have risen to giddy heights in the last few years. but the artist and collector isn't interested in money. myrta dedicated this masterpiece to his daughter ewelina, who died when she was 23. the treasure chest is his magnum opus. the artist worked on it for 12 years. around a ton of amber went into its construction. a work worthy of being displayed in the famous st. petersburg "amber room," which was lost during the second world war. myrta's huge private collection is made up of thousands of individual works. as he grows older, he is beginning to think about his legacy. >> i don't have any grandchildren and don't need money. my only wish is that the works
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will be exhibited. >> and the collection grows by the week. when he sees a piece of beautiful amber, lucjan myrta is driven to turn it into art. and he says he never runs out of ideas. damien: impressive. well, that's all for this week. do let me know what you think about furniture made of amber or any of the stories on today's show. next week, michelle will be back again. and she'd love to hear your thoughts, too. so do tweet or email us your comments. but in the meantime, it's goodbye from me and the whole team here and look forward to seeing see you next time. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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