Foreign journalists ‘do not reflect reality’ of Syria

Ex-Syrian journalist living in Istanbul says she wants end to ‘brutal massacre’ of her home country
ISTANBUL (AA) – Foreign journalists are not reflecting reality of the civil war in Syria, according to a former Syrian journalist, who now lives in Istanbul.
Rusha Altabshi, who used to work for a local newspaper called “Life” in Syria before the start of civil war, said local and foreign news journalists were reporting “differently” on Syria instead of depicting the reality on the ground.
“We could not understand what was happening in the first days of the war,” the 36-year-old woman told Anadolu Agency as March 15 marks the seventh year of the outbreak of civil war in Syria.
According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict that has been raging on since 2011.
Before the war began, Altabshi said she used to write news focusing on women and even now she continues to write about them.
“After the war began, I continued writing on women, sadly because what happened was very bitter,” she said.
“I focused on women who were raped and I tried to evaluate the events from a more rational point of view as I saw awful incidents.”
Altabshi said she was forced to leave her profession after she left Syria.
“I could not write anywhere since 2013,” she said.
“My dream is to see my name again in newspapers. I hope the war in my country comes to an end as soon as possible.”
Before coming to Istanbul, Altabshi and her family lived in Germany for around a year-and-a-half.
“We did not feel we belonged to Germany, culturally and socially,” she said.
– ‘Happiness by working’
“Turkey has both western and eastern culture but in Germany we were living in a camp.”
While Altabshi lives in Istanbul with her sister, their mother lives in Turkey’s southeastern province of Gaziantep.
“We are very pleased [to be here] and happy,” she added.
Her mother took some handicrafts classes and was now making wooden objects, which she then sells them.
“My mother found happiness by working. The real reason for my mother’s happiness is Turkey. Because Turkey offered us the opportunities and a comfortable life.”
“Istanbul gives me and my sister a positive working energy and motivation; we are very happy,” she added.
Turkey opened its borders to millions of Syrians.
“I am very pleased with all the steps taken by Turkey on Syria.”
The only thing Altabshi said she wants now is the end of the brutal massacre in her home country. “If the whole world wants, they can unite and end the ongoing massacre in Syria.”
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. This led to a military conflict between the Syrian opposition groups and the Assad regime over the war-torn country’s territory.
Iran has been supporting the Assad regime during the war while Russia intervened in September 2015. Peace talks were launched in Geneva in 2012 aiming to find a political solution for the conflict while Astana talks began in 2017 discussing a cease-fire that has been fragile so far.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed in the conflict, mainly by regime airstrikes targeting opposition-held areas while millions more were displaced. During the conflict, Assad regime was accused many times by many international actors of targeting Syrian civilians by chemical weapons.

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