Declaration of Solidarity by the World Blind
We are the representatives of the organizations of the blind from various countries who are gathered in the ancient theatre located in the ruins of Troy, hosted by the office of the Çanakkale Governor, at the invitation of the Turkish Federation of the Blind, in keeping with the fact that 2018 has been declared the “Year of Troy” by the government of the Turkish Republic. Each of us is working to strengthen people with visual impairments in our own geographical area by establishing local, national and international networks, and considering each other from the perspective of knowledge and love.
Today, we have come here to these fertile lands of ancient times tested by war and violence with our messages of solidarity, peace and fellowship.
Embracing the blind poet, Homer, who depicted the Trojan Wars in a lively, colorful and effective manner in his epic The Iliad as our common value, and taking the world-wide solidarity and fellowship of the blind into consideration against the brutality and cruelty of the war described in this unique masterpiece; in this mesmerizing atmosphere created by these feelings we would like to call out to all the communities around the whole world to say the following:
According to research, the number of persons who have lost their lives in local, regional and global wars throughout human history is as high as the present population of the world. In the First World War, one of the two most deadly catastrophic events of the 20th century, 17 million people lost their lives, and 65 million people lost their lives in the Second World War. The number of injured was twice as much.
War is one of the main reasons of disability. A non-defensive war is a crime against humanity and is irrational as a problem-solving method. By destroying people and nature, it destroys civilizations created over thousands of years. This is because a substantial part of the pecuniary resources is spent on the development and trade of mass destruction weapons, rather than on eradicating hunger from the earth, on solving problems such as the ones faced in health, education, social security, rehabilitation, accessibility and on increasing the welfare of people. Therefore, war is the greatest obstacle to the progress of humanity.
The blind are the most sincere and determined opponents of war, as war increases the population of the blind to a significant extent and leads to the use of resources needed in the prevention of disability or in improving living standards for persons with disabilities to be wasted.
Since the early ages, persons with disabilities have been ignored and totally disregarded in time of war, as they are the most degraded, marginalized, neglected and forgotten population in the community. War eliminates human values as well because it darkens the souls and makes them more selfish and violent. The greatest force behind the fight of the blind is universal humanitarian values and public conscience which war also destroys.
Ensuring the world to be a very peaceful environment is in favor of the blind from every angle. In this way, the huge amount of money allocated for war would be spent on solving the fundamental problems of humanity, on improving the level of prosperity and happiness. The blind would get their share of this. As more resources would be allocated to health services, to prevent traffic and occupational accidents, to eliminate poverty and ignorance in a permanent peace environment, the number of persons with disabilities would decrease. Therefore, importance would be attached more to the solutions of the problems of persons with disabilities on education, rehabilitation and employment; discrimination against persons with disabilities would be prevented; and more intensive efforts would be made for training and awareness of the community about persons with disabilities.
With those ideas, we would like to remind you of one of the meaningful expressions of the Republic of Turkey’s founder Atatürk: “Unless the nation’s existence is in danger, war is murder.”
We promise to work full steam ahead to ensure a future in which blissful peace and fellowship blossom and in which wars turn into memories imbedded in the history books.