Monday October 5th, International Studies will hold a Film Screening and Dialogue with Mehmet Ates, Turkish teacher and filmmaker working with Syrian Refugees. His latest short film shows the impacts of Covid-19 on a family whose livelihood is collecting plastic waste. He also has a film featuring a family of nine, who face challenges as they make Turkey their new home.

The screening is at 4pm on Oct 5th in Herrick Hall, and the Q&A Discussion is at 4:30 in Herrick or via Zoom. RSVP by Sunday October 4th to

Films by Mehmet Ates:

Naked (December 2019, 25 min)

A family of nine people who escape from the war in Syria live in a white house in İzmir which has very poor conditions. All of the family members have emotional division and adaptation problems in this new world. The children’s increasing demands for freedom is seen through the family’s bird cage with an open door.

Corona and Plastic (April 2020, 7 min)

COVID-19 has greatly affected the most vulnerable groups. A Syrian family earns their living by collecting plastic waste in a western Turkish city. When the COVID restrictions hit, the father and his children are obliged to stop collecting plastic waste off the street .


Mehmet Ates has been volunteering with Syrian refugees in Turkey since the civil war began. His initiatives focus on integrating Syrian children at school. He is the peace coordinator of Servas Turkey. Servas is an organisation which is based on exchanging cultures, fighting against prejudice and promoting peace mostly by travelling and hosting people in homes. He has been running International Servas Peace School every summer since 2009. Volunteers from across the world are invited to stay with families in his village and share with children and locals.

Mehmet studied at Aegean University, International Relations in İzmir, Turkey and earned his Master’s Degree in Germany in 2018. The title of his thesis is, “Immigration and Integration Policy of Germany within the Context of Syrians”. He has a blog called Life with No Prejudice. He published his first book; Keşf-i Antakya in 2015 which tells the multicultural life experiences in Antakya through life experiences of people.

October 2, 2020