The Truth That Politicians Should Know

I happen to visit many countries of the world as part of my job. No matter what country it is, each of them have certain behaviours that almost never change.


For example, in middle- and higher-income countries, it has become customary to complain about the high cost of living, the general laziness of the society and the quality of country politics, to keep a distance from tourists and foreigners, and to make cruel statements about immigrants. The people of these countries think the same when they are at home or work and they do not hesitate to get into violent arguments with others, if necessary. It is possible to see in Turkey’s big cities the same ways of thinking we witness in countries such as France, Germany, England, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Croatia, Greece, US and Canada.


In densely populated and lower middle-income countries, on the other hand, people do not have much time to think about these things, especially about high-income classes, because they work overtime almost all the time to meet their basic needs. Interestingly, local politics is strong in these countries, no matter how autocratic or centralized they might be, and you rarely come across people who openly criticize the government. The reason why they remain silent is because they want to become more powerful by eventually using politics or ingratiating themselves with politicians, or because they are ordinary citizens who fear that something might happen to them if they say anything negative about their leaders, therefore they avoid talking politics especially while they barely make ends meet. People in these countries are different people at work and at home. These “suffering” souls who keep their heads down at work and other social settings are either very good or very bad people at home. They frequently vent their anger and frustrations on their family, or they are quite affectionate at home because they are in a position of authority during their day jobs. These types of behaviour can often be observed in Russia, China, India, Middle East Countries, Africa and Latin America, and of course in Turkey.


The reason why there are so many people in Turkey displaying both of the different behaviours I mentioned above is about the identity crisis. According to some scholars, Turkey is “the most eastern of the West”, while others think it’s “the most western of the East”. When people on the street are asked whether they consider themselves “Asians”, their answer is “no”. But, when they asked if they think of themselves as “Europeans”, their answer would vary from person to person. They do not accept being a MENA people, but they often live like them, they confuse democratic rights with selfishness, they prefer individualism or being an insignificant part of the masses, instead of being a part of a group. They try to use politics to serve their own interests and want to be on the winning side. That’s why it is not possible to know their final decision until it is time to cast their votes.


Therefore, it is quite difficult to accurately forecast the election results in Turkey due to all the reasons I have listed above. There is a huge difference between those two citizen types, and they always have difficulty in understanding each other. It is hard to bring them together in a common interest, but, though rarely, they can unite to change the course of history. Although this change does not always bring about positive results, it is an important fact that all politicians in this country should know.