Time to Look in the Mirror…

I’d like to dedicate this report to two of the many virtues of Turkish people: “ability to cope with change” and “short memory”. These two features sometimes rely on and sustain each other. These certain characteristics of Turkish people give everyone born and bred in Turkey the right to comment freely on everything form football to politics, economy to atom physics.

Most of the people expressing opinions on economy, politics and football believe that they will cope with change easily, but when the exact opposite of what they say turn out to be a reality, they choose not to care at all since they think others will pretty soon forget the comments they’ve previously made. Are they thinking wrong? Sadly, they are not.

Even the financial crises, inflation and devaluation in Turkish financial history explained in details in “Olaylarla Türkiye Ekonomisi” (Key Events in Turkish Economy) co-authored by Yalın Alpay is a proof of the fact that we can easily forget and adapt to anything. There are numerous events in Turkish economy timeline that illustrate this “easy adaptation and easy to let go” feature of ours, including sad events suffered by those who get foreign currency loan, or those made wrong transfer call on some player. Yet, we never learn, continuing to make the same mistakes again and again.

As a matter of fact, Turkish people have somehow embraced the humanity’s persistence for development and eagerness to try and try until succeeding, but absolutely in the wrong way. For instance, we do not stand very brightly among OECD member countries in terms of innovation and creativity. But instead, a friend of yours can call you in the middle of the night to tell you that he came up with a brand new swear word. I mean it, all those “invention and innovation” stories we tell each other involve nothing but ‘pounding a nail with a tennis racquet’. All I’m trying to say that we always brag about the easy shortcuts or the quickest ways we find, whereas we should be using our resources in the most efficient way possible.

As Professor Mahfi Eğilmez always says, Turkey is an interesting place where even the rule makers themselves do not abide by the rules. We even make rules or laws that apply to the public because of an isolated event. If you notice there’s an unrelated clause when you’re reading a law or regulation, this is the reason why. From a woman’s laughter to public declarations about education, every single opinion expressed by people is built upon isolated events or others’ personal lives.

“Why don’t we want to accept reality?”

This is the country of people who like to show good things in bad light, bad things in a good light. We can never manage to find the right thing to do as reasonable grounds for discussion doesn’t exist. We live in a country where those who say, “Everything will be just fine!” and those who say “Nothing is going right!” are loved by everybody.

So, in Turkey, it’s not really possible to talk about the reality. People like us, who never give up telling the truth, are not appreciated too much because most of the Turkish people do not get along well with the facts. When you say the fact, either positive or negative, you are labelled as “too optimistic” or “too pessimistic”. That’s why it’s not easy to make neither art nor science in Turkey since people don’t want you to be unbiased; they want you to agree with them.

Therefore, before making others pay the price for our mistakes, we ask ourselves whether our personal interests are more important to us than national interests, or whether we always justify our actions knowing that no one notices what we do, or we prefer to work with submissive personalities instead of people with integrity, we only regret what we do just because we are caught in the act, or we are open to criticism or not.