New Year’s resolutions for Turkey
We will eat healthy and exercise more. We will read more and watch TV less. So should be our resolutions for 2015, right? But that would be too mundane and easy after all. We as a proud nation of great heritage should do more.
BUILD MORE: “If you build it, they will come” as they say. And so has ordered the president. There will be very little questioning of the construction boom, and unfortunately it will continue to be the engine of the economy. Deputy PM Ali Babacan and PM Ahmet Davutoğlu will try to reverse the trend toward real economy and high technology investments, but as the FED tightens its monetary policies, Turkey will be busy opening up its new bridge over the Bosphorus with a very controversial name.
LEARN LESS: There will be very little enthusiasm about learning Ottoman because the new generation thinks it is unusable on Twitter or Facebook. Newspaper circulations will continue to drop, but surprisingly women’s magazines and gossip weeklies will sell more.
GO EAST: That should be the resolution of the main opposition party CHP. Kurdish peace talks will be taking a different direction if PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan do take the risk toward federalism/autonomy and a possible grand amnesty. So before it is too late for the rank and file of the CHP, they should immediately turn their attention to southeastern and eastern Turkey. By the way, both regions have completely different priorities about the issue.
HAVE FUN IN WEST: More and more urbanites will be taking their vacations in Europe and the U.S. even though the currency will be on the rise. Most young professionals, academics and even students are saving every single lira they can to escape every weekend from Turkey. The reason? You cannot even get a proper dinner in Istanbul without being ripped off or being shot at.
GET A HAIRCUT: Men will turn to less hair, get their humongous beards shaved off. Moustaches will be completely out of fashion and for those who insist, it will carry a political significance. Even the most revolutionary leftist comrades may consider getting squeaky clean this year. And ladies, shoulder length is so in that even I may consider cutting my hair a bit.
SPEND LESS: Bargain-hunting is fashionable again. From Internet sites to cheaper stores, everyone will be looking for the cheaper version of the same thing. And this is bad news for mid-range products. The rich spend zillions on stupid things like buying a Maserati for their daughter’s birthday. But for average folks like us, lower-end markets, neighborhood flea markets and bazaars are back and very trendy.
DONATE MORE: You will see more people begging on the streets. So get ready. College students in Taksim will be asking for 20 liras to go back to the dorm, people dressed as Syrians will be openly begging. Syrians ironically will be out of sight in the streets and will be working in cafes, factories and even in those horrendous construction projects. Carry some small money to help the poor in need, and give away your stuff that has not been used for a long time.
SPEND MORE TIME WITH PARENTS: As a good friend from Washington once had said, “You will not regret it, every single day more you spend with them as they are alive and healthy is a treasure. They are here to have, to love and to cherish, but not to hold.”
LOVE AND BE LOVED: No further explanation needed.