Google as a Turkish national search engine
Yesterday it was announced that our first national search engine, Geliyoo, is ready to be used. The news went viral because just a few days ago, Transportation and Communications Minister Ahmet Arslan said we needed a national search engine because we currently depend on foreign technologies.
When the founders of Geliyoo announced the beta test, millions rejoiced as the news broke on Twitter.
The founders said they spent 10 million dollars and spent 10 years on research and development. So everybody tweeted about that as well.
However, the truth cannot be kept under wraps for long in the age of the internet, especially if the news is about technology, because the majority of technology enthusiasts are very curious and they like to hack to get to the bottom of things to uncover the truth.
Just hours later the co-founders made the announcement, it was discovered that they used Google’s Api, which means that our national search engine results are just the results from the Google engine itself.
Geliyoo CEO Hakan Atabaş said Geliyoo was most suited for Turkey because they had developed unique tools to find the best listings over the past 10 years.
But last night, a few computer engineers announced another “national” search engine called Gidiyoo.
“Geliyoo” means “it’s coming” with an additional “o,” “gidiyoo” means “it’s going” with an additional “o.” They also announced that they did it in 10 minutes.
I have written this before. I don’t know why we insist on a “national” X and Y when we don’t have the technological base for it. We have a base or competitive advantage for building drones, so a national drone is a viable option. But Turkey does not have a base for search engine technologies, just like we don’t have a base or competitive advantage for chip-design technologies. That’s why even though we have been talking about it for more than 15 years, we have not been able to produce a national computer chip.
Now, as the founders of Geliyoo have lost their credibility, we as a nation have also lost our credibility because of them.
There are no shortcuts to technological development.
Let’s be real and let’s work hard.
Turkey deserves better.