Heavy mood in Turkey
It is high time we talk about the mood of much of the country - perhaps not all Turkish citizens but at least those who are well-educated, who live a Western lifestyle, and who want to continue to do so.
There is a heavy mood in the Turkey in which I live.
There is a strong feeling of indefiniteness. We do not know where the country is heading, where it is being dragged. We have no idea where our future lies. We do not what will happen to us and our families.
There is also a strong sense of pessimism. What we feel inside and what we see around us all tell us that things are not going well. In fact things are going badly, very badly.
There is even a feeling of desperation. We are citizens, but we feel like we are second-class citizens. We are voters but we feel that our vote is no good for anything. We have the feeling that as citizens we cannot have the slightest effect on the fate of our country.
There is also a sense of fear across the country. People are afraid that they could become victims of terrorism. They are afraid that a civil war or an external war will erupt. They fear that their son doing his compulsory military service could be killed. They fear that their property will be taken away. They fear that they might get jailed for any random reason.
How many people are suffering from these heavy, traumatized feelings?
Let me tell you, quite a lot of people do. Moreover, these people are the well-educated, producing and consuming citizens. They are the people carrying Turkey with the taxes they pay.
Isn’t it the primary duty of the ruling politician to build confidence and satisfaction among all citizens?
If it is desired, democracy and politics could be used to reduce the sense of fear.
Turkey’s strongest game setter
Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli is like Stephen Curry, the playmaker of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
He is not the tallest on the team, but he rules over the fate of the match.
His game is not predictable. He can make the harshest criticisms against the government, but he never strikes the deathblow.
He is in opposition, but in big decisions such as constitutional amendments, calling for elections, or the election of the president, he has the decisive say.
He extends his hand to his rival but keeps them unsure until the last second.
“Bring in the presidential system, let’s talk about it,” Bahçeli said. But he did not openly say: “We will give you the necessary support to take it to a referendum.”
He is certainly a great politician.
After three days of badmouthing Bob Dylan
I’ve been badmouthing Bob Dylan for three days. I leveled all kinds of criticism because he did not sing the songs we wanted at the recent Desert Trip Festival.
But I am very happy he has won the Nobel Prize in Literature. I sincerely applaud both Bob Dylan and the Nobel jury.
First, the jury smashed the status quo and showed the world that pop culture can also form a strong literary tradition.
Second, the jury risked awarding an artist who, by his very nature, has the potential to create trouble at least as much as Jean Paul Sartre.
Third, I am proud that a popular culture hero of my generation has won an award.
Exactly one week ago, I watched Dylan live in concert.
I was unlucky. He didn’t sing “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Mr. Tambourine Man,” or “Blowin’ in the Wind.” But I was lucky to have the chance to listen to the first ever musician poet awarded with a Nobel Prize.
Congratulations, Bob Dylan.
You deserve it, you are entitled to everything.