Alienated from Turkey
BELGİN AKALTAN - firstname.lastname@example.org
AFP photoBecause the election blackout will start or has started as you read this piece, I am only using my imagination – nothing to do with the facts of this country…
These are extracts from a blog piece posted on Jan. 19, 2014, by blogger meçhul muhayyil at http://mechulmuhayyil.blogspot.com.tr/2014/01/yetmez-ama-evet-dedim-pisman-mym.html.
The entire piece is about the writer’s remorse for a political decision he made, but it goes quite beyond this. He is sorry to have been born in the Middle East, for having been forced to live a Middle Eastern lifestyle and governed by Middle Eastern mentalities…
He defines this region as a place “where people can only satisfy their souls in the unhappiness of others.”
“After going to sleep at night, I want to wake up in the morning as a different person. I want to wake up to see that there is no Middle East in my life. I am in a different land, in a different country. There is no Erdoğan, no Kılıçdaroğlu, no Gülen, no Bahçeli, no community, no MİT [National Intelligence Organization], no police, no army…”
I also wish that I could wake up in the mornings where I do not know the name Berkin Elvan, where I do not see crying mothers. No Ethem, no Ali İsmail, no Burak Can… No 10-year-old boys, no 15-year-old Berkins shot in the head by tear-gas capsules… No Pınar being harassed by police and threatened with rape on a police bus in Beşiktaş…
The blogger wishes that he does not have the thought of “will anything be banned tomorrow?” Or hear anything about girls and boys going to school together… That we are all Turks and there are coups… “May all of them leave my life… Let me forget this mother tongue of mine that I love so much… Imagine, somebody would occasionally tell me, ‘Hey, there are clashes in Istanbul again.’ I would casually answer back, ‘Istanbul, ha?’ I will watch the evening news and see that some people are killing others in a Middle Eastern country; I will gaze stupidly and say ‘Where is this place? Why?’ Well, since I do not have this opportunity, I will have to live carrying this burden all my life… Believe me, I am truly sorry for that…”
Blogger meçhul muhayyil then writes about the region we are living in: “I am sorry that I have to live in a region where 6-year-old kids die while selling handkerchiefs. I am sorry that in a country filled with thieves, racketeers and liars, a person who spends a lifetime making an honest earning will not be able to see as much money as to fill in a shoe box – I’m sorry for that.
“I’m also sorry that this region of mine is full of women who, under slimy narratives that ‘motherhood is sacred,’ have not tasted what freedom is all through their lives and who will never know what it is, women who have nothing but their children to hold onto, women who are made to spend all their lives under the hegemony of a worthless, wretched man.
“I am sorry that I belong to a country that chops people up by dropping heavy bombs on them in a godforsaken place at a godforsaken time [as they are] people who are left with no other option but to smuggle goods to maintain their lives.
“While others are talking about quantum physics, art, literature, philosophy and how to make the world a better place … I am forced to talk about whether a pregnant woman should wander the streets, whether girls and boys can be educated together, how Alevis can worship, whether Kurds can speak their language and how a person can be an atheist… I am, believe me, sorry to the point of tearing myself to pieces over the fact that I am forced to talk about these…
“I am sorry, most of all, that I can do nothing to change all these… I am sorry that the entire world has turned to me, with that insincere smile on their faces, saying, ‘This is their culture; you will respect it,’ in an almost mocking style.”
The writer wrote he was also sorry that a population has been made to adopt an evil, ignorant and uneducated approach as their culture after having their all their identities modified.
“I am sorry I am forced to live like this, that here is no other option left for me but to save myself and maintain a selfish and egotistical life, that lying has become a prerequisite to survival.”
“…That I need to spend my entire life engaged in an endless hegemony battle with people who even though we speak the same mother tongue, belong to different worlds… That I am left with no other option but to get uglier with each passing day… “
“…I wanted to get over all of these… Regardless of what you believe in, whichever language you speak, based merely on the fact that we are all human, without tormenting each other, all together with the pious, secular, Kurdish, Turkish, Alevi and Armenian… I had hope because I forgot that this place was the Middle East…”
“As a matter of fact, beyond all those artificial identities of ours, there is one sacred concept in the world, and that is human pride. This, though, you cannot explain to a Middle Eastern person…”
I also have hope. I also believe that the Middle East will not stay a dark, unhappy and miserable place forever; we, just because are born here, will not suffer forever. And we, women, just because we are born in this part of the world, do not need to suffer and watch others suffer endlessly. There will be an awakening; there will be change for the better; hope and happiness are right around the corner…