A little bit of simplicity is all we want
One of the greatest Turkish novels of all time is undoubtedly “The Time Regulation Institute.” It is one of the best ironic criticisms of the bureaucratization process. It is about a man who created a new establishment that need not have been and turned it into a very big and powerful state institution in an attempt to overcome his own despairs about life. In the end, the institution, which ensured that each and every clock in the country was exact, turned into a monster that turned people and the country dysfunctional. It is somewhat similar to Terry Gilliam’s movie “Brazil” produced in 1985. However, it was written long before and published in 1962 just before the author died of a heart attack. The writer of the book, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar (June 23, 1901 - Jan. 24, 1962) was one of the most important modern novelists and essayists of Turkish literature. He was also a member of the Turkish Parliament (the Grand National Assembly of Turkey) between 1942 and 1946. Tanpınar had seen what bureaucratization could do to nations and human beings. He was a very established politician and intellectual who frequently traveled all over the world. Therefore he had seen how things were, not only in Turkey but in Europe and beyond. He knew that institutions could break people’s spirits and could cause an entire nation to miss the essence of the times that they were going through.
I believe that nothing has changed even though we are now in the information age. Unfortunately the institutions that are focused on wrong things can harm people and nations. In Turkey some institutions are fighting wars that will lead to nowhere but disasters. For years information and communication technologies (ICT) professionals wanted a ministry for technology so that they would be able to have one institution to deal with. They thought that if there were a technology ministry, then their voices would be heard and their efforts would mount to new legislations that would take Turkey’s ICT industry to new dimensions. In the end the government gave the good news after the elections that a brand new Science, Industry and Technology Ministry would be founded. The industry and all that were interested in the ICT world in Turkey were very happy to hear the news. However, the new ministry turned out to be a different case of the “The Time Regulation Institute” for the time being.
It is still not clear to which ministry or institutions one should go to handle business. The Ministry of Transportation and Communication handles everything about the Internet. TUBİTAK gives decisions on which ICT projects to be founded. KOSGEB gives out some loans. There is the BTK and the Internet Committee. Now let’s think about what you would do if you were going to establish an Internet start-up. Where would you go and to whom would you talk? The answer: everyone that you would have gone to last year, plus the new ministry. So the new ministry did nothing but add a new responsibility and more bureaucracy. What was the point?
The age that we are going through has a different essence than what is perceived by the government and their institutions. The steps that they take are all to stop and take control of everything that happens. Instead of trying to ease up your work load, the government makes it harder to be young and entrepreneurial. I don’t believe that they do it on purpose: They think they are regulating, but what they really are doing is turning life miserable for bright minds