The forth T is trust

The forth T is trust

Last week I mentioned tolerance as the lacking factor in Turkey in Richard Florida’s “3T” (technology, talent, and tolerance) formula for innovation. May 1 proved me right one more time. I am trying to write in my house, near Beşiktaş, with a running nose thanks to the excessive tear gas that the police used to disperse the crowd. It is a great mystery how we can so easily turn celebrations into health hazards. The amount of tear gas used in Turkey is mind blowing and record breaking, with police using it almost everyday. I suggest to our prime minister to urge holding owners to build tear gas factories instead of car factories. We could really get the import expenditures of the country under control if we produced it in Turkey.

On the other hand, the workers associations are also to blame, as they did not negotiate at all. With freedom and power come responsibilities. Someone should really make sure that the workers associations understand what this means.

In countries like Turkey where no one wants to listen to one another, social media and Internet-based technologies could play a great role in mediating between different stakeholders.

However, the government wants to control the debate and actually own the Internet. Unfortunately, so far with their actions, the government has shown us that it wants us to debate only about the issues that it wants and not even mention the subjects that it forbids. In order to make sure that we stay within our allowed spaces, they want to watch everything that we do on the net.

Naturally, such an atmosphere is not healthy, and debates in social media outlets result in fighting and swearing as well.

If you ask me about it, I would say that behind all this fuss the real reason is the lack of trust. The citizens don’t trust their government, the government doesn’t trust its citizens, and people don’t trust each other. In a country where no one trusts each other the Internet cannot flourish, new ideas cannot be discussed, and progress and innovation cannot be attained.

When Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales gave a speech in Turkey, he said he was very surprised about the number of questions from the Turkish press and people that he talked with about the intention of writers. He told us that the basic principle behind Wikipedia’s success was to trust the people and to believe that people are good. He said that if they were to debate about the intentions of writers they couldn’t have begun the project.

That is exactly the situation in Turkey. Because we don’t trust each other we cannot enjoy celebrations and we can not collaborate effectively to create better companies, new technologies and better governance.