Can youth living under Erdoğan be optimistic?
I see huge pessimism no matter who I come across these days. Some people have given up on hope in Turkey.
Recently, the number of Turkish people who have bought houses in Athens, Greece, was announced, and Turks were the top third on the list. Some 30 percent of the foreigners who bought houses in Spain are again Turkish.
Are we really that pessimistic?
I joined a very interesting presentation with many journalists in London last Tuesday. One of the biggest telephone companies of the world, Vodafone, was announcing its policies concerning the future. The presenter was a Turkish woman, Serpil Timuray, the Vodafone
Group Chief Commercial Operations & Strategy Officer.
There is a Turkish woman at the top of one of the biggest technology companies in the world. I was proud.
She had prepared and presented the company’s most important brand renewal strategy aimed for the future.
While I was listening to the presentation, this question crossed my mind: What does a young person, who is 18 years old and has spent 15 years of their lifetime under the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, think about their future?
Can they be optimistic when there are so many problems and polarization around us?
I wonder if the Turkish youth are like those pictured in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book “The Autumn of the Patriarch 1975?”
In other words, are they like those who do not know anything else other than the things they have seen so far about the world?
What do you think the answer would be if Turkish people were asked whether they were optimistic or pessimistic about the future? If you believe the answer would be “I am pessimistic,” then you are wrong.
Some 56 percent of the Turkish people believe that everything will be better after 20 years.
On the other hand, what do the English, who currently have one of the strongest economies in the world, think about 20 years later? If you think the answer is “It will be better,” you are wrong again.
Only 32 percent of the English believe that their living standards will be better in the future.
Vodafone carried out a research with 13,000 people in 14 countries between Sept. 18 and 25.
According to this research, the people most optimistic about the future are Indians. Some 78 percent of them are optimistic about the future.
For quite some time, the most common belief among those around me was: “The youth cannot see their future in this country and therefore they want to leave.”
But I see the exact opposite among the young people around me.
They are not as worried as us about the things the government does today.
The research also confirms my observations.
As the age decreases, the percentage of those optimistic about the future increases.
Who is more optimistic?
While 62 percent of the youth between the ages 18-24 say their life standards will be better after 20 years. This figure decreases to 44 percent in the group above the age of 55.
If young people are optimistic, then why do they not vote for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)?
Why is the percentage of the AKP votes low among “the young people who voted for the first time in their lives” if these young people, who have almost spent all their lives under the AKP, are optimistic about the future?
In my opinion, there is nothing surprising about this. The optimism already originates from here.
Young people are not pleased with the AKP, but they also believe they can deal with it in some way.
In other words, they believe that the AKP has no place in the future of Turkey with its mindset of today.
So, if this is the case, what should the future slogan of a company be?
Vodafone has decided that the most productive investment concerning the future would be “optimism.”
The slogan they found is, “The future is exciting. Ready?” Here, the word “ready” is an invitation. It says “come and join us.”
It looks like a very simple slogan but if you give it some thought, you will see the excitement it creates for all of us.
This is what Turkey needs the most during these days.
We must make this excitement contagious, in other words, “viral.”