Treason through stuffed anchovies

Treason through stuffed anchovies

Shall we all wash our faces and have some coffee all together? Shall we all get some fresh air and come to our senses? Maybe then, we will give up calling our own people “traitors” just because they will be voting “yes” or “no” in the referendum. Maybe if we come to our senses, the politicians will follow. 

The 1990s were nice but not that marvelous. However, there was one aspect that I miss very much. There was only one group when it came to traitors. It was the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists. Obviously, our senses and our minds were in the right place in those years. 

There was unpleasant name calling, yes, and people were labeled according to what color they were wearing, but at least people were not declared traitors in one minute because of nothing. 

Now, 79 million people, every one of us, can tag everyone else as a traitor. There is no treachery in sight, no crime has been committed, taxes have been paid and love for the country is at its peak, but somebody calls out “traitor.” Why? It is because your vote is “yes or no” in the referendum? You have declared it and angered some people. Or you have not declared it but they feel or perceive that you are somewhere over there. Not important… If that person is to vote differently than you, then, bam, you are immediately labeled a traitor. 

Guys, have we all gone mad? Shall we have some coffee together as a nation? Shall we all wash our faces? Shall we sit by the window and get some air? Do you think this will help? Shall we apologize to the people we have labeled as traitors? 

This is Turkey’s biggest problem now. 

We politicize every matter immediately like this. We have become masters in the absurdity. Some reactions are like a laboratory experiment. For instance, I had anchovy (hamsi) at home the other day. I put the photo of stuffed and fried anchovies on Instagram. 

I captioned it “Wow, how good it would be to eat anchovies in Rize” or something like that. It was superficial, gastronomic, entertaining and not related to politics. And among all the expected sympathetic comments, here were some: 

Mrs. Gülse. You are an elite who does not cook at home. Don’t fool people. 
You will surely drink rakı with this, but you have censored yourself to suit the atmosphere in the country. 
You Gezi Park people, you would not eat this without rakı. 
Who are you trying to make up to by mentioning Rize? 
Don’t mention Rize, don’t pronounce the name of the city that has removed Atatürk’s statue. 
The Atatürk statue was not removed, it was moved. Your mentality is this kind of an idolizing mentality. 
Well, your mentality is the one that disclaims Atatürk. 

Then, they forgot about me and started fighting among each other. When the conversation reached the “yes or no” fight, I had to block a few. 

Guys, this is stuffed and fried anchovies, the “hamsi kuşu” of the Black Sea region. It is a dish. How come, based on this, you split into two and started fighting? How did we come to this point? 

I think, from now on, we need to remove politics from the discussion when talking about matters such as education, art, foreign affairs and even the perfectly political matter of the new constitutional draft because we are in such a situation now that we split into two groups and fight even on the simplest matter of where to build an overpass. 

We are stuck in politics. We cannot solve anything by applying impartial data. A crazy person stands up and makes conjures a political slogan out of education, the placement of an overpass or stuffed anchovies, after which everybody piles on like a football fan, makes insults and begins swearing. It ends with the label “traitor.” 

Worse, politicians are doing this too. No constitutional draft, no welfare promises, no change of administration, no commitment to a political party, no charismatic leader is worth making the people who love each other split into two and call each other a traitor. 

What did the stuffed anchovy ever do to you guys? I could have given you the recipe…