Turkey like an exaggerated sitcom
There is a quote attributed to Ottoman Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror: “The places where our might reaches, not even their dreams can reach.”
The late Turkish President Turgut Özal used to say: “They cannot keep up even with our dreams.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan frequently says: “Even their dreams cannot reach the places our performance reaches.”
I’m not sure who “they” are, nor “we” or “you.” But it is certain that our dreams have failed, and as a nation we have lost our imagination.
In Turkey, those who can have productive dreams that could be transformed into an entrepreneurial idea only amount to around 15 percent of the population. Major dreams amount to “I want to be rich” or “I want to be a doctor.” Making a discovery, an invention, doing something that has not been done before, writing a story not written before, creating something unprecedented in a particularly field… We have no idea of these.
But what about the valuable example of Aziz Sancar, a scientist who vowed to conduct research to try to find a cure for cancer? He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year and will dedicate his prize to Atatürk at Anıtkabir on May 19.
As a person suffering from daydreaming, as an extreme stargazer, I would strongly recommend dreaming to everyone. It is a remedy, a friend, a hope, a joy. It adds another stone to the construction of the country, of the world.
However, the atmosphere of Turkey today almost makes this impossible - let alone breathing. For some time now, not only our writers and artists, but also our architects, scientists, teachers, lawyers and even craftsmen and shopkeepers, have been under a cloud of pessimism, a dry spell. The reason for this is because dreaming needs freedom, democracy, comfort and a feeling of safety.
Dreams not only need their own energy; they also need their own economy. Politicians should be able to see this fact and try to work for a brighter, freer atmosphere where citizens will be able to dream.
Otherwise, the situation will be just the opposite of the sentence I gave at the beginning of this piece: Our dreams will not even be able to reach their facts.
The police and beaten women
If I had written these details in a fictional plot, people would have said I was exaggerating:
The parliamentary commission researching divorce, the family structure and domestic violence has come up with a number of proposals.
It found that people are marrying increasingly late in Turkey. So it is considering providing scholarships to encourage university students to marry. Meanwhile, married couples who have decided to divorce used to seek help from marriage counselors, psychologists and doctors, but now staff from the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) will be assigned as family councilors.
Another bombshell dropped by the commission is the suggestion that a 15-year-old child who has been raped should be married to the rapist, and in the event that there is no trouble for five years in their marriage, the rapist’s punishment would be converted to probation.
Finally, it recommended that women who have been beaten do not call the police during working hours. In other words, it is saying: “Please try to be battered by your husband outside working hours. If you have not died, take the trouble and just wait a few hours. The police have jobs to do, sister.” I have no further comment.