The summer moods of Turks

The summer moods of Turks

Belgin Akaltan -
The summer moods of Turks I think there is a sharp change of mood in Turks when summer comes. We have a character that is open to mood changes anyway, but somehow, this reaches disastrous dimensions in summertime. When the heat is anywhere above 28 or 29 degrees Celsius, Turks become werewolves. 

The reason may be hormones. When the summer heat arrives, our sexual hormones escalate. (I secretly believe that the agonizing restrictions on women in the Arabic way of life are due to the heat in the Arabian Peninsula. Girls and boys there mature much younger, I am guessing, hence the need to curb them, while here we have hormones more suitable for a colder climate but somehow we have chosen to abide by the rules of the oversexed people of the 21st parallel north.)  

So, here in our lovely country, when the heat increases, probably other heats increase in our Turkish bodies as well and we change. Our bodies tell us to enjoy ourselves but this is not always possible. In those cases when we cannot enjoy ourselves like the heat demands from us, frustration begins. 

In summertime, our feelings are overflowing; we are ready to fall in love but we stumble… When in the city, somehow, the presence of urban authority has a pacifying effect on us. We are good when under control.

When restrictions are relaxed in our country’s beautiful countryside and seaside, we lose control. Freedom is not good for us. We do not know what to do with it.  

We are an immature crowd. We act like children. We need “parental guidance.” Our role models are mafia and street gang leader types, yelling, scolding, insulting and making wrong decisions.  

This came to my mind when I read the story of what happened in Bodrum, Turkey’s southwest popular resort town, when singer Emrah’s family was attacked in their summer compound with knives and sticks. In the photos, a woman is seen waving a knife dangerously and a man is yelling and attacking with a stick. The problem was planting flowers in the wrong place. Wow. 

Then there was the iconic incident when an actor was murdered by his summer house neighbor because he made too much noise. Too much noise. Noise? I mean one is dead now and the other is serving a life sentence. Because of noise? 

Flowers and the noise of people having fun can inflict deadly attacks in summers in Turkey. Beware. 

It also has something to do with the inability of Turkish people to have fun. In the relaxed atmosphere of summer, you want to have fun. Relax. Eat and drink. Laugh. Make jokes. Flirt. Love. Play games… But then, we Turks do not know how to do these properly… 

We create problems to end the fun. Flowers, cats, barbeque smoke, children, noise, not knowing how to cohabitate, acting like a spoilt child, selfishness, honking of a horn, a bad look, anything…  

Other nationalities have summer loves; we Turks have summer murders. 

There is also no way for a Turk to speak with a quiet voice during summertime. Every Turk has a summer voice with a deafening decibel. We shout. Everybody hears. Kids shout, mothers shout, young men speak at the top of their voices. Maybe we want to make ourselves be heard; otherwise, nobody would listen to us or we brag and want everybody to hear what we say. 

This season brings out the worst in us… We are not the most peaceful bunch on earth anyway but we start acting crazy in summer. 

I mean the Irish tourist knocked down a few bottles of water and the entire street attacked him. This was a shameful outbreak of a lynching culture, the violence already present on our streets and inside us, the instantaneous instinct of attacking what seemed to be a soft target initially but turned out to be a professional boxer, who in turn beat up the entire street. One beaten up shopkeeper said, “He did not fight like a human being. He was made of concrete.” Well, why did you attack him at the first place?  

We also put weapons in the hands of our 20-year-olds and send them to kill their brothers. Though this is our unique tragedy ongoing for decades not related to seasons, I do have a hope that with the end of summer, this will end also…