Turkish Presidency 101

Turkish Presidency 101

BELGİN AKALTAN - belgin.akaltan@hdn.com.tr
Turkish Presidency 101 Anyone, but anyone, who will run for office for the position of the President of the Republic of Turkey should take this exam and be able to pass it. The passing grade is 91 percent. There might be a second test. The exam duration is seven years. There will be quite a bit of homework, presentations and projects, as well as a dose of conscience needed to be able to finish the course successfully. TOMAs are not required.

1) Explain what you understand about the principle of “separation of powers?” Or, better yet, have you ever heard of the concept of the separation of powers? What is it good for?

2) What is democracy?

3) What is the European Union?

4) What is the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)? Explain why Turkey is the most convicted country at the ECHR?  What do you plan to do about it?

5) When will summer come anyway? It is June, for God’s sake – JUNE.

6) What do you understand about human rights?

7) What is pluralism?

8) Where does Islam stand in your life? Christianity? Judaism?

9) Have you spoken to one Gezi youth in your lifetime? What did you talk about? What did she/he tell you? What did you glean from it?

10) What is your gender? What do you think about a female president?

11) How long do you think an opening ceremony for legal institutions should last?

12) Where is Turkey? Where is Kadıköy? Where is Esenyurt? Have you visited any of these districts in Istanbul: Papatya, Bağcılar, Tozkoparan, Sarıgazi or Arnavutköy – not the one near Bebek, right on the shore of the Bosphorus – the one northwest of Gaziosmanpaşa?  

13) Do you speak English? As a matter of fact, you should.  

14) What is my middle name?

15) What do you think about attending anger management therapy?

16) Are you from Kasımpaşa? Have you led street gangs before in your life?

17) How many watches were given to you as a gift at your circumcision ceremony? Your sons’ circumcision ceremony? If you are a woman, skip this question.

18) How many bracelets were given to your wife when you got married? Oops, sorry, I’ll rephrase the question: How many bracelets does your spouse have, and your daughter(s) and your daughter-in-law? Will you issue a declaration of property when you are elected? Really?

19) Are you able to keep silent for one week, for just one week, for Pete’s sake?

20) What do you think of the prophesy of the columnist who said that TOMAs will be needed to protect a certain gravesite so that people who want to spit on it are kept away?

21) What do you think about installing a sound system in your tomb so that you can keep on speaking after you die? Let’s call it the presidential mausoleum with TOMAs and sound systems: Tell us what you think.

22) Have you even been to Gezi Park? The park in Istanbul, the name everybody knows? Have you ever inhaled the beauty of Istanbul once, kept quiet for a few moments, enjoyed it and appreciated it?

23) What is the difference between an İETT ticket seller and a general manager? Do you think a person’s attempts to try to make fun of the position of a general manager could stem from the fact that he himself was not able climb up the ladder of bureaucracy any further than being a ticket seller for the city bus company? Does some form of an inferiority complex stem from that?

24) What was your score on the university entrance exam, perhaps the most proper IQ test for Turkish people?

25) Do you drive in Istanbul? How do you feel at rush hour?  

26) Can you pronounce the name Berkin Elvan loudly? Or Ali İhsan Korkmaz? Did the Turkish police kill them? Do you think they were terrorists? If they were terrorists, then is it correct that Turkish police fire on them or beat them to death with sticks? How do you define terrorists? What is the relationship, in your own words, between being a terrorist and being a demonstrator? Did Berkin Elvan have iron marbles in his pocket and a scarf around his face? How do you know that? If he were throwing stones at the police, then did he deserve to be shot right in the head with a gas canister? Have you read the judgments of the ECHR on the usage of tear gas?

27) Did you catch that the name above should not actually be Ali İhsan? Do you even know what his real name is?

28) What do you think about the right to assembly?

29) What do you think about the Turkish police? What are your views on the Turkish Armed Forces? Truly?

30) Pennsylvania?

31) Ukraine?

32) Bashar al-Assad?

33) What are your foreign policy principles, especially your views on coups in other countries?

34) Do you own your own house? Do you have a proper title deed? Who paid for your electricity bill this month? Who paid for your children’s education abroad? Why?

35) What is a pool? What is a money pool? What is a swimming pool? Do you think women and men, in swimsuits, should swim in the same pool at the same time? Is that proper, is it a sin? Should it be banned?

36) What about the Kadıköy ferry? Should there be a dress regulation, a code of conduct regulation, a certain distance between boys and girls when they walk out of the Kadıköy ferry?

37) I have seen the passengers getting off the Kadıköy ferry at the dock in Beşiktaş and stopping for a while, staring in the direction of the PM’s Dolmabahçe working office. They were not chanting slogans, saying anything or making any signs with their hands. Do you think they should be arrested?