Wetting your pants in Turkey

Wetting your pants in Turkey

Wetting your pants in Turkey

T.E.K. was ironically wearing a Superman t-shirt at the exam where she wet her pants.

There was a bizarre news story about a 36-year-old woman speaking in front of cameras about two weeks ago in Mersin on an incident that occurred during a public exam.

The incident was that during a public exam on a Saturday she, T.E.K., had to wet herself when she was not allowed to leave the classroom to go to the bathroom. She talked to the media afterward, crying and explaining how she had to go “like an animal” and argued the inhuman conditions of the exam should change. In the meantime her friend brought her clean clothes.

Now, this is such a typical Turkish story that it’s beyond the comprehension of a newcomer to Turkey.
Let’s try to view this story with an outsider’s eye, rather than with a Turkish person’s eye, because the latter makes everything look normal. As a matter of fact, the only normal element in this story is the woman’s name. And even that is hidden as if she were a rape victim.

Anyway, let’s say I’m a foreigner visiting Turkey. First, I would be surprised that a 36-year-old working woman sits for an exam on a weekend. Reports said she already had a job at Mersin University’s Pharmaceutical Department. But the exam may be a way of getting a promotion. Why then doesn’t she take an exam or an interview in the institution she’s working at? Or with the one she wants to apply to? Yes, of course, I forgot we are a newcomer to Turkey. A short answer would be that all kinds of interviews for public jobs in Turkey have gone so completely off the rails that all recruitments are done based on your score in this exam, which is called the Public Personnel Selection Examination (KPSS).

Why aren’t exam participants allowed to go to the bathroom? Because of many, many, many unimaginable, highly developed cheating methods encountered in the past. Yes, when you allow a Turkish person to go unsupervised just for a few moments anything can happen.

So, why wouldn’t the supervisors take the initiative and allow the woman to go in this extreme case? Did you say initiative? You MUST be a newcomer to Turkey. No public employee would ever, ever take initiative. History has not recorded one single incident of this. If not specified in detail in written form a public employee would not raise a finger to do something good for you.

The next question we should ask is ‘how good are the job prospects offered to make one wet herself just for the chance to nab one?’ A list of public jobs offered includes positions at universities, municipalities, general administrative staff, in the health and affiliated sectors and in technical services. Well, isn’t she ALREADY working at a university’s pharmaceutical department? Why would she wet herself for an almost similar position?

Another bizarre observation: Why are there parents outside the exam venues continuously praying with Qurans in their hands? Why would any sane parent accompany their college-graduate “child” and ask for heavenly assistance in getting a mediocre government job? Is there a catch here connected to “Turkish laziness,” maybe to find an “easy” job where you would not need to work at all?

And the most important question: What can you possible ask a candidate who applies for an unspecified job within the time frame of the next two years?

How about this? Here is a typical KPSS question:

‘My father said at year x, “When I was your age, the year was 1960. When you will be my age, the year will be 2010.” According to this, what year is x?’

No kidding!

P.S. x = 1985