What is the Turkey of your dreams?
BELGİN AKALTAN - firstname.lastname@example.orgI know what kind of a Turkey I want. We were getting there – until they came… This question is for them, not for you or me. Really, what kind of a Turkey do you want?
This is the second time I am quoting him. He is a blogger, meçhul muhayyil. In his last entry, he asked this question to the Muslims in Turkey.
Because it is a long article, because some connotations are lost in translation and I have to admit because there are parts I can’t quite understand, here are only some extracts of extracts, not in order…
“You, the Muslims from Turkey, what do you want? What is your aim? What kind of a world, what kind of a country do you imagine?”
“Let us say you have an ultimate power that enables you to get rid of everything that threatens you. If you have this vast power, what would you do to reach happiness, what is the Turkey of your dreams? What do you want to talk about when people right next to you talk about art, quantum physics, music, literature? I am trying to understand what this could be by observing current affairs, your leaders, other countries…
“Do you want to hang people in the squares? Do you want to record it with your mobile phones while a ‘person’ is dying in pain writhingly right across you – like watching a concert? Do you want to watch, with pleasure, a person being killed?
“For example, is art not necessary for you? You are against art and literature. Then, how do you plan to combat the mundaneness of life; this meaningless heaviness of being?”
Then meçhul muhayyil comes to the topic of women. “What place do you think women should have in the society?” is his first question.
“For example, there was Pippa Bacca, you will remember her. Naive girl, she thought she could hitchhike across Turkey wearing a wedding dress. She was first raped and then killed, her body thrown into a forest. The entire Turkey, we all united and pretended as if we were surprised, you will remember.” (Oh, this last sentence sums it all up. It has layers of implications. Yes, how true this is: We all pretended that we were surprised. How can I explain it to you, my dear international readers? It was not much of a surprise, if you know Turkey, if you know what life is in Turkey, that once outside the city boundaries of Istanbul, some other reality starts… And pretending to be surprised is yet another authenticity of this land.)
“What are your thoughts on this? Do you think she deserved it? Or maybe, it is the natural course of events that a woman, who wanted to hitchhike alone across Turkey wearing a wedding gown, be raped and killed; could it be that?”
The blog writer said his questions were not to other Muslim countries. They have already made their decisions: “But you, Muslims from Turkey, what do you want and why? How do you define yourselves? Don’t you have any objection to all these restrictions that are imposed on you as tradition, culture and quintessence? Really, don’t you reject this pain you are convicted to, this domination, this inequality, this injustice, while people right next to you live in an entirely different world?”
“Let us talk openly so that this tension is over ... The year is 2014. Concepts such as human rights, human dignity are the rising concepts of these times ... Maybe you cannot voice certain things? Well, I want to ask you: Are you as cruel as to secretly wish for a thing that is against human dignity? Are you a bad person? Is this the tradition you want to carry on? Do you want to inflict pain on others?
“We are in a post-modern era; it could be possible that you want to get rid of us in this country so that you can live as you wish. Maybe that internal uneasiness of yours is too dominant to allow you to face its causes, or maybe it is easier for you to ‘get rid of us’ instead of encountering them. Do you assume that if we were not around, nobody would remind you of the truth? Really, do you believe this is possible in this era? If you get rid of everybody who is not like you, if you are able to found a Turkey that is made up of only people like you, I am asking with all my sincerity, do you really believe that you will finally find ultimate serenity?”
The blogger reminds in the article that he is not an enemy of the Muslims from Turkey, but that he wants to question the state of affairs. “My aim is to give hope to 10 thousands of young people, whose only guilt was being born here, who are seeking ways to recover from this region.”
While other religions embraced questioning, variety, counter ideas, the realities of the era and sought solutions to daily problems, our share in religion, has been absolute obedience without thinking, without questioning, the blogger writes.
He also questions “What if you were born in a Christian family elsewhere in the world? Is there a reason for you to become Muslim? Let’s think of one logical reason … Let’s think, by looking at Muslim countries, by putting your hand on your heart … What I am saying is if there is no logical reason in this world, but only to be born as a stroke of luck in a Muslim country, to a Muslim family, then ... ?”
I just remembered. A Turkish friend of mine was married to an American; they had two kids. They had decided that their kids should choose their religion themselves when they grow up. My friend said he was having difficulty while his wife was just taking the kids to the church from time to time while they were in the states.