Which morals?

Which morals?

The day will come when the hypocrisy and double standards quagmire the country is drowning in will put in an enormous pledge on the future of the society. Do not have any doubts on that. Unfortunately, any warning or explanation does not mean much.

As a matter of fact, it is quite apparent this society will not pull itself together before it smashes its head on the wall and before it sees all its hopes and expectations of the past 10 years shatter. 

In this context, there is no doubt that according to a recent survey of the Metropoll research company, the 70 percent of the AKP electorate and the 42 percent of the BDP electorate who believe the country has changed for the better will have an unpleasant surprise. More importantly, as long as social segments do not adopt a stance that respects the rights of other citizens in issues beyond their own interests, then that highly wished for social integration will never happen. 

The Metropoll survey also reveals significant clues on which dynamics would be influential in the country as we are approaching local elections. What I gather from the survey is the local election in March 2014 will be one of the most important elections since 1950. 

Nobody doubts Turkey has a conservative character. However, this conservatism is not one that prioritizes the protection of present values. We see a conservatism that is mostly limited to not rebelling against the family authority and controlling the sexuality of women. 

According to the survey, 80 percent of the AKP electorate wants “co-ed accommodations for students” to be banned and 69 percent of the whole society does not tolerate this kind of co-habitation. 

It is very interesting that a segment that is not bothered by this much corruption, in which minor girls are raped, that dozens of women are killed on the streets and worker’s rights are trampled on have such a negative stance toward the preferences of grownups. 

There is a society in Turkey that is dominated by those who think morals is not associated with honesty, by doing your job well, by being fair, by treating people equally but only with sexuality. 

According to the report, 37 percent of the society and 54 percent of AKP supporters consider it correct for police to monitor student accommodations. 

It is sad, but not surprising that 50 percent of society thinks the state could set an example for good morals and expects the state to be the guardian of morals. 

What comes out of this survey is not that in general society, and in particular the AKP electorate, do not attribute any importance to individualism, to privacy and to individual freedoms; but worse, that the state can be the guardian of good morals and that it has the authority to interfere with anything has such a wide support in society. 

The outcome of this survey shows us that to be an individual and defend individual rights and freedoms is considered to be a weight too heavy for this society to carry. 

Soli Özel is a columnist for daily HaberTürk in which this abridged piece was published on Dec 4. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.