‘Why I moved from Turkey’

‘Why I moved from Turkey’

BELGİN AKALTAN - belgin.akaltan@hdn.com.tr
‘Why I moved from Turkey’

This picture is from Afghanistan in the 1960s.

Blogger Melih Karakelle has written a piece to inform his friends and relatives why he left Turkey. His blog, www.melihkarakelle.com, is usually visited by 500 people a month. But his latest piece hit 100,000 in the first 24 hours.

Karakelle is a mechanical engineer who decided to leave his family and friends behind and settle in Britain. This is a shortened version in a loose translation.

He starts with a lexicon of terms for the piece: An ignorant person is not a person who has been schooled less, they are someone who has not been educated to suit the norms of society, who poses a threat to daily life. For example, while everybody is queuing, they cut in line, thinking they're being clever. A driver who has not grasped that he needs to stop for pedestrians at a crosswalk is ignorant, regardless of his degrees.

Stupid: Statistically, one in every three people in society is stupid. It is the answer to “Why do they do this?” in many situations.

There is a critical threshold in societies to prevent ignorance, Karakelle wrote: This threshold can be defined as the number of ignorant people per one person of reason. The state is responsible for educating the ignorant and the stupid to a level where they do not harm the rest. The best example of this is when a Turk goes abroad and comes back, saying: “Dude, everybody gets in line there. Nobody violates anyone else’s rights. You step into the crosswalk and all the cars stop.

“Well, the state has primarily educated all its citizens to a level where they would not harm society. As a result of this, the fact that the other person is stupid does not constitute a problem for you. Thus, fewer cons grow up in civilized societies; more scientists emerge from there.

“Why did I move from Turkey? Well, although it has multiplied in the past 12 years or so, as a result of a decaying period of the last 30 years which started with [late President Turgut] Özal, our country is now a fully corrupted country.

“Right now in Turkey, ignorance is an accepted norm in society. And the number of the ignorant per person is far too big. Moreover, we are at the point where ignorance is ruling us. Today’s Turkey is simply a corrupted society because the critical threshold has been crossed; the decomposition has infected the whole society.”

The blogger criticizes those who criticize the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for not being stronger: “This society which is fed by ignorance and corruption is past the stage where it can be saved by wisdom and reason… Do not dream of a strong opposition; it will not save society.”  

If in a country the number of those who think stealing is a bad thing is under 50 percent, then you cannot count on these people to build values and long-term plans. Karakelle says several examples of this exist in recent history. He asks us to take a look at the Afghanistan, Iran, Lebanon and Egypt of the 1960s. And take a look at them today.

“What Afghanistan and others have lost is their war to fight ignorance. Then next it may have been the prioritization of the religion factor because it is the easiest way to rule an ignorant nation. However, these countries became what they are now not by being religious but by being corrupt.”

Turkey was slow in corruption, the blogger believes. This may be due to Atatürk or may be because of its proximity to Europe. But, time for Turkey has also expired.

“Now, for the time being, we have transformed into a society where an average of 12 hours are spent in front of the TV watching soap operas, a society with people who show no respect to anyone else but themselves, one that honors and even hands over the governing of the country to bullying.

“And this society is raising their kids. These kids will shape the behavior of your own kids also, no matter what you do … They will live at least 70 years together in the same society. At this point, there is nothing to be done; trying to do something is a waste of energy.

“If you want to contribute as an individual to humanity, then it would be so much more correct to leave your nationalistic feelings aside and take this contribution to societies that demand it from you.”

“At this point, I decided that as an individual it was meaningless to try to continue living in this incurable situation. I moved from Turkey. Don’t I miss my country? Of course I do… But more than that, I have a huge disappointment because of those years I wasted.”  

OK. I do not agree with everything he says, but his conclusions are so correct, so to the point, that it hurts…

As I was reading his blog piece, I thought of the vulgarity, ignorance and rudeness I face on daily basis here. Neighbors that kick your apartment door, bus drivers that are about to hit you at a pedestrian crossing…

His judgments are sound and correct. He added that this situation was a street fact, not a political view. Even if the government vaporized today, you have to live with the kid raised by the minibus driver who steers toward you for another 70 years in the same country…  

Karakelle wrote, “Please pick up my piece and use it without asking permission.” Well, here it is in English. I would have liked to offer you the same, but this piece does not belong to me once it is printed and posted. But feel free to read it, like it, tweet it and share it…