Personal Political Stories From Real Travellers In Turkey -- Turkish Politics Spoken Here
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Turkish Political Cartoon
PM Erdoğan's
Fundamentalist Obsession

Each Good Muslim Family
must produce three children, even if
the family hasn't the income to support them ...nor the IQ.
The PM sez to the
bird-brained first-place selection:
I want at least three children from you.
Reminiscent of the
bad ole Catholic Church ways.
'PM Erdoğan insists that every Turkish Muslim family must produce 3 children, for the perpetuation of its Muslim 'race'.

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October 2011
In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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Politics spoken here...
In Turkey - Türkiye'de

Tüm politika kitabı fırsatları için tıklayın !

I am fortunate to have spent nearly five years in Türkiye, courtesy of my job. As part of the preparation and orientation process, we who were headed to the mid-east were cautioned not to get involved in discussions of politics with any of the "natives".

But, after I became moderately proficient in Turkish, and finally expanded our circle of friends to include more Turks than foreigners, I found that it was nearly impossible to avoid the subject without being considered stand-offish or uninteresting by the Turks.

Two memorable conversations have stuck with me.

My wife and I were in Sinop, atop the old Roman wall overlooking the harbor. My wife exchanged pleasantries with a young Turkish couple, but soon found herself in uncharted linguistic waters. I walked over to assist her and we all had a nice chat. Soon we were joined by two ladies who, it turned out, were part of a dance group from the Ukraine on tour in Türkiye. One of these ladies spoke heavily accented Turkish which, to me, was comprehensible but difficult.
In Turkey - Türkiye'de

Tüm diğer müzik fırsatları için tıklayın !

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Both the Turk couple and the Ukranian lady wanted to talk politics. Not in an adversarial way, but they were interested in America's foreign policy and attitudes concerning the problems in the Balkans. Since I was and still am not qualified to explain the U.S. foreign policy, we ended up having a very interesting, non-confrontational discussion of perceptions and how they effect both governments and people. We parted friends.

On the same trip we stopped in Amasya for a bit of touring spread over a couple of days. Basically the same thing happened.

We walked to the market just behind our hotel to check out the produce. As we were buying peaches at one of the stalls, the owner asked generally the same questions we had heard in Sinop. Nothing threatening or adversarial, just an intense desire to understand and be understood.

Eventually a number of people gathered around to hear the discussion. Everyone seemed curious, possibly because of the foreigner speaking passable Turkish, but no one was distressed or negative during the conversation. When we paid for the peaches and left for our hotel, the shop keeper and several of the observers shook our hands .

The lesson I took from these experiences was that Turks, like almost everyone else in the world, are curious. If you talk with them, rather than to them, and discuss rather than preach, a lot of understanding is possible and friendships result.
BB (May '98)

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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