A Turkish Friend’s Viewpoint

Ayse, a Turkish university student friend wrote an email to me in response to my blog, generally, and this post, particularly. She asked if I could put her email on my blog and I have gladly done so:

I am sorry but I can not understand why you are in need of comparing Mersin/Turkey with other cities /countries of the world.That you are not satisfied with the situation you are in ,doesnt mean that you can show it to everybody on your ramblings.About 10.000 people will believe what they see,and in fact what they see may not reflect the reality.

You wrote that there were advertisement of shoes showing some naked models near a mosque in Mersin and said that:Only in Turkey ! Now,I want to say that Joe,is it normal for you tobe in a pub and to drink bear opposite of a cathedral?is not it ironic?

As you see in every areas of the world such kind of things may happen ok.I just want you to be more carefull while writing about Turkey.I thought that you love Turkey but I dont think like that as ı see your complains,if you really dont like you dont have to stay there.

Do you know that two weeks ago I watched a documentary about aborigines ,and then there were some Australian people walking there and they didnt want to let cameraman to take photos of aborigines.And the reason why they didnt want to show them to the world is that Australians feel ashamed of them though Australians made them to live in bad situations.

5 thoughts on “A Turkish Friend’s Viewpoint

  1. this is our classic knee jerk reaction, “if you don’t like it leave” response. Gosh Joe, what’s with all your interesting commentary? why don’t you just put out a bland touristic brochure page, like every other sane person? What’s amusing is that nudity near a mosque is not even something inherently bad (probably quite the contrary when you want to see how well different belief systems are tolerated).

  2. Litmus, I believe the Turkish education system has to be modified to promote a greater diversity of thought. I would like to see that!

  3. Joe, I think it was good of you to copy the letter, so we can read the reaction of one of your Turkish readers ! even if your criticism is not welcome for part of your Turkish public, I enjoy reading your comments of what you see in Mersin with your Australian – or western view point.

    If you were only writing positive comments, it would be uninteresting. Besides, I don’t think that comparing an advertisement for alcohol in front of a church with another one of a naked woman in front of a mosque is valid, as wine is part of a church service anyway…

    Keep the debate open !
    Cheers,
    C. Gizem

  4. Although it might sound pedantic at first, I would say “strenuously defending freedom of thought” rather than “promoting diversity of thought”, if only because i see the lack of diversity not as a cause but an effect. The main cause is our education-by-information-accumation approach that is severely deficient in critical thinking. At the core there is a persistent inability to abstract the argument in order to see its faults and virtues. often times this lack of abstraction leads to arguing the opposite position in different contexts (division of cyprus vs unity of iraq). If we solve that, this would in turn lead to diverse thought. the main danger in promoting diversity for diversity’s sake is that it may not solve the problem at the root.

  5. Thanks, C. Gizem!
    The mosque/shoe advertisement post wasn’t actually inherently critical. Because it did not conform, it was perceived to be critical.

    Litmus, yes, you are correct. Freedom of thought and rational debate are more central values. Diversity is just a result. Bring it all on!

    PS: your link to my blog at aegeandisclosure.blogspot.com is outdated.

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