Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Turkey's Paradox

I may be drawn to Turkey when I'm far away, and I fathom serving my country some way some day, but I can't stand living here! How big a double standard is that?? I don't feel as happy and fullfilled here as I would have been anywhere else in the world. The stark difference between "have"s and "have not"s disturb me. The difference is two-fold: The difference between people's incomes, but also the difference in people's education, values, habits, mind-set. (of course, many people who can close the income gap cannot close the mind gap, that's another story.) These two differences reinforce each other in a vicious cycle, until some extraordinarily smart (or clever) person breaks the circle and steps up. This leads to a feeling of insecurity and threat.

In Turkey, a decent person with a decent education and income who minds his own business is scared, intimidated or disturbed by the following: Pick-pockets, thieves, city thugs with guns and knives, street children (and teenagers!), traffic accidents, seperatist terrorists, Islamists with their secretive groups and intentions, women with headscarves, a military coup, capricious tax regulations, capricious tax audits, a new economic crisis, and the police. I'm sure I forgot something. And in the case that one of these threats is realized, our decent man does not feel secure that the judicial system will bring sufficient and timely justice.

But people survive in this environment, do business, and enjoy their lives - and they miss it when they are away... Gotta go now, bis bald!

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