Thursday, March 12, 2009

Turkey; a polarized society

Projects and amount of money the EU spent yearly in Turkey on civil society activities.

When I lived in the USA, people were pretty divided regarding politics, if you spoke about politics at least. Here in Turkey, people are not only divided but the society at large is enormous polarized. Sometimes it looks like that you don't have a choice in how to be: you are a secular fanatic or a religious conservative bigot as Mustafa today pointed out. If you are not one of them you are automatically the opposite, no gray allowed. The media is attacking each other as well, acting like a political party and be a political factor of importance. In fact, journalists become personal and delicate in their attacks. I find this a worrisome development Therefore; the tendency towards a more "polarized" society must have a central place in the Turkish political debate. Fears that the splitting of the society into "two nations" could drive social conflict to levels that have been unknown in Europe since 1945. The combination of this polarization with other individual factors such as race or religion is an additional factor of concern in my opinion. In sum, there are growing signs of social clustering and polarization and these phenomena seem to favour the raise of social unrest. Even e-groups debates are highly run by emtonions; rational comments and nuances are waved away with a cynical undertone. Or is Turkey finally maturing, I don't think so. And as long as reactive behavior plays a key-role, the blame-the-other factor, and nationalisme and xenophoby are embraced and exploit, I don’t see progress towards integration in the EU, although billions of Euros spent (see chart)
Here the latest from the EU regarding Turkey.
Turkey is still a 'Generals Republic'.

Day Openıng - March 12

Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, Hungary. Art Nouveau