Published in Turkish Daily News of 16 February 2007
Istanbul cannot be renamed Constantinople anymore: Istanbul is a brand name.
Is Turkey acting responsibly in the international scene? Looking at it from the point of view of an independent communication manager, I would say “no,” at least “not always.” Turkey wants to be loved very much and as everyone knows, if you are desperately seeking love, you won't get it.
Actually, Turkey is facing hot issues these days, mainly unsolved problems of the past. Problems which became ghosts haunting Turkish identity: the alleged Armenian genocide (or shall we call it, for a change, democide) and Cyprus. There is also the ongoing hostility with some of Turkey's neighbors, like Armenia, Greece (still) and Iraq. But to make these things clear, Turkey must withhold its traditional way of reacting in order to become a serious and rational sparring and business partner. International statesmen and diplomats always appear rational and employ PR agents to guide them and make them understandable. Why not in Turkey? Since when is nationalism more important than the prosperity and health of a nation and its citizens? Nationalism becomes more and more an empty word these days.
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