Today's Turkish Daily News run a column of a Turkish-Finn, or Finnish-Turk; Reeta Cevik.
What she writes is interesting and can be said for most N.W. Europeans, as for other Europeans as well. Turkey is still a young and a fragile democracy but it is maturing quickly.
Emre already wrote about her on his blog. Here is the integral one:
Turkish elections through a Finnish lens
Friday, July 20, 2007
Differences and similarities
Observing Turkish politics from a Finnish perspective is always an adventure. In Finland, consensus and compromise are the rules of the political game. Finnish politicians consider it inappropriate to blame their rivals or to focus on irreconcilable ideological differences. In Turkey, on the other hand, political parties tend to give prominence to negative criticism, sometimes at the expense of developing and explaining their own positive policies.
The second difference is the role of women in politics. In Turkey, women comprise a rather small minority in Parliament, despite having won full political rights before their sisters in many other European countries. In Finland, women hold 42 percent of the seats. The consequences are clear. Policies created by both genders find a deeper resonance in society as a whole, whereas policies created solely by one gender are often unsuccessful. Such policies simply lack the complementary wisdom and insight that only the female half of the population could contribute.
The third difference is in the use of rhetoric.Agitated and aggressive gestures are considered uncivilized in Finnish political etiquette. The shouting matches (and worse) that occasionally echo in the Turkish Parliament could not even be imagined in Finland.
However, despite all these differences, Turkey and Finland also share a wealth of common experiences and common values.
Continue reading here.