Last night on one of the Italian TV channels, La7, in the program called L'infedele, conducted by Gad Lerner, they talked about Turkey, Iraq, PKK and the Armenian issue. During the whole day in our mailing lists for Turks living in Italy we received mails asking for Turkish people (around 5 people were asked for) living in Milan who would like to participate in the program as part of the audience to represent the Turkish side. The program was supposed to be on air at 21.30 and the audience was called for 20.30. The problem is, if they were really sincerely willing to have some people representing the Turkish side they would have made this call days before so that people would get ready/cancel appointments etc. to be able to attend the show. When you receive a call just hours before a live talk show it is not easy to say immediately 'OK, I am available'.
I wasn't willing to watch the show, in fact, since I get usually very angry seeing these one-sided discussions that go nowhere. But my husband while zapping had found the program and called me saying 'They are talking about Turkey again'. After finishing whatever it was I doing, I joined him. From the Turkish side there was only Yasemin Taskin, correspondent of the Turkish newspaper Sabah in Rome. Otherwise, there was someone from the Catholic University in Milan, some expert on Pakistan, a guy, whose name I don't remember, born in Turkey but of which origin he is I have no idea, an Armenian woman with the surname Arslan, an Italian economist (she seemed really well informed, and talked quite reasonably) and audience which was just watching... They had a live connection to Murat Belge of Bilgi University, Istanbul. Everything said in the program in Italian was translated to English for him, he gave his answers in Turkish and his words were translated back to Italian. The first sentence, the first translation to Italian and it was not correct, so I lost my interest and belief in the program immediately.
Once again, I am no politician or politics enthusiast, so all I can report is how everything looked to 'a Turkish man on the street'. The 'Turkish side' did not exist. Whoever was chosen to represent the Turkish side was, in fact, on 'the other side', thus it was quite a 'one-sided' discussion, again. Nothing seemed to be resolved, nothing seemed to be clearer, they tried to draw a parallel between the Turkish army and Pakistani army (!!!!), which was opposed by, if I am not mistaken, the guy from the Catholic University in Milan, Murat Belge was himself as usual, Yasemin Taskin was left alone there to give the Turkish view (the cameraman was fixing the camera on her most of the time; she is quite attractive, to tell the truth), and before I fell asleep on the sofa nobody from the audience said a word.. I don't think they said any words at all afterwards either.
Hence, another pointless discussion on TV that caused only a discussion between me and my husband. Yes, me and my husband always have some kind of fiery discussion when we watch these things because he being from the west, although quite ignorant on our issues, thinks to know everything and has the right solution to all the problems, and me being Turkish and quite a nationalist (in his eyes) have to defend myself, my people, my history. I am so fed up being on the defensive side! It is not easy being a Turk outside of Turkey. We are like fish out of the fish bowl....