Saturday, December 15, 2007

Get Educated and shut up?!

Not that long ago a co-blogger and friend of mine described the Turkish educational system as that one of 'Get Educated and Shut up'. In fact, many Turkish friends, especially those who went abroad for an additional education, always complained about how Turkey 'maintain' their 'teach and learn' system. In professional life, I encountered often the will of the Turks to learn and the will to work. But often they didn't know how to be pro-active, or anticipate on, or plan situations. And yes, I miss some creativity as well.
Super Hero wrote about the influence of YOK, unique in its sort in the modern world. I agree completely with his comments.
Also, today Mustafa wrote an excellent column about this issue. Here the start and link.

Why Turks love conspiracy theories (I)
Saturday, December 15, 2007 - Turkish Daily News

Why conspiracy theories are so popular and credible in Turkey? Here are some of the answers I have found
Mustafa AKYOL

Anybody who spends time in Turkey will notice that conspiracy theories are amazingly popular here. Many Turks believe that there are so many evil powers in the world, and in our own society that perpetually play tricks in order to weaken our country. Mapping out these imagined plots is a sort of national pastime.

Since a belief in conspiracies is deeply embedded in culture, politicians use them very often. Most political leaders, or pundits, blame “foreign powers” or “internal enemies” for our problems. Even whey they are caught by paparazzis during inappropriate meetings with their “secretaries,” they confidently accuse their rivals to have designed that “conspiracy.” It is always someone else who must be guilty.
But why? Why are conspiracy theories so popular and credible in Turkey? I have been thinking on that for sometime, and here are some of the answers I have found.
Why not move on?:

First, one has to acknowledge the weight of history. The two final centuries of the Ottoman Empire was an era of continuous defeats and land losses to hostile powers. Moreover, when the Empire finally fell, Turkey proper was occupied by the British, the French, the Italians, and the Greeks. The infamous Treaty of Sevres (1920) gave great chunks of land to all these nations, and it also introduced the idea of a greater Armenia and a Kurdistan on Turkish lands. If Sevres were executed, Turkey would be one-fifth its current size.
Read further here.

11 comments:

Tamar K. said...

This is an interesting post. Not an eye opener for me since I experienced the Turkish busines society, so I know how it works. And they have to work hard to be on track with the modern world. Of course they can do business in countries where they are or want to be dominant: read the Turkic republics, but for sure, they are loosing ground with Europe, the USA and the Asian Tigers!
Excellent post of Super Hero and great column of Mustafa A.

mirdifderya said...

Excellent article. I know that we have been brain washed during our education; Turkish idolism and ect.
so nicely written Thank you Taka akyol

Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

I quote from the article:

The Kurds, who were happy under the multi-ethnic Ottoman system, found this new regime too alienating, and thus reacted against it. (emphasis mine)

Using the advanced scholarly facility called google, I pulled up this page. They don't seem very happy before the 1920s either. I recommend mineral water to help digest that hook, line and sinker.

Then again what do I know? Of course I cannot judge the veracity of the Wikipedia page. Akyol, on the other hand, has a demonstrated track record as a monument of intellectual integrity as a spokesperson of both Adnan Oktar and the Discovery Institute. His credentials as an expert on the gullibility of the Turks are impeccable.

I must be one of those brainwashed by the secular elite of the country to doubt this guy for a second. Yeah that must be it since propagandists and talented mouthpieces are never known to plant their filth inside plausble stories. Instead, I ought to mend my ways and spread whatever it is he's peddling this time as an 'excellent column' w/o a second thought.

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Bulent, I don't think M.A. is on one line with that guy Adnan Oktar...

Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

Again, I recommend google. It is public knowledge that he used to be Oktar's foundation's spokesperson. I'll give you in English. That doesn't mean he's "on one line" with him now, but it does show what he's skilled in and what he might know about under-educated Turks and their propensity to believe in theories of any kind.

Merry Christmas.

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Bulent, thanks, I dind't know that.
I don't have any problem with ID, but I have one with Oktar.
Tomorrow I will have Christmas Dinner with M.A., perfect timing to ask about his connection...))
Merry Christmas.

Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

Of course you wouldn't have a problem with ID, you're not the one who ends up begging smart Turks to learn about complexity theory, thermodynamics and information theory from textbooks as opposed to ID propaganda. (Note that I am not even talking about paleantology or biology. It heartbreaking to see smart and pious Turks resisting knowledge because, of course, what Akyol pushes is right and real textbooks are part of a conspiracy by the secular establishment.) I just thought it was rich for a guy who exploits the gullibility of some Turks to complain about the same.

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

ID is not the invention of the Gulen movement. That would be usurpationistic. In fact I became aware through Anthroposopy, so 35 years ago, which is popular in nw Europe and the USA as well. And full of awarded intelectuals.
I think that conspiracy theories are both popular in the secular elite and the islamist circles in Turkey..)
Not much left, or it must be the LDP party..)

Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

I did not claim anything about Gulen's movement or anthroposophy. How do they figure in?

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Maybe I misunderstand you.
M.A. is more into Gulen than Oktar's. And then I wrote that this is known for me but not his connection with Oktar.
Regarding the topic of this posting is that I used a column of M.A. to show that not that many people are thinking out-the-box, but merely are followers.

Bulent Murtezaoglu said...

Oh perhaps you assume I know these things and that's where the misundestanding comes from. I was gone from the country for a longish time, so I don't quite know who's who. I just read stuff from this guy when people link to his pieces along with their praise. I had no idea about the Gulen connection, though it does appear that he's also their spokesperson. Kudos to Dogan for giving Gulen's people a column. (Or was this op=ed? It doesn't seem obvious from the site.) I'm sure they'll clearly indicate his affiliation when he writes about Gulen's stuff.