Friday, March 11, 2011

Insights into the Turkish psyche

Claire Berlinski who lives amongst Turks understands them better than we ever will. The sooner we realize what Claire Berlinski is talking about the better. Only then will we begin to understand why we find so weird, unnatural and spiteful the display of a flag on a stolen mountain to proclaim one's theft, while for the Turks and their TSK buffoons it is the most natural thing in the world, something to feel really proud of. These people look like us somewhat, some of them anyhow, and that's the extend of our similarities. They think they are western but in reality they are light years away from our western world .

Having said that, tCypriots are NOT Turks!! Aside from a very small minority of them who have sold their soul to the devil, including the useful idiot Eroglu, most will go out of their way to stress this point exactly, that they are not Turks. Unfortunately the tCypriots who are not Turks are lost, without compass and without a real leader. I guess this is better for Cyprus in a way! Sad but true.

Read the excerpts below or the full WORLD AFFAIRS JOURNAL article here: Smile and Smile: Turkey's Feel-Good Foreign Policy Claire Berlinski | WORLD AFFAIRS JOURNAL July-August 2010

But I have long since learned that its people are apt to go berserk on you for no reason whatsoever, and you just can’t trust a word they say. As one Turkish friend put it (a man who has spent many years in America, and thus grasps the depth of the cultural chasm), “It’s not that they’re bad. They don’t even know they’re lying.”

[Turks] see “truth” as something plastic, connected more to emotions than to facts or logic. If it feels true, it is true. What’s more, feelings here tend to change very quickly—and with them, the truth.

The argument, they explained, had nothing to do with the real risk of burglary, and certainly nothing to do with my rights under Turkish rental law. It was about my failure to show the man the proper respect.

They are, after all, Turkish, so they pretty much say whatever sounds good to them at the time. They tend to explain these situations ex post facto with appeals to the subtleties of Turkish culture, but the story never stays the same. I’ve been in similar situations in which these same Turkish friends have explained that my mistake was asking, rather than telling. Asking, they have assured me, is a sign of weakness, so no wonder my adversaries sought to take advantage.

The Turkish diplomat Namik Tan put it to me this way ... “The West must understand,” he said, “that in [Turkey], two plus two doesn’t always equal four. Sometimes it equals six, sometimes ten. You cannot hope to understand this region unless you grasp this.” You might think he meant this metaphorically, but in my experience this is literal. If someone here feels very strongly that he wants two plus two to make ten [my comment: "trnc" to exist? Illegal settlers to be legal? Cyprus having two Presidents?], then—voilà!—that’s what it means, and there is an emotional truth to it, in the mind of the speaker, that is morally more important than any literal truth.

They don’t even know they’re lying. In Turkey, it is normal and expected to say that you will do something, have done something, or agree with something when, in fact, you won’t, haven’t, or don’t. This is so common that no one thinks of it as lying, in the sense that it is not viewed as unethical. It is just being polite. They assume you know they’re not being truthful, and they expect you to be lying as well, so it all evens out.

The utter irrationality of Turks—and the utter uselessness, for them, of our Western notions of truth and logic—are points Americans won’t grasp unless they’ve lived [in Turkey] quite some time—and even then they won’t grasp them, because they make no sense.

“Long-term thinking,” however, is not really a Turkish trait. If something works for the next two hours, many a Turkish repairman has assured me, that’s good enough. Foreigners here have a word for the kind of jerry-rigged system Turks like to construct rather than building something that might still work in ten years’ time: Turknology.

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Turkey's Kurds & Cyprus' tCypriots

As either unitary state or federation solutions are discussed as replacements to Cyprus' 1960 and Turkey's 1923 unworkable constitutions, should we abide by "if a right is a right too many for Turkey's Kurdish community (circa 23% of population) then that right is a right too many for Cyprus' tCypriot community too (circa 15%), and vice versa." Is the adoption of this fair logic the catalyst to securing just solutions for both UN countries.