Archive for March, 2014

Lounging in bed into the wee hours of the night–well for me at least–I was flipping back and forth between Facebook and my latest iTunes TV series.  Trying to extrapolate what was going on with the elections by reading FB posts in Turkish and English, at one point I remember literally feeling my stomach drop.  It really felt like a black, ominous, suffocating, post-apocalyptic cloud had covered this adopted country of mine.  At 11:00 pm, it looked to me like the AKP had yet again won the majority of votes.

Upon waking, some of the news looked better.  For example it appeared that Ankara had voted in the CHP party, and AKP was out.  Also, AKP had much less support than they did in the last elections, also a good thing.  There were three females elected to key positions…seemingly good.  And then I came across RTE’s “balcony speech” and didn’t have the stomach to finish it.  Do we really have to put up with more of him and his machismo rhetoric as he addresses his paid minions?  Really?

But as the day progressed, and life went on, as it does when you have young children, it dawned on me that this isn’t the end.  Sure, I am bummed that RTE is up there gloating like a puffed up ignoramus but  I am even more bummed that his ultra conservative ideas threaten to break down women’s rights, the environment, intellectualism, and progressivism in all shapes and forms (I mean, does the dude even read?).  But I still have hope for this country.

What I saw go down in June showed me that a significant part of the population does not want a person like him in power.  And for the first time in 13 years, a former student of mine recently told me he wanted to come back from Brown and get into politics in Turkey, and this is a kid I would totally vote for. At 17, he had more conscience, intellect, and integrity than the all of the AKP toadies combined. That alone gives me hope.  Students used to always tell me that the last thing they wanted to do was to be a politician but it seems now that young people are standing up and doing something.  The spirit of Democracy has been re-awakened.  Having been juxtapositioned next to a bully’s leadership ideology, how couldn’t it be?

So, as the old cliché saying goes, it ain’t over till the fat lady sings, and folks, the fat lady ain’t sung yet.


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