Society, Politics, and Economy in Modern Turkey: Sociology of Turkey - Maintained by Tugrul Keskin
We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)
― Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

Monday, August 4, 2014

Turkish people are naively proud of themselves, survey shows

Barçın Yinanç

Hurriyet Daily News - Monday,August 4 2014

The findings of a new survey suggest Turks are pround of their country’s achievements but don’t know exactly why. The survey conducted by two professors also shows that despite the country’s elite’s global aspirations, ordinary citizens have remained parochial. ‘Global identity is something strange to the Turkish mind,’ says Ali Çarkoğlu

Turks are proud of their country’s accomplishments even though there is no empirical evidence to justify this feeling, according to the findings of a new survey.  “Turks are proud but they don’t know why,” said Professor Ali Çarkoğlu of Koç University, who conducted the survey together with Professor Ersin Kalaycıoğlu of Sabancı University.

The findings of the survey, “Nationalism in Turkey and the World,” which was conducted as part of the International Social Survey Program, revealed that religion is the primary factor shaping Turks’ national identity.

The survey suggests Turks are rather self-centered and there is a lack of feeling of international solidarity. This seems contradictory when we look at the reaction in the public about the Gaza bombardment.
The ruling party elites have increasingly become globalized. In every part of the world, the AKP [Justice and Development Party] leadership promised and delivered on being active. However, when it come to the masses, first of all, foreign relations are extremely complicated; people find it extremely difficult to comprehend what is happening in the outside world unless the leader simplifies those relationships.

In addition, this is a country that is increasingly becoming more open to the outside world, but we are not yet like the Swedes or the Germans. Many Turks do not have any direct link with the outside world. A typical Turkish family citizen would not have had gone outside the country. The Turkish public at large is very parochial – parochial in a sense that life revolves around the family and the neighborhood, and that’s basically it. Beyond that first circle, there is not much going on in the Turkish public psyche; as such, politicians also use this in an almost official line of argument that “The Turk has no friend but the Turk.”


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