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An essay on popular perception shift of 2013 in Turkey

By | January 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm | No comments | Featured, Opinion | Tags: , , , , ,

For Başak Güçyeter

Life is a learning process. It’s the art of giving meaning to the chaos around us. The knowledge we gather during this process is not necessarily cumulative. It’s one enlightenment here, one disappointment there that make the big picture which we call our life experience.

And despite all our denial, humans are social animals. We thrive to act in flock, we feel comfort in company. Social change is the epitome of those gatherings.

The year of 2013 will be remembered by the people of Turkey as the year when change started. In many incidents social and personal change do not have immediate results, reactions like in a chemical experiment where the outcome is obvious to all senses. The change embedded in 2013 for the people of Turkey however, is like a model that has embraced our modus operandi that we do not perceive in a cognitive level now, nevertheless reflected in the totality of our actions. Or on the sides we take. In short, we were all reprogrammed by the changes we internalized in this particular year in history.

Take your mind at least twenty years ahead. Try to picture where you stand in 2012. What your ambitions were. How did you perceive your country back then. The gap between that state of mind and the way you think now is a product of a process that started in 2013.

You loved your country back in 2012. But you loved it like an imaginary friend. Your vision of it without paying attention to what it really was. Even if you did, your thoughts were embellished with a historical code that you never knew existed, never accepted as an influence. In short your perception was rather ideological than cognitive. Independent of your political views, social status or income level that is. However, the facts surrounding people defending a small park in central Istanbul or airplanes bombing a bunch of Kurdish youth, or a cop with the help of a few thugs beating up a boy in side streets to death; a series of events, albeit long time reality of your country, but no longer hidden from your eyes thanks to the alternative media, hit your long established values so hard that you no longer could resist to the brutal nature of reality. Finally it was not imaginary, finally it was cognitive.
You changed.

For a brief time which felt like centuries, you left behind the luggage you carry around that you call “the daily life.” You started learning through a new process that your brain was not accustomed to: there were no one to tell you what was happening, why it was happening and what would become of it. Your long established set of values were not prepared to answer such questions. You had to understand the cause-result duality through new means. You had to understand, develop a causality and act upon it to gain results. All alone and whilst acting along the masses, members of which were all as flabbergasted and lost (and found) as you were.

Most did nothing. Most kept on believing. Many even turned a blind eye only to be awaken at the middle of the night with astonishment and despair by the pans and pots drumming of their neighbors protesting against status quo.

Even you got derailed in many occasions. But as the maddening crowd receded and you had time to reflect, you had come to a realization of two facts;
1. It was just the beginning.
2. It was better to see the country you love for what it is.

In knowledge lay the love. Long-remembered hatred, feeling of vengeance, heartaches, even despair, for a moment, disappeared from your heart.
Hope entered.

And that hope might not be in vain. The seeds laid by the upsurge, if cultivated by the people, and that means you, both internally and externally might lead to a different reality.

Social actions have the form of a wave. And as any other wave it had to subside. So is the learning process. But in the times of the ebb we have to observe, reflect and conclude. To be prepared for the next tide.

And the next tide will be raised by the new group of people for sure.

If you can change with the help of your new raison d’être, equipped with a new armory, why not the society?

About the Author

Stratos Moraitis Stratos Moraitis

Blogger, writer & photographer of a free nature with a focus on human rights & minority issues in Turkey,Greece and Middle East. Follow Stratos at Twitter: @oemoral and Like our page at Facebook

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