So what do the Turkish people think?

We’re a little tired of hearing what the Turkish people think from politicians and pundits, especially pundits who clearly have never spoken to a Turk in their lives. We decided we’d ask the Turkish people directly. It’s strange how few journalists do that. Here’s a preview of some of the footage we shot.  More to come.

Talking to the Turkish People, Part 1

Talking to the Turkish People, Part 2

Talking to the Turkish People, Part 3

Talking to the Turkish People, Part 4

Talking to the Turkish People, Part 5

Talking to the Turkish People, Part 6

Talking to the Turkish People, Part 7

Talking to the Turkish People, Part 8

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12 Responses to So what do the Turkish people think?

  1. Tom says:

    Great stuff,
    It seems that all Turks blame Israel, some to the extent of calling for the eradication of jews and others just blame the government. Its amusing to hear those that speak of Israel and it’s “crimes” against palestinians, unable to perceive the hypocrisy of their words with how the Turks treat the kurds. Over 40,000 kurds have died in recent years, about 10 times the amount of palestinians. Its not unexpected though when you consider they hold the view the “Muslims can’t commit genocide” as they bear hug the president of Sudan.

    • okanp says:

      Tom, you need to come to Turkey and talk to some Kurdish citizens before you reach your conclusions. The situation is not as simple as you state. Just talking to PKK members and/or sympathizers would not be representative of the majority of Kurds who make up more than 15 million of Turkey’s population of over 70 million. They are our brothers and sisters, sharing the same fate as many (I mean, a lot of) Turks in the face of an oligarchic political system, about which I do not see the Western powers or the EU complaining in real terms.

      • Tom says:

        @Okanp,
        I’ve been to Turkey, though, indeed I have not talked to the kurds. Do you suggest that all kurds feel this way. Even the Iraqi kurds being bombed continually inside of their state?
        As for the western powers not complaining. I think they realize that instead of an oligarchy run society they’ll get an Islamic one. With Turkey’s history during its reign as an Islamic Caliphate and its genocide of the Armenians, I think the governments are just picking the lesser of evils.

  2. okanp says:

    I don’t suggest all Kurds feel one way or the other. Neither can any intelligent person. But you seem to have made up your mind. I should not waste my time. You are entitled to your opinion regardless of what I think of it.

    On the other hand, Western powers have always created monsters and then ended up having to deal with them. They will (are) do(ing) it again.

    I am definitely pro-West and particularly pro-American, but not pro-Western megalomania. I say “Western powers should also worry about the Iranian oligarchy, Arab monarchies, the EU oligarchy and the Russian oligarchy if they are going to worry about the Turkish oligarchy.” Turkey is not the only oligarchy in the world and certainly has not been as dangerous for the West (Oops, I forgot that the recent and current Western leaders are stupid and/or ignorant enough not to have yet noticed it) as the Islamist oligarchy which the West idiotically and self-destructively likes to see in Turkey because the Islamists (temporarily) kiss butt.

    I also didn’t realize “certain” (certainly not all) Kurdish and Armenian elements (both supported by the Soviet Union at one time, coincidentally) determined the policies of Western powers. But now I know, I guess.

    I despise the Turkish oligarchy, but I do not think modern Turkey overall deserves your biased “With Turkey’s history during its reign as an Islamic Caliphate and its genocide of the Armenians, I think the governments are just picking the lesser of evils.” statement. It just doesn’t sound right: Modern Turkey did away with the Ottoman ways, and now the West wants to bring them back after complaining so much about them. Surely there are still those overly nationalistic elements in Turkey, but leaving the inept political leaders on all sides aside, the Turkish people are in no way anti-Kurdish or anti-Armenian or anti-Greek or anti-religion (as the NY Times, Newsweek, Huffington Post, the Economist, the Guardian, the Independent and Financial Times -among others – would like to make us all believe it by writing it over and over and over again).

    • Tom says:

      @Okan,
      I have nothing against Turkey or Turkish people. As I noted earlier I have visited Turkey and thoroughly enjoyed. Nor do I think the west is perfect, so your comments about western megalomania are out of context. I understand also that it is hard to hear criticism about your country. Surely, americans randomly picked to talk about muslims may not do much better in their inflammatory talk. The problem as I see it is that some of the more virulent talk is reflected in the Turkish government and the people currently running the show. So, the Turk calling for the eradication of the jews isn’t such a far stretch when a government official calls all Israelis the children of Hitler.

      You say the Turks are not anti a number of things, are they anti american? anti jews? anti christian? just wondering what your perspective is.

      Also, in regards to paying attention to other oligarchies. I think the U.S. is definitely paying attention to other oligarchies, though, I wouldn’t call the EU an Oligarchy in the same sense Russia is or Arab monarchies are.

      • okanp says:

        Time will show but the EU may be just as dangerous as Russia or the Arab monarchies when their “appointed” officials promoting leftist and/or Islamist policies, often betraying Europeans. We have been experiencing it in Turkey as they have been doing their best shove the Islamist party down our throats.

        I touched upon Western megalomania with respect to your note “As for the western powers not complaining. I think they realize that instead of an oligarchy run society they’ll get an Islamic one.” It wasn’t directed at you, but rather at “the western powers” who appear to be in no position to realize anything recently.

        The Turkish people in general make anti- or pro- statements to the extent they have been fed such sentiments by political leaders and the biased media from where they get their information. It most often does not mean they are exactly that way.

        I do not think you can conclude that the Turkish people as whole are anti- any of those things even though you can certainly find people who are anti- any of them. For most, however, it would change with the agenda fed to them by politicians and the media, with much of the anti- feelings proving transitory unless the person in question or his close ones had bad individual experiences.

        This is why Erdogan and the AKP are critical. They fan the flames of discontent and direct them at their own enemies, which is the whole non-Muslim world, starting with Israel but not limited to it. They will temporarily collaborate with anyone, nonetheless, to position themselves to suit their political needs.

  3. Hart Law says:

    I’m not quite as cynical as Tom. There are a few folks interviewed who are beyond hope (for example, the one guy who accused Israel of killing babies, using chemical weapons and committing genocide in . . where was it. . . Bosnia??). But so many of those interviewed, even those wearing religious garb seemed to have reached reasonable conclusions based on what they see in the Turkish media. They also seem to be aware that what they believe is based on media reports. That seems to indicate that they would be capable of rethinking their beliefs based on new information.

    Hart

  4. uncle joe mccarthy says:

    kudos for doing this

    i hope someone like max blumenthal watches this and sees the correct way of getting man on the street interviews

    not surprised by much of the ignorance of the average turk

    would have liked to have seen a few more interviews with younger turks

  5. uncle joe mccarthy says:

    okan

    i see you left the best for last…you sly dog

  6. Okan O says:

    yeah im going okan P here go talk to the kurds

  7. David says:

    Having followed the slanted reports in Huriyet at the time i’m not that shocked that the Turks in this film are just so ignorant of the facts. I suppose they are no more ignorant than most people in the west who swallow the propaganda that the Israelis are just trying to bomb and starve the Gazans for their own sadistic purposes.

    That despite the misrepresentation of the true purposes of the IHH and its provocative mission, a number of the interviewees could criticise their government and the IHH is interesting.

    It’s interesting that none of those interviewed were aware that Israel delivered all of the aid, outdated and much useless equipment, via the port of Ashdod.

    In the age of mass media, with journalists only too willing to ignore the facts in service of the message, it is so easy to manipulate the truth. That’s the really sad thing about all this. We have been here before though starting with the Boer War as written about by Jon Simpson in his book Unreliable Sources.

  8. sonibvc says:

    I will say that the only people who like the turks and their state are the people who visit there on holidays. The turks have been degrading the region and its people since their arrival in the 13 century. Their culture and mentality has caused a lot grief for hundreds of years and their rule over the region via the ottoman empire has kept it a backward corner of the world.

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