After the Ankara bombings on October 10, people were asked to hold a minute of silence, but many refused. Our society can't even unite in grief to honor the victims. We've lost our empathy. That's maybe the worst.
The digital world is developing with such force and such a pace that you simply can't ban or control it. People want to be globally connected.
Turkey has a very young, dynamic, curious population. In Europe, Facebook and Twitter are mostly about sharing daily experiences while for Turkish people, social networks are political platforms.
Turkey in general became too involved with what is happening in Egypt and in Syria. Some politicians with neo-Ottoman dreams developed this idea of being a major player in the Middle East, which hasn't gone as expected.
I believe in optimism of the will, pessimism of the intellect. But my hope is the people, the society, which is ahead of the government.
I would like the refugee crisis to become a new beginning in the Turkish-European relationship. But it would be very problematic if, during this process, human rights were forgotten. Democracy needs to be the priority.
I see two opposite tendencies in Turkish society: people feel demoralized, they lose the interest in politics and retreat to their private lives; or they become very angry and even more politicized, and radicalized. Both trends are troublesome.
Obviously, Turkey is not a typical authoritarian regime, and obviously it's very important that there are free elections. But it's also obvious that this is not a liberal, mature democracy. This is why I call Turkey a wobbly democracy. At any time, it can tip over and fall down.
Sometimes I feel I have more faith in European ideals than some of my British or French friends. For them, it's a financial burden. For me, Europe is primarily about values, about fundamental rights, freedom, women's rights.
In a normal democracy, you protect the individual from the excessive power of the state. In Turkey, power elites try to protect the state - as if this state were fragile and needed protection - when in fact, it's too powerful already.
I am very worried about this concentration of power, and it's not only because of Erdogan. We have the ballot box, but we don't have the culture of democracy. The government says: You see, we have the majority, we're entitled to do anything we want. But that's not democracy, that's majoritarianism.
Many analysts compare Turkey with countries in the Middle East, but I think we need to compare it with Russia. Both countries come from a tradition of empire, and also from a tradition of the strong state.
Our politics is very masculine, very aggressive, and it's very polarizing. And the pace of this development has increased in recent years. Erdogan is, in my eyes, the most polarizing politician in recent Turkish political history.
Almost half of the Turkish population believes it is not legitimate to criticize the government. Interestingly, this correlates with the number of supporters of Erdogan's government.
When I am writing political op-eds, I do think carefully about the impact of my words. When I am writing fiction, it's a different story. In my fiction I am more reckless. I don't care about the real world until I am done with the book.
I remember a time when it was ok to make fun of politicians and powerful people. Now, it's not ok anymore. We've forgotten how to laugh.
Words are heavy in Turkey, and every writer, every poet and every journalist knows that, because of a word, because of a sentence, because of a tweet or even a retweet, you can be sued, you can be demonized by the media and you can even land in prison.
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