Poland vs. Turkey – Clash of Tytans

Living in Istanbul, reading Polish and Turkish media I couldn’t help but notice some differences and similarities.

Perhaps you have too.

Tape Affairs in Turkey and Poland

cassettes

Both former Prime Ministers Tusk and Erdoğan were subjects to a tape affair.

In both cases the affair did not damage their careers as it seemed it would at first.

Erdogan has been elected the President after 11 years in office as PM.

Tusk has been appointed to Brussels for an EU chair. And not just any. Head of EU Council.

Polish affair seems to be nothing in comparison to the Turkish one although the Turkish one, now after almost a year, seems to have been forgotten. It is still the President Erdoğan who the President Obama calls to discuss foreign affairs matters.

In the Polish affair there are a few players. The Central Bank chief offers a deal to break the law (Central Bank would finance political activity) where the PM is a partner. It involves also the former Foreign Affairs and Internal Affairs Ministers who frequently use rude language and laugh at quite unrefined jokes involving men’s parts and offend foreign politicians and governments.

In Turkey, it has been more serious. The Prime Minister has asked his son to remove huge amounts of money from the homes of family members and conceal it. His son reports he was able to remove most of it but they still have 30 million euros that we could not yet conceal …

In Turkey media were reporting that this is his political suicide, his end that he will never recover but … he is now the President.  And his opponents … they have reasons to hate him even more.

The English transcripts can be found here

Being gay

 

There is a gay Parliament Member in Poland.

I have no idea if there is one in the Turkish parliament but I doubt he  would come out… In Turkey you do not come out. OK, maybe in some cities – in Istanbul, in Izmir you may find a group of friends but in the rest of the country … Many gays suffer from REAL persecution from their families. Not only do they fear ostracism, criticism but they also have the grounds to fear for their lives.

I recommend the Günesi gördüm  movie for examples.

gunesli gordum

Or this article 

Women

We have had two women Prime Ministers. How many has Turkey had?

2:0

hanna suchocka female prime minister ewa kopacz female prime minister

The government does not forbid us to laugh out loud and reminds to behave and know our place!

We hold high positions in big companies, banks, government. Of course, still, less than men but we don’t have to constantly prove we can do and know as much as men. Or more.

Polish business women are NOT that aggressive and career oriented because they are not in the underprivileged situation.

 

Headscarf

Only nuns cover their heads. Or fashion bloggers. By choice, not because they are expected to by their families. Travelling through Turkey I have been to regions where a woman with her hair uncovered is an exception. You can notice she is yabanci. For me, unfortunately, the headscarf is a synonym of backwardness. Perhaps in cities, there are educated women, holding high positions who do cover their hair. But somehow, even in Istanbul, I see them working as cooks, cleaners, sales assistants. Not as accountants, mangers, IT professionals.

I think it is saying something.

 

Child brides a.k.a. paedophilia

 

The use of the words child and bride, to me,  is an oxymoron but here, in many (most?) places  a normal thing. I am really amazed at how they incorporated the word bride to make it socially acceptable. In a normal country it would be called for what it is paedophilia. The child bride looks and sounds sweet and it makes me even more disgusted. I used to be a teenage girl too and I haven’t forgotten who a teenage is. A child.

If you think this is uncommon, please look up Hayrunnisa Gül- former president’s wife, the first lady. The Wikipedia entry of her name will inform you the couple married when the president was 30 and his bride 15, making her “the most famous child bride of Turkey.”

Come on… What does it say about the country? And its government.

I’m sure it could be regulated and controlled if someone cared.

According to the Ministry of Interior Affairs, in the last three years 134,629 persons below 18 years of age were married in Turkey, with 5,763 boys and 128,866 girls*

Moreover, the Gaziantep University research studied child marriage in various Turkish regions. Researchers found that 82% of child brides in Turkey are illiterate.*

Sources:  here and here 

 

 

2 Responses

  1. Burak says:

    Hi,
    I am a Turkish expat living in Poland.
    I think you lived too many years outside of Poland, and forgot how situation really looks like in your own country.

    First of all your comparison about Prime Ministers shows the lack of your knowledge about Turkey and proves your one-sided view.

    Tansu Ciller was the prime minister of Turkey between 1993-1996. Unlike Suchocka, Tansu Ciller was a strong political figure in Turkey, served as president of one of the major parties for almost ten years, was prime minister, deputy prime minister, minister of foreign affairs etc. And we both know that Kopacz is a joke, and only result of a transition period. She won’t be in the office next September :)

    I am working in Polish headquarters of a multinational company, and the percentage of women in high management jobs is not even 1%. The only aim of business women in Poland (rather than visiting pudelek.pl every morning) is find a husband, then to become mother, get 1 year paid maternity leave and become housewife after that.

    You can’t see examples like Guler Sabanci or Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag in Polish business life. You don’t have any woman CEOs in Fortune 500 list. And probably never will.

    Unlike Polish women, Turkish women can enjoy right to abortion. They can enjoy free access to next-day pills without in need of an EU law.
    In Poland you can find many pharmacies with big letters on their window “WE DO NOT SELL BIRTH CONTROL MEDICINE”, If a pharmacy tries to do the same thing, next day their licence will be cancelled in Turkey.

    Unlike Poland, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) is not a sin in Turkey.

    Turkey is the first country to sign and ratify Council of Europe’s “Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence”, not like Poland who refuses to ratify the convention in fears of “destroying Polish family values”. As I see from the many examples by myself violence against woman is the basic foundation of the Polish family value.

    You may have a gay MP or major, but do you really know how it is look like to be a Gay in Poland? Have you ever seen gay couples holding hands and kissing openly? They can do that in Istanbul but not in Krakow. Man kissing a man is a reason to die here in Krakow.

    Don’t even get me started with paedophilia… I don’t want to list disgusting thing here.

  2. admin says:

    Thank you for visiting my site and leaving a comment. Thanks also for showing a different angle on things.

    I guess we could end up an in an endless discussion but in short, perhaps, the examples you are giving are good and I should have done my homework about Tansu Ciller – I read about her only recently and am under impression of her achievments.

    I still have a different view on the situation of women after seeing a big part of rural Turkey…

    I am not religious but I wouldn’t use the phrase of “enjoying the right to abortion”. And yes, I have seen gay couples in Warsaw and worked with a gay. No one made a big deal of it but true, people I know in Istanbul wouldn’t make a deal about it either. But what you can read on the news is scary …

    I also work in an international company and know both Turkish and Polish people – both women and men read pudelek or similar pages. In my opinion this is called laziness and lack of work ethic.

    I am worried about some developments in your country regarding freedom of journalism and internet.

    Your country is aspiring to be an EU member. One day, some rights / privileges you have may need to change to comply with the EU requirement.

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