YAVUZ – It’s the culture, stupid!

It’s the culture, stupid!Life goes on as usual for the arrogant powers that be.Day nine of the disaster displays a leadership in convulsion, driven by primitive reflexes to launch counterattacks against critical views, targeting individuals who have voiced their dissent.

At the “lower” (!) level, the infuriated citizens of this seemingly ill-destined country have faced repeated insults to their intelligence, humiliation, contempt, threats and “physical taming” by the exercise of violence.It is day nine and we have seen no minister resigning, no bureaucrat uttering their regret over even the possibility of an oversight.

An open apology by the highest responsible authority, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan, does not seem to be in sight.Not at all.

We have been reminded once more, bitterly, that sensitivity to human values is a liability in this geography.Those days in which we believed a fundamental change was coming are overRegret, repentance, remorse and contrition are not part of the political culture of this country.

When we heard about an apology by ErdoIan for all those Kurds massacred in Dersim in the mid-1930s some time ago, a flicker of hope was ignited among us. It did not take us long to realize that those words were only part of a shallow, tactical political game.

No follow-up was noted.That is why when ErdoIan issued written — not oral — condolences on 1915, it raised much more suspicion than belief.

Turkey’s political culture remains frozen, archaic, untouchable and hopeless, no matter how much the country’s economic progress is bragged about.The cheapest counteraccusation to this sort of diagnosis is just around the corner: orientalism A term now so overused that it is losing its value.

We live in a harsh culture. It lacks the values of measured debate, rationalism, consensus-seeking, solution-orientation and the ability to say sorry when the situation calls for it.

Instead, every day we face the lowest possible usage of the language conspiracy-based, upside-down “reasoning” vilifying the “other” We know no boundaries, quickly resorting to violence, which is still seen as a legitimate method of “convincing” those who disagree with us.The national culture is the criteria, per se, to determine where a country belongs on a ranking of humanity and progress.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan, one of the best movie directors of his generation and currently a contender at the Cannes Film Festival with his latest work, “Winter Sleep,” put it eloquently in a recent — and rare — interview with Cansu amlIbel from Hurriyet:“Our people,” he told her, “dislike weakness. We lack the tradition of displaying or manifesting weakness as a virtue.

It is partly the reason why ErdoIan received so many votes. Modesty has never been regarded as a real overriding value over here.

As soon as you start acting humbly, respect for you starts to fade. All the elements of our culture push our people to swell with importance and praise themselves to hide their defects and flaws.

This leads us to shoulder an immense load. All the things we are hiding accumulate over time.

“If we ever managed to develop a culture of confession and realize that we would be appreciated for revealing ourselves, we would go ahead. We would remove this load.

Maybe our politicians would also start seeking opportunities to apologize by thinking they would be appreciated. But they don’t today because they believe they will be done for as soon as they apologize.

“Unless we develop mechanisms to praise a minister who utters an apology and punish the others who don’t, we will never be able to get rid of these problems.”But there is more to what Ceylan says.

Turkey for decades has been suffering from malicious patriarchalism and chronic personality worship. Wherever they go, ministers and those in power attract flocks of people around and behind them These disturbing scenes are also experienced in countries where democracies are built on equality.

The culture that reproduces personality cults poisons leaders, pushing them into a world of delusion and arrogance.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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