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Old 24th February 2009, 05:45   #1 (permalink)
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Are turkish people xenophobic?

There has been a survey carried out and this is what has been reported -

Turks are xenophobic, socially conservative people who rarely read books, relegate women to second-class status and harbour ambivalent views about democracy, contentious new research has revealed.

The unflattering picture has emerged from a survey by one of Turkey's most respected polling organisations, Konda, which interviewed 6,482 people.

Some 73% opposed allowing foreigners to own Turkish land or property, while nine out of 10 said they had never taken a holiday abroad. Just under 70% said they never read books, and 72% said they never or rarely bought new hi-tech products as soon they appeared on the market. Many also expressed fears that Turkey's neighbours planned to carve up the country.

Nearly 70% said wives needed their husband's permission to work while 57% believed that a female should never leave home wearing a sleeveless top. More than half - 53% - favoured allowing women judges, prosecutors, teachers and other public servants to wear the Islamic headscarf on duty, something Turkey's secular constitution forbids.

While 88% agreed that Turkey should be governed by democracy "under each and every condition", this was undermined by the significant proportion - 48% - who said the military should intervene "when necessary". The powerful armed forces have toppled four elected governments in coups in the past 50 years.

The survey, entitled Who Are We?, was conducted on behalf of Hurriyet, one of Turkey's biggest selling newspapers, renowned for its secularist outlook.

Tarhan Erdem, senior analyst with Konda, said the research was aimed at understanding ongoing social transformation and seeing whether Turkey was the country many of its people thought they knew. The high support for military intervention showed Turks had reservations about democracy, he said, while attitudes towards women exposed a lack of gender equality. "The data shows that women aren't free in their private lives," Erdem said.

Ahmet Insel, a columnist with Radikal newspaper, said opposition to foreign travel and property ownership stemmed from a preoccupation with the 1919-1923 war of independence that established modern Turkey.

"We think the war of independence is still under way, so it's no surprise we are xenophobic. We're still fighting foreigners," he said.


Some interesting results, and I was wondering how close it was to the experiences of those who live in Turkey.
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Old 24th February 2009, 06:06   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Are turkish people xenophobic?

If you had carried out the same survey (about foreigners) in most countries you would get similar results. Some are more tolerant of immigrants than others, but my belief is that it is part of human nature to be suspicious of people who are different, don't share your values, speak your language or share your God.

I can't think of one country that openly welcomes foreigners to move-in and buy up property. The UK's recent history of welcoming immigrants is a case in point.

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Old 24th February 2009, 08:54   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Are turkish people xenophobic?

apart from the suspicion of foreigners etc ..which is as İan said not unique to Turkey, İ would agree with most of the other points..ive rarely seen books or magazines in homes İve visited..(apart from Yusufs brother and sister) in some case this may be due to expense but even in affluent houses theres never much evidence of reading material. Daily papers are read more by men than women, in Eastern Turkey many women haven't the skills to read more than the basics they were taught in primary school.
Women working is another thing the survey pointed out and once married woman rarely work ,outside tourist areas or big cities they are mainly at home raising children.Many would like the opportunity to work but husbands wont allow it.
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Old 24th February 2009, 09:10   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Are turkish people xenophobic?

Personally I feel that we are visitors to Turkey and therefore must respect their ways and teachings, it is unfair of us to think it is right or wrong, it is their culture and we must be tolerant of it, there are occassions when I am in Turkey it is clear if the person you are dealing with embraces your presence or not. When I am in Turkey I am mindful of their ways and religion and do my utmost to respect that, it is not easy I'm sure for the Turkish to see the unrestricted way we live but again that is our culture and we have a voice where we come from and we work if we want to or need to, that is just our way of life. In the hometown where I live we have many many foreigners here, personally I don't mind them, some if not most are hard working and do not interfere in anything and try to integrate accordingly, most want to make friends, do a days work and get on with it, the gates were opened to allow them to come in so I don't have a problem with it, some people on the other hand are very anti foreigners in my home town. I try to think if that were my daughters in a foreign country where they were allowed to be, I would want the local to be nice to them. I think in some cases the Turkish are maybe not as well informed as us with books and mags and papers due to the sad fact that many cannot afford it and to me that is sad and there is not a day that goes past that I think we should be thankful and accomodating and helpful to others. When I spend time in Turkey I know it is going to be different and I embrace seeing the difference and trying to educate myself with the culture and history.
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Old 24th February 2009, 10:53   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Are turkish people xenophobic?

My Turkish partner has told me that a lot of Turks older than 30/35 didnt have the chance for education, himself and his sisters having to leave school at 11 yrs old to bring a wage home to help keep the family, also books were and still are to some families expensive...... My mother in law cannot read or write due to no schooling...And it is later in life when they regret not having the education as less jobs available to them, unless they have finished their lissel (sec school) or gone to University, then jobs are limited....I think a lot are upset that foreigners can afford to come to Turkey, not just on holiday, but buying property in their country when they cant afford to...... They work very long hours for a pittance, some not even getting paid at the end of the seasons work, then little work in winter months to help survive......My opinions anyway and from what i have been told and seen for myself, village, town and seaside resorts....
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Old 24th February 2009, 10:56   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Are turkish people xenophobic?

Alot of what peoples opinion is of foreigners moving in so to speak i think depends alot on how they behave when in this other country and how they intigrate with the culture etc.
The reason as i see it that Britain for example has a dim view on the foreigners moving over here is that some religions make NO effort to intigrate with the British culture, they segregate themselves into their own little communities, employ their own.
The muslim culture for example in the West midlands area have numerous mosques built , on the A41 road out of West Bromwich every shop is owned by them and caters soley for their needs, we now have Polish shops opening, selling Polish food for the immigrants who live here.
When in Rome........ springs to mind here.
If we were to see positive input in what ever country we are from the immigrants who move in and intigration i feel it would be far more acceptable by those who now have negative feelings about them. It is of their own doing i would say.
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Old 24th February 2009, 11:12   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Are turkish people xenophobic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by immac View Post
If you had carried out the same survey (about foreigners) in most countries you would get similar results. Some are more tolerant of immigrants than others, but my belief is that it is part of human nature to be suspicious of people who are different, don't share your values, speak your language or share your God.

I can't think of one country that openly welcomes foreigners to move-in and buy up property. The UK's recent history of welcoming immigrants is a case in point.

Ian
I agree with you Ian. Canada is one country that opens it's arms to foreigneers probably more then most. Because of our reasonably small population it's the easiest,fastest method to increase it. Growing up near Toronto as a child it was a time when there was a huge influx of immigrants from Pakistan. There was some tension also as they would naturally try to live in Canada as they had in their home land. The problems though arose as they were from a third world country where their way of life was not accepted by many Canadians. Because they were so different and didn't attempt to live by the western ways it took many years before they were accepted, mostly only after their Canadian born children started to come to age where they worked/voted and developed relationships/friendships with their fellow Canadians were they finally for the most part accepted.

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Old 24th February 2009, 14:27   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Are turkish people xenophobic?

Xenophobia isn't much more than people's expression of fear that they will lose what they hold dear to a threat, real or imagined, from strangers. It isn't only about racism. We all have probably been guilty of it to a degree at some stage in our lives. It is dangerous when manipulated and exploited. Very well educated people can be just as xenophobic as the illiterate.

Considering where Turkey is situated, Turks have more reason than most to be wary of outside influences.
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Old 24th February 2009, 14:32   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Are turkish people xenophobic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guz1 View Post
Xenophobia isn't much more than people's expression of fear that they will lose what they hold dear to a threat, real or imagined, from strangers. It isn't only about racism. We all have probably been guilty of it to a degree at some stage in our lives. It is dangerous when manipulated and exploited. Very well educated people can be just as xenophobic as the illiterate.

Considering where Turkey is situated, Turks have more reason than most to be wary of outside influences.
Pretty much sums it up. In the UK climate I'm finding people very against immigrants from quarters that previously didn't have a problem.
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Old 24th February 2009, 15:41   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Are turkish people xenophobic?

Surveys can show all sorts of different findings.

Where was the survey taken?

I have worked with two graduates who worked for a year in America. They are all for a strong democracy but strongly believe that in the final analysis a powerful military will look after them and protect them from a radical governmen or their from their neighbouring countries.

I have worked with a Turkish lady. Her and her three sisters have all been to university and are as independant as you or me. Their poor younger brother is led a hell of a life by them. Constant cajoling to do better at school

I have visited many small towns and villages and almost without exception the residents have shown hospitality and want to meet foreigners. The local Başkan, shop keepers, teachers and schoolchildren are all keen to practice their English and to learn about the outside world and the outside world's perception of Turkey.

I have also worked with many unfortunate women from the Hatay region who cannot and are not allowed to learn to read or write. When they go shopping the husband looks after the money.

I have had some interesting experiences in the barbers.(Ripped off at 1 or 2 lira for a hair-cut).

Every-one is fiercly proud of their country and their flag. It's as shame that it seems to be forbidden in Politically Correct England.

The Turkish Daily news or Today's Zaman appears as if by magic.

All of our Turkish neighbours have been very friendly towards us and I can honstly say thet we have never encountered any hostile behaviour.
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