Why I choose to leave Turkey
After over a decade of living in Turkey why am I leaving now? Why? It’s the little things I miss like electricity, running water, being able to afford to buy meat, getting paid to work.
But justified sarcasm aside, if I wrote what I really want to write I could be arrested under a myriad of “insult” based laws and especially now with the country under a state of emergency the rule of law has been suspended completely and if not arrested my residents permit could be revoked simply because of any criticism of the country or “leaders”. That alone is a big reason! So they say a picture speaks a thousand words so maybe pictures explain the reasons instead along with hopefully obvious sarcasm.
I could also mention the mass closure of any media channels that offer an alternative view to the government narrative and all Kurdish media being closed, the inherent racism and xenophobia in Turkish culture, the expulsion of Christians while the government are whinging about “Islamaphobia” in the West, torture and rape in prisons is now normal again, 38,000 convicted criminals had to be released to make way for accused (not tried, not convicted) Gulen followers to be locked up, etc etc etc. But no-one wants to hear about these in the selfish “I’m alright Jack” expat community. My condolences to the liberal and secular Turks and Kurds who have witnessed, as I have, the decline of this once promising experiment of democratic Islam, they, as I, have had all the proof necessary that religious based governance and democracy cannot mix, RIP Kemal Ataturk, it nearly worked. RIP Turkey, I will miss what you used to be.
Of course there’s plenty of great things about the country but this post isnt about them, many of my others are, its my view that now the bad has outweighed the good, I wish one day Turkey can return to the country and people I fell in love with a decade ago, welcoming, friendly, peaceful and undivided where everyone was treated with respect. Turkey is no longer the secular republic it was 13 years ago but is now well on it’s way to becoming an Authoritarian Islamic State, and I use those words deliberately and carefully.
NOTE: The “resort” towns that house enclaves of Brits, Germans etc. are pretty immune to these influences which tend to affect real Turkish life, the resort towns have their own cultural ecosystems that dont reflect this list too much. Apologists who have never lived in the “real” Turkey, or even visited it are much thicker on the ground here preaching about how politics dont affect foreigners and assuming the whole of Turkey is like their little England, or little Germany etc, these enclaves are good sources of local revenue but there will come a day alcohol is banned, then watch the exodus from these places too.