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.
Our Dear Leader, no mistake he make ever
Stray dogs are loved in the culture, we just have a funny way of showing it sometimes.
“Sacrifice Bayram” Fun for the whole family, take the kids to watch so they can grow up to be incompetent amateur butchers too.
This is Xanthos, an ancient city listed on the UNESCO heritage site but UNESCO heritage sites are not special, oh no, all areas of beauty get the same treatment
If you live in a village in the autumn, winter and spring you will hear almost constant gunfire day or night, Turks love guns, training for their proper use and safety not so much but shooting! So if you hear gunfire could be hunting, could be a family dispute, could be a wedding or could be a coup, we like to keep you guessing.
Someone else will clean it up, its not our job to be lowly rubbish men
Post in Turkey, internal, so so, you may get it in 2-3 days, post from abroad, forget it, our efficient customs will intercept, steal and hold ransom anything coming from infidel countries, whats the matter? Stuff from inside Turkey not good enough for you?
Paypal is banned in Turkey, they do not obey the rules of the great leader who understand internets better than anyone
Advanced internet in the world, speeds up to 2MB in most areas, some faster in center of cities! Nearly always on too, only one half million sites banned or censored but they spread bad advice like evolution or physics, heretics.
Lucky to have most gracious government watch internet and make sure we do not visit “unapproved” sites.
Antalya is hot! 45 degree plus for 4 months of the year is great for most esteemed leaders friends in air conditioning and electricity company.
Earthquakes! Having gone through a shallow 5.8 where luckily there was no damage its only a matter of time and Ive watched Turkish houses and apartment blocks being built, nope nope nope
Us Mediterranean types dont like it cold so there’s a few weeks at the end of summer that’s just right then when the temperatures hits a chilly 20 degrees celcius its time to fire up our log burners with whatever the cheapest fuel there is, regardless of smoke and smell, it;s only our neighbours that smell it anyway. If they want to open their windows or dry their washing they can do it in the summer, the permanent smell of smoke on your clothes, headaches and an aggravated asthma cough is considered a sign of good health here.
Turkey has nearly always on electricity, water and internets, sometimes a whole week can go by and no cuts, when not enough electric they give as much as they can spare in their generosity, 100v or so if they can spare it is often dished out. Or when they have too much they let us have more, sometimes 300v or more is spiked to homes, we are lucky to have advanced systems for low cost, only number 1 in world for fuel prices, number 3 for electric, woohoo, Turkey is best.
Our drivers are safest and most well trained in world, Yeni Safak newspaper says so, Allah make sure nothing ever happens to Turks, if foreigners get in the way then tough, you should have believed in Allah then you’d be OK.
Bureaucracy and queues! Turks know best how to get to front, anything it takes.
Timekeeping: Only our time is to be respected, everyone else always has time to wait or take all day of course.
Work:If you can get legal work congratulations, if you get paid even more congratulations, you are one of people should be feeling lucky, 50-60 hour work weeks build character.
Constantly changing laws, rules and regulations: When official rules are regulations stay the same each year people get into routine and get lazy, we change rules each year or two to stop our citizens and visitors getting lazy. Luckily no-one knows the real laws and procedures so everyone can have an answer to any question, right or wrong is a gamble.
Discrimination: Foreigners are discriminated against in many ares from banking/financial to motoring, Turkey not Xenophobic, not possible, we dont have X in alphabet.
Professional craftsmen: All our taxi drivers and shepherds are also expert carpenters, real estate salesmen and electricians, we are lucky.
No Rule of Law: Politicised Judiciary and mass purges of Judges even before a state of emergency imposed in July 2016, now, courts are simple, no need for lawyers just go with Imam, easy.
Deposit? That translates to “gift” in Turkish, wave goodbye to it when you hand it over and forget about legal means to get it back, a lawyer would charge you more than the deposit anyway and landlords know it. No honour among thieves and there are many many many thieves.
Trust. Doesn’t exist in any relationships, professional or personal. The culture is one of constant distrust and suspicion, Dear leader doesn’t trust any people or country so we should watch for terrorists and traitors everywhere too.
Overcharging, from restaurants to supermarkets offices, its rampant and endemic, you have to check EVERY receipt, it is normal to add service charge! 1 or 2 thousand dollar tip is normal in other countries no? We convince you by beating you or even killing you after you complain, ungrateful customers.
Costs of basics, food, utilities and housing are getting well out of reach for many, meat especially is a luxury most cant afford, but we make great bread.
Thankfully there are many who realise that they made a good decision to live and or invest here and nothing bad happening will change their mind because cognitive dissonance and ignorance go hand in hand so dont you dare mention any fact about Turkey if its in the slightest bit negative lest the apologists lynch you before the government can.
Nope nope nope
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.