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Turkish Culture

Turkish history and culture in a nutshell for Finnish highschool students

Bas Yuksel

on 26 June 2015

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Transcript of Turkish Culture

Turkish Culture
Can you identify these pictures?
Successor of the Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman Empire
Borders of the Ottoman Empire
Many different cultures mixed together
What kind of culture anyway?
Supreme Ruler =

advanced in science
Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha (The famous "Red Beard") commanding the Ottoman Navy in Sultan Suleiman's rule

Conquering Tunisia and Algeria in Spanish rule, and....
Saving muslims and jews from the Spanish inquisition, and relocating them in Cyprus and Istanbul (Jewish Turkish citizens have an ancestry stretching back to being hunted by the Spanish Inquisition

usually feared as barbarians in Europe
tyrants who destroyed Europe's heritage
"There are no crueller and more audacious villains under the heavens than the Turks who spare no age or sex and mercilessly cut down young and old alike and pluck unripe fruit from the wombs of mothers"
Bishop Fabri of Vienna (1536–41)
Martin Luther claimed that God had sent the Turks to punish the Christians in the same way as he had sent war, plagues and earthquakes.
Actually a technologically and scientifically advanced empire that conqueors, taxates and lets nations live their religions, their lives as they choose.
Decline and Dissolution of the Empire
Huge debt to European banks
Ethnic Nationalism
Joining World War I (with Germans.. zzZZZ...)
Caucaus Tragedy(100.000 dies to cold weather in a week)
Deportation of Armenians in the east to south after their rebellion (300.000 dies)
Finally, Germany loses, so does the Ottoman Empire. Sultan betrays the country and agrees to European nations sharing Anatolia
The radical islamist "ulema" class
Banning maths, science, astronomy from "medrese" schools,
Declaring scientists and thinkers "heretics"
Bringing an end to the technological superiority of the army
Making the Empire dependent on technology from Europe

(Islam never had a Reform like Martin Luther did)
The War of Independence
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (Father of Turks)
His portraits are in every classroom, every office, every house. Turkish people grow up seeing his smiling face everyday, all day.
The people in Anatolia didn't know about anything
Mustafa Kemal landed on Samsun port May 19, 1919
Sent by the Sultan to calm the people as foreign forces invade
And foresee the disarming of the army as the Allied forces demanded
Instead he organized secret meetings with nationalists, and made the people aware of Istanbul's betrayal. A movement had begun...
more meetings followed...
an assembly where all cities were represented was formed... the first Grand National Assembly of Turkey
as the greek invaded from west..
the french and armenian from east..
italians in the south, british in Istanbul....
a ragtag army was recruited from whoever was left alive at the end of world war 1; children, women, young boys, old men...
help came in form of gold and weapons from all over the world, even the newly made communist russia had chipped in
Ataturk's military genius that had won the Gallipoli battle worked once more

People rebelled with stones, pitchforks to allied forces capturing their cities

The ragtag army that had no shoes to wear, no food to eat drove out all enemies by August 30, 1923
Everyone thought the war was over, and they could go back to being an islamist, theocratic monarchy ruled by a sultan, where sharria law applied....
dead wrong.. :)
Ataturk, even betraying his monarchy-loving brothers in arms
Found the modern republic
Kicked out the sultan
Removed the Qalifah institution (Muslim Pope)
Changed the alphabet from Arabic to Latin
Turkey has copied much of the surface of western culture without the core substance that originated it – Christianity –

so that....
...today in Turkey, there is a great tension between:
The old ways of Islam (zzZZZ...)
The new ways of materialism, and a modern way of living
so... what's the situation like today?
low quality education due to the
University Exam system
6-7 years of continuous test solving
Prepare for an exam that lasts 3 hours
Determines which university/department you go to
Determines your future, your life, everything
Private cram schools instead of schools
(5 to 20.000 € per year, only on weekends)
Not much taught at high school...
Students don't develop free thinking
Students don't have any political views
Students learn to have no opinions
Only "how to solve" tests as quick as possible
You can actually sit down and have an intelligent conversation with only around 10% of population
Rest will respond to most deep topics with islamic, memorized, cliche, conservative, witty words
Threaten you with the size of Turkey's army
Remind you of Ottoman's Achievements
curse more...
things get interesting here....
curse your mother (??!)
[apparently a reason to commit murder among the uneducated majority]
and fight....
islamic (conservative) teaching:
christians are bad (gavur = infidel) and they are all trying to make all turks into christians
yearning the old days of Ottoman
unexplainable grudge that's still kept for western countries for invading anatolia, for arabic nations, armenians for betraying the Ottoman in the war...
mostly causes an "Us versus Them" feeling and eventually
economy and wealth distribution
turks are always on the side of the weak
always helpful
always ready to have you over as their guest
treat you with unmatched hospitality
share their food, no matter how poor or rich they are
and always ready to chat a bit about football...
and almost always very intelligent and creative about....
cheating the rules
cheating the law
coming up with exceptionally groundbreaking curse words or phrases or long paragraphs that you will never..
again be favored to hear in your lifetime...
but how is social life?
despite being muslims and praying 5 times a day
even if it's against the teachings of islam...
they drink a lot :)
women face a lot of troubles in turkey...
In the first 3 years of their marriage...
73% of university graduate women
90% of those living in the countryside or the ghetto
face violence and get beaten...
little girls aren't sent to school in the east
because boys are "worth more"
in the eastern kurdish tribes, they are wed at the age of 12-13
as the 4th or 8th wife of a landowner...
babies... girls.. are promised or sold to get married to a friend's son or the highest bidder as soon as they grow up
the collection of these disgusting southeastern traditions is called "Töre"...
you don't wed the man you are supposed to:
family council decides you are to be killed... mostly by your brother, or your father
you get a divorce...
family council decides you should be killed...
to save their
Therefore, you must die to save the family's honor
Only recently a law was abolished that saved the rapist from jail
If he married the girl he raped
Therefore saving the family's honor...
now... nice things..
something that you all have been waiting for...
turkish food!
turkish cuisine is huge, owing to the "palace kitchen" and
ottoman food culture that took recipes from all over the empire
even different regions have their specialty food that noone in other regions knows
iskender kebap
sis kebap
adana kebap
beyti kebap
now for vegetarians :)
the famous filled phyllo pastry
all kinds of desserts
and hundreds of vegetable dishes :(
[carrots are for ugly people..]
Ataturk once read a book in early 1920s that inspired him so much that;
when he oversaw the Turkish Revolution,
It was a book that told of a faraway country's revolution
Despite all poverty, the impossible odds, the adverse natural conditions...
...under the leadership of a handful of intellectuals, soldiers, clergymen, teachers, professors, doctors, businessmen...
..people exhibiting a great struggle to save their country, and put the backwards things in order..
the book was made a mandatory read in the school curriculum and became the most widely read book after Quran in all of Turkey
the name of that country
by Bas Yuksel
Introduced Secularity
Granted election rights to women
Built modern schools and institutes
Greatly modernized and westernized the country
"Child Bride for sale: €2000"
"We raped you, kill yourself"
"In Diyarbakir 15v Havva was raped
by family members. Fearing publication
and embarrassment, 2 brothers are
ordered to make her commit suicide,
or kill her themselves"
or the pizza like pita
NGOs & private companies such as Turkcell grant scholarships and make sure no girl is left uneducated
Kardelen = "Kukka joka kukittaa lumissa"
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