Turkish Youth Ignorant, Inward-Looking

Turkey might have a young population, but the country’s youth are largely insular and ignorant, posing problems if the nation wants to run a globally competitive, knowledge-based economy, leading sociologist Nilüfer Narlı says. Internet penetration is low, while many young people don’t know a second language, she says. (click here for more)

12 Responses to “Turkish Youth Ignorant, Inward-Looking”

  1. Well I’m sure they’re not worse than Americans.

  2. A bit like comparing a chicken to a hen, M. James. Who cares if Americans are just as ignornant? It doesn’t change the problem Turkey is facing.

  3. That being said, I am not sure I agree with some of the reasoning in this article. The inward looking nature of Turkish youth, at least the ones I teach, is deliberately installed by the nationalist education they receive designed to create a people who believe that ‘foreign powers are forever working their secret games on the Motherland’-a direct quote from a high school National Security textbook in my hands.

  4. ‘foreign powers are forever working their secret games on the Motherland’


    We would not have such “lies” in our textbooks, if we have the power to invade any foreign power that, we think, works its secret games against us.

    Unfortunately, Turkey is a power of rhetoric not a power of action like the United States of America.

  5. I have never understood this tactic of–well, you’re wrong so we can be wrong, too. The paranoid mentality is destructive of a country’s culture no matter how that country reacts to it.

  6. I agree with you Jeff. We all have a paranoid mentality. In the Turkish case, it is reflected on the pages of the textbooks and in the American case it is reflected in the overseas invasions. I do not know which one is more destructive: paranoia by discourse or paranoia by action?

  7. I’d say both are pretty destructive–the funny thing is, I had never thought of the American version as paranoia until you mentioned it. Our paranoia is always directed at people outside (whereas I think Turkey’s is often directed inside) and so we never see the results of what we do like people in Turkey do–which is scary in another way…

  8. Jeff I think you are away from the States for a long time. It seems you have no idea how Islam and Muslims are covered in the American media and and movies. (I do not know if you can watch the Fox News which is the mildest example of it.)

    I agree with you again that Turkish paranoia is directed inside. That is why you can see it in the textbooks.

    And again, this is for the same reason, unlike you guys Turks do not have the power and means to punish whoever, they think, are the bad people. Turks just talk about them. If the Turks were as powerful as the Americans, you would not see those lines in the Turkish textbooks, and the Turkish people would be very “outside looking,” ready to confront and invade any country “that plays its secret games against Turkey.”

  9. I am well aware of how Muslims are portrayed in the media and especially on Fox News and its very distressing and sad and everything else you can think of–I am also married to a Kurdish woman and am well aware of how Kurds are portrayed in the media here and I don’t see much difference. And I would have to disagree that Turkey’s power is only rhetoric–there are plenty of people here who feel attacked and punished and the jails right now are bursting.

  10. Jeff, I am one of those people and I know some of those people arrested through KCK case. I know what you mean.

    But, again, I think Turkey, unfortunately or fortunately, is not as powerful as those outside-looking super powers. Other wise, Turkey would have its own Guantanamo base. And, outside-looking Turkish people would not dare to talk about it. Instead they would focus on the jails in other countries.

  11. I live here. I am married to someone from here and will be making a life here. I live with the consequences of family members arrested. The jails here DIRECTLY concern me–and I am most certainly not an outsider in this matter because my race or nationality does not match a ‘Turks’. And I have spoken out numerous times against Guantanamo. I find the outsider insider argument a plague here.

  12. Jeff, I really envy of you. I wish I could find a country with its deep south, I could go there become and insider, and dedicate myself to that country’s problems and leave my country and its annoying realities behind. I wish…

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