We asked simple questions to simply see how people in Turkey feel entering the New Year in 2017.
Turkey is a predominantly Muslim nation; yet, do the Turkish people think and behave any differently in comparison to what we are accustomed to in Western nations?
Part Five features Ceren, a university student in medical school.
How did 2016 turn out? Was there anything you wished for 2016 that did not happen/materialize?
CEREN: The last days of 2016 in particular were extremely worrying and saddening; we lived through moments the effects of which would be difficult to overcome. Though life has not given us the power to change any of them, I prefer to recall each and every year that has gone by with its best memories. There were, of course, things that I wished but could not do, but 2017 will be another chance for me to accomplish them. I hope.
Does Christmas/Hanukkah mean anything for you?
CEREN: I have a lot of friends who are Christians, and all of them are the sweetest people with whom I feel happy to spend time. I have been in cultural and religious environments with them many times before and would be very glad to do it again. You do not have to embrace the religion to be a part of one of their rituals; every experience you go through adds something to you.
What does New Year’s Eve mean for you? Will you celebrate it? If yes, what will you do on New Year’s Eve?
CEREN: New Year’s Eve, birthdays or anniversaries... None of them carry a meaning more than what you load them with. I love the night I enter the new year because I share it with my loved ones. Whatever it is for me to start a new day on a positive note, it is exactly that to start the new year for me. I feel stronger, more energetic and better.
Is there any difference between the New Year’s in the past and now? If yes, what and why?
CEREN: I have so far spent every New Year's Eve with my family and loved ones. I can say that we have turned eating dinner together, chatting and having fun into a tradition. People want to use that night to have fun and motivate themselves as they see fit; I see no problem with it. I have recently witnessed wrong projections of it a few times, but people having fun together should not bother anyone. You may choose to go to sleep that night; it should be nobody else's business.
Is there something you specifically want to do in 2017? Do you have any hopes for the new year?
CEREN: I have several personal wishes for the New Year, of course, but first of all, I wish for a year during which we will begin each and every day not with worries, but with love and tranquility. As a candidate to become a doctor, I hope for mental, spiritual and physical health for everyone. I hope to meet vivacious people who love human beings, animals and the nature they live in. And of course, I want my favorite team, Fenerbahçe, to win the championship.
How would you envision a perfect life for the rest of your life from this point on?
CEREN: I would envision a world in which I could find more positive people around me and where differences were accepted as richness. I would probably place love and tolerance in the center of that world because life becomes good, beautiful and meaningful when they exist. People should envision life as they would want to live it, and they should send that energy into the universe. Because there is a saying I love very much: "A person always proves to be right whether he/she says good will happen or he/she says bad will happen."