Part Six of the Six-part Mini-Interview Series On Turkey About New Year’s Eve: Soner, Duygu & Ege

By Okan Altıparmak

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 Six features Soner, his wife Duygu and their son Ege. They live in Istanbul, but Soner is originally from Uşak in Western Anatolia while Duygu is from Trabzon in the Black Sea region.

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How did 2016 turn out? Was there anything you wished for 2016 that did not happen/materialize?

SONER: 2016 turned out to be a year that did not have much to do with my expectations and dreams. There were things that I wanted to do, but could not do. The first six months were extremely tense and negative for me, and I realized I was not doing my best... was not fighting enough. I was able to recuperate in the latter part of the year, with regard to my personal life in particular.

DUYGU: 2016 was not really a good year for me.

EGE: It was nice for me.

Do you have any Christian/Jewish friends? Does Christmas/Hanukkah mean anything for you? 

SONER: I have both Christian and Jewish friends. I want to see how they celebrate their religious holidays, but have never had the opportunity.

DUYGU: I know some people, but have never been in their environment.

EGE: I have never been to one.

What does New Year’s Eve mean for you? Will you celebrate it? If yes, what will you do on New Year’s Eve?

SONER: The beginning of the new year brings about new excitement and new hopes, yet at the same time, I also wonder if there will be any new troubles for myself and my family after leaving behind such a difficult year.

I want to leave all the troubles behind and have a good time till the morning hours, looking forward to a New Year in which our wishes and hopes will come true.

DUYGU: I always hope good things will happen in the New Year and enter it happily every year. I will feel the same way again.

EGE: I want to decorate a New Year tree and see Santa Clause.

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Is there any difference between the New Year’s in the past and now? If yes, what and why?

SONER: Way back when, we would make plans and prepare for New Year's Eve festively, starting weeks before the event. The whole family and the friends of our family would get together, and we would all have a great time.

Now, we feel rather sour because of what is politically transpiring in our country, with all the efforts going on to eradicate the traditions we are accustomed to. But we will still do our best to enjoy New Years Eve.

DUYGU: We used to have cozier celebrations with the whole family and other families, play games and dance. Now it is no longer like that. It is almost like any other day you get together to have some fun.

EGE: I always like decorating the tree and seeing Santa Clause.

Is there something you specifically want to do in 2017? Do you have any hopes for the new year?

SONER: Yes, I plan to put aside the past and begin the New Year by eliminating all my past mistakes. I wish to go after my goals and fight for my dreams, hopefully reaching the top and living a happier life.

A life full of peace, tranquility and love... I hope for peace of mind for me and most importantly, a peaceful year for my country.

DUYGU: Yes, I do. My goal is to have a successful year as a teacher and move on to a better school.

EGE: I hope to improve my ice hockey skills.

How would you envision a perfect life for the rest of your life from this point on?

SONER: I would love to have a life full of peace and love, travel around the globe and see other cultures.

DUYGU: What is most important for me is a happy family and a serene life together.

EGE: I want to score more goals.


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