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

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 Three features a married couple, Koos and Duygu, Dutch and Turkish respectively with two boys, living in the Netherlands.

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

KOOS: 2016 turned out to be complex. I wished for good health for my children (especially the youngest, as he was struggling the year before with his lungs, as a result of pre-/dysmaturity at birth), and my wish came true. Nevertheless, my own health has turned out to be problematic, but I'm doing better right now.

DUYGU: 2016 was a nightmare with all that happened in Turkey. Although we live abroad, it has a huge impact on our daily lives. You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl.

Do you celebrate Christmas/Hanukkah? What is the meaning of Christmas/Hanukkah for you? 

KOOS: Christmas is the holiday of my Catholic youth; the church, family dinners. Religious aspect changed over the years, but didn't vanish.

DUYGU: Christmas means joy and uniting plus you get the bonus of a holiday. We celebrate it with the family, with the colleagues and with the friends of our children. It is more of a social gathering and celebration for me rather than a religious event.

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

KOOS: Reflecting on my performance, I see what I can improve on; foremost, socially... Celebration is at home this year. I have to get to bed early; hence, hardly any alcohol.

DUYGU: New Year's eve is to celebrate for hope and for better days. As it is difficult for us now to go out with two toddlers we will be home - TV, pajamas and slippers will be it.

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

KOOS: In the past it was just a day with reason to celebrate. Nowadays it is no real party, but more to be thankful about what we have and to think about what might be better.

DUYGU: Is everything not better when you are a kid or young with endless dreams?

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

KOOS: Get my company booming again. Good health... For the boys, my wife, the rest of our family and myself.

DUYGU: I want to visit Turkey more often, and I am hoping for a better future for my country.

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

KOOS: Envision?... There is no perfection in life... However, seeing my children grow up as stable healthy young men would be as perfect as it can get for me.

DUYGU: My only wish as an individual is a healthy life long enough to raise my children. And "peace at home, peace in the world" (as Turkey's founding father, Atatürk, stated.)

 

 


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