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 One features Alpay, a married man in his mid-fifties with two grown-up daughters.
How did 2016 turn out? Was there anything you wished for 2016 that did not happen/materialize?
2016 was a bad year for us and our nation both. Contrary to our hopes, we couldn’t accomplish anything.
Do you have any Christian or Jewish friends? Have you ever attended a celebration for Christmas or Hanukkah?
I remember attending a Christmas celebration as kid, but have not been at a Christmas or Hannukah celebration even though I have some Jewish acquaintances. Nonetheless, I fully respect them both.
What does New Year's Eve mean for you? Will you celebrate it? If yes, what will you do on New Year's Eve?
The New Year represents a new year with new hopes, hopes of doing the things we could not do this past year. This year we plan to spend it together with the family, with our daughters and their friends.
Is there any difference between the New Year's in the past and now? If yes, what and why?
There is inevitably a difference between the New Year’s Eves of the past and the current ones. Not necessarily in the way we feel, though we used to feel happier in the past, but in the way we envisioned the future. However, we still feel a certain degree of happiness.
Is there something you specifically want to do in 2017? Do you have any hopes for the new year?
We, of course, have expectations for 2017. We wish to be able to live a more humane life and to raise the level of civilization in our country. We hope people would not die for nothing like it has ben happening in the last year or two. We also hope that the core values of the nation as well as human rights and freedoms are respected and wish we could become a nation where freedom of thought and wisdom becomes a reality.
From a personal point of view, on the other hand, we look forward to see our children happy as they now want to get married.
How would you envision the rest of your life from this point on?
It is painful to see that our kids are thinking of living abroad due to the current problems with which we are confronted in our country. However, it is not difficult to understand them because they are trying to envision building a future for their families.
My wife and I would always return to our home even if we left, but naturally our children dream of a better life regardless of the difficulties they will face in a different country.
Our beautiful country was and could be so much better than it is these days.