Six-part Mini-Interview Series On Turkey About New Year’s Eve… Part 2: Suzan

By Okan Altıparmak

We asked simple questions to simply see how people in Turkey feel entering the New Year in 2018.

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 Two features Suzan, a married Jewish woman with a grown-up daughter of whom to be proud.

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How did 2017 turn out? Was there anything you wished for 2017 that did not happen/materialize?

2017 was both good and bad as every year. But as human beings, we tend to remember the bad and forget the good.

However, I can say it has turned out to be bad year for my country and the world.

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

Christmas is a holiday I do not celebrate. Hanukkah, on the other hand, is a holiday that means freedom, miracle and enlightenment to me. For a duration of a week, I burn my Hanukkiah and pray, we eat together with my family, and we buy gifts for the children.

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

I celebrate the New Year on the night of December 31st. It just means the calendar year is changing. It also means I need to complete all the quotas for my business.

We celebrate it at home sometimes and go out other times. It is a time to buy presents for each other.

But the actual New Year for Jews is Rosh Hashanah, which we celebrate as a family. There are four Jewish New Years, of which Rosh Hashanah is the one when we start reading the Torah from the beginning.

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

I will be staying at home this New Year.

I travelled abroad the last two New Years. Like I have said, I sometimes celebrate it at home and somewhere outside other times.

Is there something you specifically want to do in 2018? Do you have any hopes for the new year?

In 2018, I intend to focus on personal things like my health and my family… and maybe some social responsibility projects… I always get involved in them anyway… perhaps I can spare a little more time for them. I still have hope for my the world and my country.

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

What else can I envision for the rest of my life… It can be anything; it is so open-ended.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Muslim World Today.


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