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


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

KOOS: 2017 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: 2017 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 2018? 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.)



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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