I Wish…


There's a topic that's trending on Twitter while I'm writing this article. It can be translated into English as: "I wish for 2012…." This is the last column of the fall semester, and so I decided to write about something other than music, and share some wishes for the coming year.

I wish…nothing will be censored.

During 2011, the censoring of all kinds of "contrary" ideas, books and websites went on, as is usual in Turkey. Censoring is the easiest and most primitive way to block different opinions. If you're disturbed by or can't stand someone's idea, censor it. That's how things work in our country. Using these types of actions, they try to create an automatic censoring mechanism for us. It's ridiculous to block websites in the name of a "protection policy," and it's unbelievable that someone can be sued just because they translated a book. The question really being asked in the case is, "Why did you translate a book like this, which goes against our values?" But the question ought to be, "Should a novel have limits?", or "Why do you want to send the translator to the prison?" I hope that everyone will realize that censorship is the most dangerous trend of our era.   

 I wish…no one will get arrested because of their ideas.

Accusations of thought crime are on the rise. We wake up to the news of new arrests every morning. The crimes are, again, having opposed certain ideas, or protesting the presidency or the government's policies. The process of stopping such activities is simple: respond with pepper gas. If the protesters still don't give up, then arrest them and send them to prison. Approximately 13,000 people have been arrested for such reasons, and almost 100 of them are journalists, along with lots of college students. Writing, reporting, protesting, reading communist leaders' books, listening to songs about revolution, throwing eggs, supporting your friends by cutting your hair short or even holding a banner that reads "We want free education" are reasons for being sent to prison. I'm beginning to think that there's more wisdom within prisons than there is on the outside.

I wish…members of parliament will earn more.

Our members of parliament face a number of difficulties. Most of them have to sit in the Turkish Grand National Assembly to listen to and talk about many things they don't understand. So, they're bored all day long. Secondly, let's not forget that it's expensive to be a candidate for parliament, so they have debts. Plus, since they have to wear uniforms every day, more costs are added. And although most of them say that they fear no one except God, they still seem to need lots of bodyguards. In addition, they have to eat in classy places, live in luxury and send their children abroad to study. Why? Because they're our representatives. They have to represent us with this kind of lifestyle and a salary to match. We all live on an income of approximately 8,000 TL a month, so we can't expect them to live on 5,000 TL after retirement. This amount has to be increased. I hope they can survive on their newly increased pensions. If not, we should start a donation campaign for them.

I wish..."the others" will turn into "us."

If something is strange to us, we love calling it "the other." There are thousands of minorities that cannot live safely, comfortably, equally or happily. Religion, gender identity, race, ethnicity and language are the key concepts on which discrimination is based. "Diversity is our strength" is a huge lie at this level. Very few people can stand differences in these areas, and they have limits to their tolerance, too. To simplify, saying, for example, "I even have an atheist friend" is one of the biggest ways of marginalizing someone, because that word "even" means, "He's an atheist and therefore such a miserable person, but I still have a relationship with him. Look how good I am." I hope that judging people on the basis of things that are no one else's business will become less common.

These are my wishes for 2012. I hope that at least one of them will come true. Happy New Year and good luck in all of your final exams.