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Two-faced Turkey: impressions from the business trip

Двуликая Турция: впечатления от делового путешествия
Egamberdy KABULOV

A small piece of Turkey a few tens of kilometers are located in Europe, the rest in Asia. It’s the geography. But the Turks want to be Europe. And at the same time a big brother to all Asian peoples. It’s ambitions.

On the other side of the counter

At the Istanbul airport there were no problems. Well a Russian passport, well come. Just arrived – come in. My hotel is located in Aksaray district, where the majority of the wholesale shops selling footwear and textiles, and where, along with Turkish speech is also often possible to hear people speak Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Moldavian, Ukrainian, Uyghur, but mostly Russian. Sellers say in Russian, because the majority originating from the former Soviet Union, buyers too. Everywhere signs and announcements in Russian again. The usual Bazaar. Only instead of trays and stalls quite decent shops “à La boutique”. Двуликая Турция: впечатления от делового путешествия

Regular tour Desk. The inscription in Russian

Here in a shop that sells jeans, came a film crew of local TV channel. Interview management-Turkish women. The predictable questions: whether the decreased sales volumes due to the Russian-Turkish conflict, there are serious barriers in the transport of goods, not decreased the number of buyers? Answers: all right. Initially, there was a decline when the conflict flared up, and now everything is back to normal. Of course, the former Soviet shuttles do not buy here goods containers in the expectation of selling throughout the former Soviet Union, but the volume is rather big. Turk swore vengeance politicians, both Russian and Turkish, do not allow honest people to trade safely, and expressed concern that the continuation of the conflict may still affect trade.

Salesman wholesale Shoe store Gregory from Moldova, as he introduced himself, said that trade had dropped, but not significantly. Some Turkish sellers, shop owners, transporters of goods are bad for Russia, but suffer and hope that the situation returns to normal. Trade is trade: sometimes curse, but the counter does not depart.

But the tourist industry, as the seller told me the Turks, whose brother owns a hotel on the black sea coast, seriously suffers from a lack of tourists from Russia. European tourists suddenly and dramatically increase. In addition, my interlocutor notes the generosity of the Russians, or rather, their ability to spend money on vacation. And personally to the specific claims of the Russians, but Putin… the question then is, how he treats Erdogan, the seller said that he stopped to attend to internal problems, i.e. economy, investment, unemployment. But this is such a strong leader, according to him, there is no. Therefore suffer. Criticized, but tolerated. Foreign policy of its leaders, my companion wisely did not comment on.

The “enemy” the podium

On that day a football match was organised in the framework of the League of Europe between the Istanbul club Fenerbahce and Lokomotiv Moscow. To buy tickets on the website of railway workers had no chance: the club just began selling them, even your fans, apparently, taking care of their health and life. The sector, according to FIFA rules designated for the away fans, was filled with Turks. Given that the Turkish fans are the most violent, had to buy the ticket from the hands to the Gaza fans “Fener”. There are fans – just crazy that game and the result – no difference. They come to vent, to cry. So on that day the fan the podium you could hear a Turkish Mat against Lokomotiv, Russia, its President. Muscovites lost. The joy of fans knew no bounds.

After the game, ferried by ferry from the Asian side of Istanbul in European, met with some of them. They were very passionate about, but not raged. And was quite peaceful men. Talked about the fact that football is not politics and nothing to contribute to sports external problems. Abused their frostbitten fans who threw stones in front of the stadium, the bus with players of “Locomotive”, they say, it is not humanly. And together we praised Turkish football player Gekdeniza Karadeniz, playing for Rubin Kazan, noted that it was for the friendship of the two peoples does a lot of things, remembered that he builds with his own money a mosque in Tatarstan. But my new friends also noted that among the fans is becoming more rabid patriots-nationalists.

East – a delicate matter

Especially if it’s East of Turkey. And especially if it Kurdistan. This country is not on the map. Is the area populated by Kurds in Turkey, Syria, Iran. In the country, according to various estimates, from 4 to 6 million, and they make up 15 to 20 percent of the population. While staying mostly in the Eastern provinces, they naturally constitute the majority. And the proximity of the Iranian and Syrian borders, inadequate policy of Ankara in the region, and the presence of Kurdistan workers party Turkish Kurdistan do not less explosive than the Syrian Kurdistan.

The fact that in this turbulent region during a seemingly peaceful life in the cities and the villages, says, for example, the fact that the capital of van province, populated in majority of Kurds, no police cars in the usual sense, that is, cars with flashing lights. There are armored vehicles with flashing lights. Large, with water cannons to disperse demonstrations, small with roof-mounted guns.

As I said Kurd named Yusuf, the owner of a small cafe, police-no Kurds, only Turks and representatives in a small number of other Turkic peoples. The fact that the Kurdish language with the Iranians, to Persian language and the Turks, respectively, to Turkic. This builds personnel policy in the police force. And eat Turkish policemen in Turkish cafes and restaurants.

Двуликая Турция: впечатления от делового путешествия

Armored cars on the main square of van

Now in van and other provinces in the East and South-East is relatively calm. However, to say that the hostility between Turks and Kurds no means to lie. To put it mildly, mutual dislike has a reason. The Turks think that the Kurds dreaming, as it will separate and create their own state. The Kurds believe that they simply want to destroy or deprive of any opportunity to resist, which, incidentally, aimed the whole policy of the Turkish state in the East. Suffice it to say the same factor of irritation as lack of access to education in their native language, not to mention the fact that the authorities in Kurdistan are mainly Turkish officials.

…Learning that I am a Russian citizen Yusuf happy. Waiters served faster than other visitors, made a small discount. Asked about how the situation will develop Russian-Turkish relations. Yusuf himself has said that the policy of the Turks towards the Kurds is very hard instead to negotiate with the Kurdish resistance, Turkey steps up crackdown. And because the Kurds remember what the Turks did to the Armenians.

In van, where was located the capital of ancient Armenian Kingdom of Urartu, a lot of monuments of Armenian architecture, churches, monasteries, fortresses. But not a single Armenian. They were a hundred years ago, carved, rare survivors fled to neighbouring countries. The present Kurds of what happened with their neighbors, and, of course, fear that this does not happen again with them.

Двуликая Турция: впечатления от делового путешествия

Poor Kurd

Pan-Turkism in action

Turkey considers himself the elder brother of all Turkic peoples. That is, wants to be European country to join the EU, but at the same time to influence the Turkic States Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and the Turkic peoples in other States – the Uyghur of China, Altaians, Tatars, Bashkirs of Russia.

In Istanbul there is something of a Centre (or community) culture of the Turkic peoples, a sort of an ethnic village with a political slant, located on the territory of the cultural Park Topkapi. Each Republic is represented by a separate houses, decorated in the style of the peoples concerned folk art, ethnic costumes, where you can find colorful posters, booklets. The role of the centre, cultural and other contacts with the tribesmen.

As told the head of the Kyrgyz home Abdulmateen Keskin, the centre organizes the Kyrgyz-Turkish forums provides support to the Kyrgyz students studying in Turkey, organizing cultural events – concerts, performances of Kyrgyz artists. As an example, he cited the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Yusuf Balasagun, thinker and poet, born on the territory of modern Kyrgyzstan and lived on the territory of modern Chinese Suara, which many Turkish people consider their. The jubilee celebrations, of course under Turkish auspices, will be held in many countries, but the main event will be held in Kazakhstan, dedicated to that very good money.

The center is in Istanbul also exist on money of the Turkish government, or rather financed by the municipality. The amount is not announced, but noted that it is worthy of. Similarly, a lot of money is spent on exchange programs, students from different countries in Turkey.

This is all very reminiscent of “gathering lands” under the Turkish flag. One of the main objectives of Ankara and it is not hidden, gradual strengthening of influence on the Turkic peoples, including in Russia, prompting the peoples of the singularity of the Turkic world under the authority of the Turkey.

If we remember that 20-ies of the last century, namely the Turkish emissaries had raised the Basmachi movement in Central Asia, it is even conceivable that one of the goals of pan-Turkic activity is to support secessionist movements. Anyway, work actively in the religious, cultural, and scientific relations.

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