Turkey and America – twins?

Jeri Al-Jeri

It is impossible to have perfectly identical twins – however, similarities between Americans and Turks are closer than we expect. In her twenties, a zestful young American engineer named Kathrine Branning embarked to work on a world-class engineering project and booked her tickets without hesitation to travel to the other side of the world – the Muslim world. She did so after learning that the Turkish government was investing a large portion of its budget on building the Sultan Fatih Bridge to dramatically ease the flow of traffic in Istanbul, the Middle East megapolis. It was constructed over the Bosphorus Strait, a triumph of human ingenuity.

A team of Italian and Japanese engineers left after the completion of the project, but Branning stayed back and called Istanbul her home, due to her belief that the quality of the Turkish way of life couldn’t be closer to the way people live in the United States. So what are the similarities between the two? And are there any major differences between them?

Both had empires that generated the creation of the current nation state system. The Abbasids created the necessary predicaments for the Seljuks – the original Turkish tribe – to conquer the great land of Constantinople in Anatolia. This historical event is mimicked by the leverage that the late great British Empire gave to its white, Western demographics over the natives of North America. Turkey and America assimilated their novel and distinctive civilizations via marketing supremacy over their competitors. Their implementation of marketing skills was largely due to their highly lucrative geographies.

Both are lands of wealth and riches and logistical demands. This forced both to adopt homogeneity in their laws and regulations for all those who set foot in their “lands of the free”, and yet have a strong monogamous identity which is ultimately versatile. Both became empires that fought wars and halted disputes related to their investments. This made both their people share similar attitudes towards themselves, the society and the rest of the world.
Turks of the modern day Republic of Turkey are blond-haired Christian Europeans, Arabs, Kurds and even Asians, who are all considered to be representative of “Turkiyemiz” – our Turkey. Iraqi-Americans fighting in Afghanistan and Asian-Americans raising the bar in Silicon Valley are the result of having a robust society that calls racism an epistemological sin. With stars and crescent on their flags, they both have an eye on the future, regardless of the down-to-earth realities of the past.

Turks and Americans are twins in being extremely zealous for success and having daring global entrepreneurs, and in being labeled as having “lesser” culture than old lady Europe or “lesser” linguistic abilities of old nomadic desert tribes of Arabia.

Nonetheless, these youthful mindsets have dominated their critics by embodying one of Steve Job’s final quotes that he delivered in his last Stanford University speech, ironically expressing how uninteresting it is to be a graduate student over being an intellectual rebel. He delivered them with impunity from the podium of the institution, which in itself is very “American” and “Turkish” – “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

By Jeri Al-Jeri

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