19 April 2009

Q: How are Turkey and the USA similar?

A: I am glad you asked, reader. People often think of Turkey as an exotic, magical, Eastern place. But deep down Turkey and the USA are two of the most similar nations in the world.


  • Americans love their country, as do the Turks. Well, you might say, surely this is a feature of every country in the world? Obviously you haven't spent much time in Turkey or the USA then - these people really, super-duper fucking LOVE their countries. In both nations you'll see the national name all over the place, in place names and businesses, and you'll see the national flag everywhere you look. It is almost impossible, in either country, to not know you are there for any length of time before you are confronted by a flag or the name of the country.

  • The two nations are modern republics, founded in recent times and based on political principles. The Pledge of Allegiance, Turkish written in the Latin alphabet, and the lack of Fez wearers in Istanbul are all coming from the same basc place.

  • Americans have hamburgers, Turks have kebap. American cities smell of rancid deep-fry grease, Turkish cities smell of grilled lamb.

  • Fetishization / deification of the national founders. Ataturk and George Washington.

  • In both USA and Turkey, women are free to show their hair, and couples can hold hands on the street, despite the vocal protests of religious puritans who make up a sizable minority of the population and would prefer to live in a theocracy.

So there you have it. Keep those cards and letters pouring in!


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