There was a post on FB. It was shared 24 thousand times. It's an interview Ahmet Davutoğlu gave to Al-Jazeera. The caption reads “You won't believe what you're hearing!!! Has to be shared until the whole country has watched it!!!!”
So many exclamation marks!
I listened to the interview. The question is this: “You make a university entrance exam in Turkey and only 40 % of your citizens taking the exam are placed in universities. Despite this, the government has issued a directive that Syrian students be accepted to universities without an exam.”
Davutoğlu answers: “People ask about this. I mean it is very hard to get into university in Turkey, but if Syrians apply, they are getting in. They get in. We won't make them take an exam. We hold the Turkish to an exam, the Syrians not. Albeit, today I met businessmen. We will now be giving Syrians the right to work temporarily. Because we want them to earn their halal living. And we want them to have a certain regular life. God willing, when peace returns to Syria, they go back and we hope they pray for Turkey.”
Apparently people got that they had to share this, but I'm not sure if they got what they won't be able to believe!
From the exclamation marks and the sharing, I get it that what this government has done is totally unacceptably outrageous but I do not get how people interpret this because I do not see what there is so unbelievable, that has to be shared “until the whole country has watched it!!!!” They didn't even explain what is wrong with Davutoğlu's message, how they interpret it. So that we could understand. I mean some things might be obvious to some. But it may not so obvious to everybody. That means we need to explain ourselves for others to get what we think.
I mean I can guess of course... I guess it is the reaction that “As Davutoğlu says, there are hundreds of thousands who cannot get into the university in Turkey, why are Syrians occupying that space?” Okay. Shall we think about this a bit?
First, let me share another information. It came up when I was to register my daughter's citizenship. My brother asked: “Are you going to make her a double citizen?” I said “Yes.” To me, citizenship is not about belonging to a country, I only think about the number of countries to travel to without a visa and see double citizenship as enlarging the area of my daughter's mobility in the world. My brother said that a colleague's children had double citizenship. The daughter could not get into the university in the exam. In the meantime, they found out that foreigners get into the university without an exam (that is this practice is not something new, and is even valid for every foreigner) upon which they cancelled the Turkish citizenship and the following year the girl got into Boğaziçi (the best university in Turkey).
Now... The injustice of this is open for discussion. But for me, the very first injustice in the world to discuss today is putting people into boxes and discriminating accordingly. Seeing this FB sharing, I feel like shooting a short video saying “You won't believe what they are doing!!! It has to be shared until the whole world watches!!!!”
“Can you believe it? A baby, by just being born within an imaginary line, is faced with a barrier to go out of that line.”
I actually wrote this, and I keep saying similar things. But nobody shares it, let alone sharing, they do not even bother. Certain people in power have parcelled the world, made the whole world believe that these parcels are rightful, and they block people to go from one place to another on the world they were born. Certain people in power call crossing an imaginary line (which they've designated) without some papers (which again they've designated) a “crime”, and put millions of people through torture on this ground, and we find it natural. But when it comes to positive discrimination for others in the university exam, we rebel!
Let's look at it from a different angle. Let me list:
1- Is it really so necessary to go to university? I graduated from the best university of Turkey from a department requiring high scores. What does it serve me? Chobani's founder in America comes from a small town in Eastern Anatolia, he didn't go to university. But he is a billionaire. His company has been so successful. To the extent that neither FB nor Google can compete with the success he achieved in such a short time. He is a case study at Harvard.
I'm not saying this because I care about the money someone makes. I gave an example because other people value it. Hamdi Ulukaya's worth in my eyes is his humanity and his having principles. When you say children, women, environment etc. every company can sponsor such topics. They are unarguable. But when it comes to refugees, not so much. What makes Mr. Hamdi special in my eyes is his defending something risking losing customers when there is such a reaction to refugees. He talked against LGBT rights in Russia when sponsoring the American Olympic team. That is, he is someone who puts himself out, does not make concessions from what he believes to be true. This is very important. I mean for me. Anyway, let's get back to the topic.
2- This might cause some raised eyebrows but most of what I say are unconventional things anyway :) Apart from a couple main universities, what is being taught at all the other universities, what's the quality of education for God's sake! Is the mentality like some men saying “Even if it is from mud, let it be a woman.” That is we go to uni, we have a diploma, it doesn't matter if it is fake. Is it so?
3- What about the ones who cannot answer even the easiest questions in the university exam?... If universities had the capacity, if there were a thousand youngsters at the gate instead of a million, if there was room at the universities, should they all be accepted to universities? There are about 30,000 people who get “0” on the exam. Zero! Do these need to get into the university too?
4- Let's say you said yes. What are these youngsters going to do, will they be able to graduate? Let's say they were pushed and they did graduate, what good is that diploma going to serve them in real life when they do not have the capacity?
5- Let's come to the Syrian-Turkish match. As this is a match, right? It is a match that we'd lose if the other side wins. How many Turkish are there who wish to get into the university, how many Syrians are there who would be meeting the requirements to apply for university? Not that I know the answer to this but my guess is that the number of Syrians is uncomparably small. Therefore, I do not see the trouble of granting them such a right. Sorry.
6- Ah, you might say that they'll displace the Turkish, even if it is a handful. I guess they'd have a separate quota. What's more, those that get in, if they don't have the capacity, would not be able to go on studying and leave their place to someone else.
7- Displacing/Supplanting can be said of me too and millions of others like me who do not do anything with the diploma they get or toss it aside after using it for some time... That's life. (We do not do it with bad intentions, we do not do it intentionally. Plus, I was forced into this system and I believe I am the main victim. To use the common phrase “I've wasted the best years of my youth” on a topic I had no interest in at all. Isn't it a pity for me?)
8- The same thing is valid for who knows how many billions of pieces we have in our houses! We buy something, use it a couple of times and toss it into a wardrobe or a drawer. Isn't that stealing from the use of someone in need? Is it our right because we paid for it? With the same logic, I “succeeded” in the exam and earned my place. But some people can tactlessly, insolently treat me as if I “stole” someone else's place. Why is it any different when it comes to university exams that we react so, but we see the things we buy and not use as natural, it never occurs to us to consider it theft?
“I'm sorry... We need to learn to think before speaking, before pushing the click buttons. There is so much, so much that needs to be changed in the world. First of all, the minds, mentalities need to change. Please share. And/Or show me where I am wrong so that I can understand,” I commented after writing the above.
There was a long silence. Then, the friend sharing this wrote “You are not wrong in the things you write.”
I smiled. She couldn't bring herself to say “You are right,” but it's nice that she at least said “You are not wrong.”