Being a Turk


I have translated an essay written by a famous Turkish writer, Ahmet Altan. It’s about being a Turk, and he has really great observations about us. If you really want to have some idea about being a Turk, i recommend you to go on reading.. This is my first translation experiment, so please forgive me for my mistakes ..

Being a Turk

The world’s most dangerous entertainment is being a Turk.

Here, even the life itself is amazed about life..

The life is a bungee-jumping of 65 million people. We, millions of people fall down to the ground fastly.. Just at the moment to hit the ground, a power who we never know, pulls the rope which we swing and we jump above..

We rape our sultan, execute our prime minister, put our general staff in the prison, send our young people to execution tripods, then write the best love poems in the world…

We always complain about our stupidness, then we defraud the IMF who is the most clever in the world. They don’t even understand, how we get the money from them…

When we’re bored of our stupidness, we praise our inteligence and for thousand years, we sleep on the roofs and fall down from there to death..

When it rains, the only human being who can drown in a busy street, in the world’s biggest city is a Turk. But the world’s first man who attached himself wings and flew was also a Turk.

We declare the government as holy, but then we try to cheat the government. We say, ” Villagers are our master, then we beat them..

Turks are the one and only nation who achieved to establish a country which is not recognized by any other country..

We say ” Peace in the world, peace in the universe” but all of our neighbours are also our enemies ..

It’s very difficult to find a country whose national pride is this valuable but national currency is this invaluable. Those are the Turks, who always deceive each other..

Those are the Turks, who donate one of the two blankets they own, to the victims of a big earthquake, and come together all the nation, when there’s a disaster..

Only Turks can be the third team in the World Cup after not even being able to qualify for 48 years.. Those are still Turks, who are beaten by the most unrelated countries in their national sports Wrestling, and injure themselves in wrestling competitions with American wrestlers, who have no idea of wrestling..

We love to say our decision in every subject but we don’t believe in any of them.. We don’t have any philosopher, but we have a philosophy of life, which noone knows..

The most famous assassin in the world who shot the Pope is a Turk. Also he’s the most stupid assassin who shot him in the eyes of thousands of people and caught easily..

The only country in the world, which murderers are national heros but poets are traitors, is Turkey.

We always get suspicious of muslims, but we never employ someone in the government who is
not muslim..

We applause all the revolutions done by the army, and vote for the ones who the revolutioners were against, even in the very next elections.. Those are the Turks, who lost nearly 5 million squarekilometers in only one agreement and still thinks that it is the most efficient agreement ever..

Those are Turks who bomb their own ship for seven hours in a war. Those are also the Turks, who doesn’t leave their broken airplane till the last time and dies, not to hurt someone else..

Those are Turks, who are always suspicious of foreigners but still tries to join every foreign community.. Only Turks believe that, all those communities’ rules were prepared to seperate Turkey.

Our parliement is not able to make the laws, which will let us join the E.U years ago.. But makes laws in one night, which would be done in ten years in any other country..

Life here is like 60 million people’s trapeze activity who have never tried it before.. All the world waits for us to fall down with bewilderment in their eyes but we don’t fall down.

We are Turks. We either dance or cry. Being a Turk is the most dangerous entertainment on the earth. And we have fun with fear..

Ahmet Altan

Turkish – English translation by Gokhan Dogan

The original version in Turkish [Turkce] :


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