That’s what bugs me the most.
I lost the track of events which made me say “Wow… this, in 21st century…” long time ago. For what I can tell lots of people from different idealogic and politic backgrounds are dealing with the same problem.
We are saying that we are worried, that things are not as how they should be right now in the country for a really long time. But there are certain clouds blocking the view, detaining us from to tell why and how it is different this time. Yet, we all feel what we feel; oppression, seclusion and dividedness in society.
So I’m being sent to Germany for 2 days long business trip. But being a Turkish citizen gives you shit loads of paperwork to apply a visa, which may or may not be granted to you after a period of time. This sometime takes more than 15 days. You understand why I wasn’t grinning from ear to ear the moment my manager gave me the news.
“I’m sending you with Hale” he told me, his eyes fixed at the laptop in front of him.
Hale and I became somewhat sincere friends; we argue a lot about our work ethics, but we have a stable friendship. “I’m sending you so that we don’t have to be paying for 2 rooms” he added, only this time checking my reaction. He smiled when I showed no emotions. I felt like he was expecting something more than this; probably a visage of me trying to hide my sheer joy because our company sending us to Germany…
“It’s not like you are sending us daycare&spa…”
This was what’s on my mind. But I did listen to this little voice inside me saying that I have bills to pay, that is most definitely not the right time to change jobs. So I kept my mouth shut. Though I did not give him any happy impressions, I told him that I’m able to travel at the said dates and that I will look into the matter and start my “let’s-get-visa-or-else” process.
Not in those exact words though.
You know business life…
I am currently working for this publishing company, which without a doubt has a potential. With its 8 monthly periodicals, I can say that the group has what it takes to become even more important in close future. Another point I should be honest about is that except the average payment I receieve each month, I have nothing to complain. Or perhaps I saw worse, and now I’m just settling down for what I can get. I don’t know.
What I want to talk about is not how I feel about the company. I want to talk about why they think I’m an asset for them.
I started working as a junior editor at this lifestyle magazine at the beginning of my second year in university, almost 7 years ago. Target audience of the magazine was business women and I mostly wrote about important business figures, fashion, art etc. Magazine couldn’t make it; though the content was good, advertisers somehow decided to work with established female magazines such as Vogue Turkey, Elle Turkey, Marie Claire Turkey etc.
But I had the chance to do some interviews there. Names include, along with many designers and artists both from Turkey and abroad, Reem Acra, Jane Birkin and Ivanka Trump. The latter also happens to be my first article, which I decided to crown with the title “More Than Just Dad’s Little Girl”
After a year, I moved to another magazine. Now working mostly with socialites and celebrities, I had the chance to work on some international articles. I got in touch with consular representatives, ambassadors and talked international politics, life in Turkey and what not during many occasions. I wrote portraits. During my time there, I wrote about Margaret Thatcher whence she passed away. Queen Beatrix of Netherlands whence she stepped down from the throne. I went to talk with ambassador of Vatican when Pope resigned and even asked him about the pedophilia among clergy and Vatican’s stance on LGBTQ rights.
Though I basically let go of my education, I’m still majoring French at university and this is my last year for 3rd time now, I created what I believe to be a good portfolio in 6 years time. And now the company I’m working for cherishes me because I can speak English and French.
Just for that.
This is kind of boring. Mostly because that’s not what I planned for myself. There are royal bloods who answer my emails personally, and I’m important because I can talk with that Chinese guy who is interested in what we do? Really?
Along with the fact that I present an economical option for this business trip, it’s also because I’m the sole person who can speak and create new contacts for the job.
So here I am, sitting at a café during work hours, it’s Thursday as I’m typing this, looking at this misshaped and ugly skyscraper and people who walks around it. I just gave our application files to the guy who we will use as third part visa applier. I don’t know how can I explain this in English. It’s unknown to me if any of you out there has something similar in your countries.
I won’t be going back to office today. It’s close enough to do so, but I need this extra time and extra space to collect my thoughts. Because daily struggles of an employee is the least of my problems. I believe there are some grave dangers for my country ahead of us. And boy are they bad…
It’s no secret that Turkey is having her ups and downs for the last couple of years. There are some capital problems with the way people feel about the government and how they are being governed. Clouds I mentioned at the beginning are blocking, at least for me, the view but I positively believe that it is different this time. And we won’t get of easily.
I can see the faces around the skyscraper, one of the many skyscrapers built last decade, and changed the façade of Istanbul. It is not so difficult to determine who supports which political camp. The way they interact with their surroundings, the way they dress, their facial expressions… Those who don’t support the mainstream ideology of 2016’s Turkey can no longer hide their fears and worries. And there are those who are more than ready to oppress this group. I’m not sure how long has it been like this, but it feels nostalgic to think about the days when it wasn’t.
Hence, the days become stationary. We began to accept this ill-fated future, began to look elsewhere for real for the first time in our lives.
And more and more I feel oppressed to exercise the very core of international human rights, the rights which this very country taught me in her public schools during 1990’s. Nobody told me that it’d be a problem to hold those rights dear, to demand to live according to them. Yet, this is where I am. Looking at an ugly skyscraper, architectural tool of a political era. Looking down at us from sky, screaming silently “I own this place.”