Türkiye'nin en iyi köşe yazarları en güzel köşe yazıları ile Hürriyet'te! Usta yazarlar ve gündemi değerlendiren köşe yazılarını takip edin.

Let’s accept it: Our mentality is different than EU’s

Yesterday, I wrote about a field study titled "Radicalism and Extremism Research" by Professor Yılmaz Esmer and shared my opinion on the results. According to the findings, Turkish people do not want neighbors who do not believe in God (75 percent), who drink (72 percent), who live out of wedlock (67 percent), who are Jews (64 percent), who are Christians (52 percent) and who are an American family (43 percent).

Eighty-six percent of participants believe the United States, and 76 percent believe the European Union want to divide us.

Columnists analyzing the results point out lack of tolerance in society and distrust toward others. I, on the other side, made the following comment for the study:

People who cannot stand others and think others will harm them cannot trust others. They believe others will divide the country. The reason is these people have no self-confidence and lack proper personality development.

And it’s natural for people with low self-esteem to answer a question "Which is a priority for you?" as "religion" (Islam-CU) (62 percent). It is also normal if only 16 percent of participants have "laicism" as an answer and 13 percent as "democracy."


Be it a congregation or a community or a group or a nation, people who cannot stand others and are afraid of others cannot be "individuals." Or what’s more, you cannot say they have strong personality.

This is where we break up with the European Union!

Perhaps some Europeans stay away from others or cannot stand others or are afraid of others or hostile against others, but I am sure that a similar field study in the EU would not give figures as high as those in this study.

The reason is that most Europeans have more self-confidence than us. Therefore they have a different pattern of personality development. The European society consists of people who know how to make personal choices.

Don’t ever think that they don’t care about their own religion. Europeans only have less share of religion in worldly matters.

They are more sensitive in research, questioning and obedience to authority than our society. They have sensitivity towards individual rights, therefore democracy and secularism.

Europeans are even more hawkish than Turks who give importance to "sufficient income" (4 percent) about priorities.


Esmer’s research is thought-provoking. Turkey’s geopolitical and even economic integration with the EU is possible, but how Turks and EU citizens become "one" and melt in the same pot as we have such a different mindset. That, I don’t get it.


It is really difficult for me to see that we will be an EU member as 76 percent of our people believe the EU would divide us and that we are allies with the United States as 86 percent of Turks believe Americans want to divide us.

According to Esmer’s study, the government should pay a great deal of attention to the EU membership bid and should not even show the trace of populism in relations with the EU. Then, the question is this:

Does the AKP do politics despite its grassroots?