The bridge over the Bosphorus
At the word “Turks” the majority of our fellow citizens not so long ago there was an image of such person in a turban and in trousers. He drinks Turkish coffee, writes from right to left in Arabic script, prays to Allah for the health of his harem and camels. This image is as colorful as it is far from the truth. Turban is out of use at the beginning of the XIX century and was replaced by a FEZ, which, in turn, in the twenties, abolished the founder of the Turkish Republic Ataturk, Arabic script gave way to the Latin alphabet with him, and polygamy — a long time ago a criminal offense. A camel can be found no more often than a bear on the streets of Moscow. Testify to this as someone who has worked in Turkey for years. However, as you know, there is no smoke without fire… I called these modest notes “the Bridge over the Bosphorus” because it is this Strait that divides the European and Asian parts of Turkey. And why the bridge, I hope the reader will guess. Open your face! Resort in the vicinity of Istanbul. The sea, the heat, the wide sandy beach. Tired for a week workers diligently fried in the sun, using their legitimate right to rest. Suddenly, suddenly, I notice that the heads of compatriots with whom I came to rest, as if on command turn to one side, and the faces are deformed in a grimace of surprise. Following the herd instinct, I turn to the same place as everyone else, and see: on the beach towards the water is a group of women. The citizen is clearly going to swim in street clothes. Dressed in long cloaks and traditional scarves, they calmly enter the water and begin to splash, not paying attention to others. It should be said that bathing, and the suit here is not exotic. However, and occurs at every step. If you take a quick look at the local laws, then you can only be happy for the Turkish women. “Liberated women of the East” are generously endowed with all conceivable democratic rights and freedoms. However, as is often the case in life, the declared opportunities do not always coincide with the real ones. To live here prefer “not under the law, and justice”, and the concept of equitable distribution of rights and responsibilities over the past century has changed little. The slogan under which the leaders of the Islamic (more recently) opposition spoke is indicative. Attitude to the policy pursued by Ms. Tansu Chiller, expressed succinct phrase: “the Government — to resign, Tansu — to the kitchen!”And this view here on the place of women in public life is common not only among Islamists. For example, I once asked what my old friend Ahmet Halla thinks about this. I turned to him not by chance, because I thought he was a typical representative of the Turkish middle class. Ahmet comes from a seedy village, but, thanks to the help of relatives, managed to get an education in the capital’s University. In his youth, he sympathized with the Communists, went under the red flag and fought for the welfare of all mankind, After the military coup of 1980 settled down and decided to limit himself to the welfare of his own family, working in the field of trade. We talked with Akhmet on our firm’s business often, and for some time now he became my permanent consultant, to whom I continually turned, faced with another Turkish paradox. So, as for family relations, Ahmet is not a Muslim fundamentalist! — I strongly supported subordination in a family. Although he reserved the right to cheat on his wife from time to time, he was strongly opposed to his wife following his example. Otherwise, divorce, in his opinion, would be inevitable. To Akhmet’s credit, divorce in such cases is considered to be the mildest form of solving family problems in Turkey. Newspapers continually tickle nerves to readers with details of feats of local Othello. If it does not come to murder, then the guilty lady, however, all around now begin to look no differently than a woman of easy virtue. By the way, about easy behavior. Prostitution is legalized in Turkey. Brothels exist in all cities. The most popular among the population, of course, Istanbul brothels. The entire network of these institutions is owned by Mrs. Matilda Manukyan. It is rumored (of course, detractors) that it recruits exclusively Turkish women to its institutions in order to humiliate in their person the entire Turkish nation, which brought a lot of grief to Armenians in its time. Like it or not, it is difficult to judge, but it is another known fact from her biography. It is not the first year that Mrs. Manukyan has been in the lead in her country in the amount of taxes paid to the state, for which she receives regular awards, presented in a solemn atmosphere. It is worth adding that in Turkey it is customary to marry only virgins. Ahmet, hearing my question about this, told me that personally he would never be able to marry a woman who previously belonged to someone else: “se-cond hand” and this area is unacceptable!..”It was clear that for the Turk it is an axiom. Once I read in one of the Newspapers about the tragic case. It all started with a fairly ordinary event: a young man kidnapped a girl. It is necessary to explain. The fact is that in Turkey for a wedding, the consent of the parents is necessary. If for one reason or another it is absent, young people, having run away from home, begin to live together, and parents are put before the fait accompli. Having an alternative: to recognize his daughter disgraced or give their consent to an unwanted , parents usually choose the latter. That’s what they call kidnapping a girl. Nothing unusual about that. But this young man, by kidnapping — with its consent — girl, soon found out, that this girl — already at all not girl. He couldn’t get over himself and left her. To somehow escape from the shame, the fugitive used the last means available to her and filed a statement to the police about the rape. (Strongly, in sight, loved!) The case could still be hushed up if the young man agreed to the marriage, especially since the parents have already given their consent. They didn’t have much choice, though. However, the young man remained adamant. In his last word at the trial, he let a stingy man’s tear, admitted that he still loves her, but still can not marry and agree to honestly pull his sentence for rape… That remains to do young girl, trapped in similar situation? Her position is unenviable. However, if the sin of youth has not yet been made public, it can be corrected if you make a simple surgery, which is called “repair”. Surgeons specializing in such operations have a steady income in Turkey. If they can keep their mouths shut… The owners of his word a Long time ago, working as a translator with tourists from Turkey, I was obsessed with the same idea: why are they always late? When I arranged to meet them in the hotel lobby at ten in the morning, I noted with regret that the first, the most conscious citizens did not appear until half past ten. As a result, we were not able to get on time for any of the excursions. Then I suggested that the Turks behave in this way only on vacation. Later, having got to Turkey and having got acquainted with the people closer, I understood that I was mistaken. Rest has nothing to do with it. Examples of this phenomenon occurred to me in Turkey at every step. For example, one day my friend and I were going to Istanbul on business. Our local friend Mustafa, who was on his way, as it turned out, the same day on the same route, offered us a ride. He warned us that he was leaving very early, and promised to come for us. Fascinated by such attention and care, we rose at the crack of dawn. After about an hour and a half, when further waiting lost all meaning and it became clear that the trip is hopelessly disrupted, we again fell asleep, remembering what the light is his credulity and Mustafa. From that day on, I walked around Mustafa’s house for a kilometer until I accidentally ran into him on the street. Mustafa was genuinely surprised by my disappearance. I, trying to be restrained, clearly explained to him the reason why he smiled kindly and said that, unfortunately, that morning in a hurry and simply forgot to take us with him. It was evident that he genuinely did not understand the reason for my displeasure. I didn’t understand his misunderstanding. As always, everything was put in place by Akhmet. He listened to my heartfelt speech, chuckled and uttered a phrase worthy of being quoted: — Why be surprised? We’re masters of their words you give, they want to take back. Alas, this rule is widespread in Turkey, ranging from everyday communication to television program for a week. I used to trust the information published in the newspaper, the first time in Turkey was not easy to get used to the idea that if the program announced a movie, it does not mean anything. Moreover, it does not mean anything even if the film during the week is constantly advertised on the same channel. For example, the film “Amadeus” I tried to watch three times, but all attempts failed. Sitting comfortably at the TV screen, I, instead of the declared picture, found something, even remotely it did not resemble. At the same time, no one thought to inform about the changes in advance or at least apologize for what he had done. Gradually I got used to and began to treat such things philosophically. I began to treat the Turkish way of driving in the same philosophical way. At the firm, my boss taught me Turkish life. One day on the way to Istanbul, he pointed out to me the Mercedes of a popular model, peacefully and sedately driving ahead of us, and offered to watch what was about to happen. He added gas, and our battered “nine” came forward, leaving behind the pride of the German automotive industry. The result was not slow to affect. Offended to the core Turkish motorist instantly forgot that he had nowhere to hurry. He leaned on the accelerator, and the chic car, rushing with all its horsepower, in the blink of an eye disappeared over the horizon. So for the first time I witnessed symptoms of recklessness of local drivers.
If someone is somewhere… I remember when I first came to Turkey a few years ago, two things immediately caught my eye: the abundance of barbed wire on the fences and the police with guns at every intersection. At first I had the feeling that I was in a kind of police state. After living the ruckus, I can say that it is not. But the order in the country is and is supported. I do not want to say that there is no crime in Turkey at all. Of course, it exists, and the local community, of course, expresses its concern. However, as the poet Vladimir Vishnevsky speaks, on that she and the public to Express the concern. Judge. There is no racket in our understanding among the Turks themselves, Some cases of extortion do not make the weather. Women walk the streets, hung with gold, like Christmas trees. Men also are not afraid of jewelry. Shoes are left in the entrance in front of the apartment or on the street, at the entrance to the mosque. It does not remove the wipers from the cars and can easily leave the keys to the apartment at the gas station to its employees filled with fuel oil for the heater in the absence of the owner. Sometimes foreigners are amazed at the manifestations of honesty, which is not typical for more (or less) developed countries. A familiar businessman once invited us to walk along the Bank of the Bosphorus. We took something to eat in an open restaurant and sat on a bench near the water. Ten minutes later, the owner of the establishment came up to us and stretched 50 thousand liras, at that time — about seven dollars. It turned out that our businessman, paying, gave too much. Having found it, the owner began to look for us, found in the mass of the people and returned money before the client managed to remember it. However, it is said, previously, there were the customs is even easier. Dropping on the street some thing, you could come the next day to this place and probably would have found a loss in one of the surrounding shops. The police in Turkey is always on the alert and copes well with their duties, although here it would be worth noting one important point, largely determining the success of its work. I mean the unselfish help of the population. Most serious crimes are solved here thanks to signals from people. Vigilant Turkish citizens do not hesitate to inform the police about everything suspicious that they have noticed, and this makes it possible to disclose, and most importantly, to prevent a lot of crimes. There are, of course, and overlaps. In the local television program humorous showed a funny story on this topic. A young man meets a girl, her behavior seems suspicious to him, and he, just in case, decides to report her to the police. He goes to the nearest telephone booth, where there is already a queue. Who notifies of the unreliability of his wife, who knocks on the mother-in-law, and someone even admits his not quite right thoughts. In the end, the young man did not have time to talk to the police. He is arrested because the girl manages to Snitch on him before. Laugh laugh, but seriously, the help of the population is a great strength to ignore which is simply unreasonable. There is another factor. One day my brother and found himself in Turkey in a very bad situation. They robbed his apartment, took his salary for a few months. There were almost no hopes for the return of the money. The final blow to optimism was our personal presence in the work of a local forensic expert who used methods that old Holmes laughed at. However, despite the negative forecasts, the offender was arrested, and a large part of the money returned. Later, washing this event in restaurant with a top of local law enforcement agencies, we poli took an interest how they all-managed to find the criminal. The answer surprised us a lot. — We quit on this business all his strength, and said modestly local Zheglov. — After all, if we did not find it, you, foreigners, would have the opinion that in Turkey, some bandits, and the police do nothing. That’s it, no more and no less. Patriotic considerations come first. In General, patriotism in the Turkish character is closely combined with such a long tradition as respect for elders. Seniority is usually understood to mean both age and rank. Compliance with subordination often lead to servility. Fear of the authorities permeates every Turkish official. I remember once being amazed to read a Fax sent by a mid-level Manager to the owner of the firm. It began with the words: “O great and worthy of respect!”The rules of subordination in Turkey do not change from the bottom to the top of the power pyramid. For example, in the city of Isparta, where the current President Suleiman Demirel was born, who is affectionately called “father”, there is a Boulevard bearing his name. Special treatment in Turkey to the founder of the Republic and the first President of the country Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. It is revered as we have in former times revered Lenin. All the relevant rituals are so similar that it makes no sense to list them. The only difference is that during all the vicissitudes of modern Turkish history, the authority of Ataturk remained unshakable. I once asked Ahmet how he felt about Ataturk. — I respect him, — came the reply. Mustafa Kemal was a man! Drank for three, and what a womanizer! Another side of Turkish propaganda is expressed in slogans hung literally at every step. We are used to the calls to protect mother nature or the public domain, but even here Turkey sometimes shows simply amazing examples of written official creativity. One day, waiting for the bus at the bus stop and thinking about where to find a nearby toilet, I noticed a small mosque. Sergeant Ahmet Kahvecioglu, obviously, the hero of local importance, is perched nearby. I came closer to assess the operational situation. Imagine my surprise when on the temple wall I saw a metal plaque, which read literally: “Jamie ishaan desistir!”— “Pissing on a mosque is an atheist!”I then great regretted that I did not have a camera with me. But under the sign was an arrow that showed me the place I needed.