(If you arrived here; you also might be interested in the story about my volleyball match with Abdullah Ocalan, Apo. Please click here)
So it is official now - Over 46 percent of Turks voted for the Islamists. Call it a farewell to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - the greatest Turk ever. The end of Secularism. The beginning of the end. Death to the president, long live the sultan!
Turkey might have been an example for millions of oppressed progressive Muslims in Islamic countries - but no longer. One of the few truly secular Muslim countries (together with Bosnia and Albania) chooses - voluntarily - for mixing politics with God. Give me one example of a successful country where politics and religion aren't separated? Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Pakistan, The Sudan, Lebanon? Good luck Turkey.
And isn't democracy a great system?!
Especially if it works like this:
Progressive secular Turkish families (Mostly city people) all have one or two children. Logically - because if you are progressive, not terribly religious and you care about a future for yourself and your children, it is rather obvious that you don't want 20 children.
Now here comes the countryside: Schooling is wanky, future not that rosy, conservative village mentality, religion very important and the result of this all is: Large families.
First - religious people in the Turkish countryside want sons, not daughters. So in order to get at least three sons, there is a very fair chance that you have to get at least six children, or more of course.
Second - religiously conservative people everywhere in the world are fond of large families. Pope adoring catholics, loony protestants, Prophet loving Muslims - it is all the same. I was raised in Hollands Bible Belt, so I know how this stuff works. Luckily my parents were (and still are) progressive. But I can assure you: Our first 600 neighbours to the right and our first 400 neighbours to the left weren't.
So this is what happens when the countryside takes revenge by using democracy:
Just take a look at two imaginary Turkish families:
Family Kemal: A secular man and a secular woman marry and get two secular children, who both marry secular partners and each secular couple gets two secular children etc, etc, etc.
Family God: One religious man and a religious woman marry and get eight religious children. Each of them finds a religious partner, marries and gets eight religious children etc, etc, etc.
Let's look at the differences after five generations:
First generation : 1 couple (2 persons) has 2 children
Second generation : 2 couples (4 persons) have 4 children
Third generation : 4 couples (8 persons) have 8 children
Fourth generation : 8 couples (16 persons) have 16 children
Fifth generation : 16 couples (32 persons) have 32 children
First generation : 1 couple (2 persons) have 8 children
Second generation : 8 couples (16 persons) have 64 children
Third generation : 64 couples (132 persons) have 512 children
Fourth generation : 512 couples (1024 persons) make 4096 children
Fifth generation : 4096 couples (8092 persons) make 32.768 children
What an enormous difference! Of course, the above figures aren't entirely correct, because it is practically impossible for every couple to get all the time eight children. And I exaggerate by counting eight children all the time. A large family in Turkey consists, realistically, of five children - not eight. This would make the above figures less dramatic. But still - you get the point.
Turkish fertility rate stands at 1.89 children per woman (for example: Holland's total fertility rate is 1.66 child per women, but the USA has 2.09 children per woman - which is much higher than Muslim Turkey).
Anyhow - my point is this: If in a democracy (where every person has the right to vote) every segment of society produces about the same number of children, everything will stay in balance. But when there is a discrepancy - whereby the city folks have no or only one child, while the countryside really bangs like there's no tomorrow - well, Houston (Or Antalya), we've got a problem!
Ataturk came to power in 1923. That is 84 years, or roughly put, four generations ago. Before that, almost all Turkish families (progressive or conservative) were large. Since Ataturk's revolution, progressive and secular families went down to an average of one or two, even none - while large chunks of the religious and conservative countryside didn't.
So it isn't a coincidence that after four generations Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is being defeated by a mix of democracy and high birth rates among religious conservatives. Don't expect anything better during next elections. It only gets worse.
By the way, Turkey isn't the only country with this 'problem'. Conservative Christians in the US are as well gaining power this way. At one point there is a fair chance that because of low birthrates among progressive people and high birthrates among conservatives any republican candidate will automatically win any presidential election. Thank you very little.
But at the end of the day - we, progressive people - should not wank. It is our own 'fault', our own choice not to have that many children. I might not like it that religiously conservative people go for large families, but they don't break any law since in most societies (except for China) it is perfectly legal to have as many children as you want.
And just because progressive people tend to see children as "extra baggage" instead of a blessing, we can't blame others for choosing a 'dull, conservative and predictable' family life. And smart they are, these religious people. Because in a democracy all their kids will vote, and their kids will, and their kids will. Well, you know now where this will lead to. Remember the figures from above?
I wouldn't be surprised when in the year 2075 the UN Secretary General will be some pope, reverent or ayatollah. Luckily I will be dead by then.
The lessons learned from the Turkish election debacle are the following: Move to China or 'Make love, not condoms!'