A few weeks ago an incident of the most surreal proportions made for breaking news: a passenger had tried to open an airliner’s door midflight.
You will have followed the story of course so no need to repeat all shocking details about a United Kingdombased traveler whose behavior was later on referred to by the airline as ‘aggressive, abusive and dangerous’. As a matter of fact she might have become associated with mass murder, too, but Thank God the plane touched down safely.
No peccadillo by all accounts and there is most definitely no connection as such between her incomprehensible actions and the fact that the jetliner was Turkey-bound; it could have been a city hopper linking London and any other British destination. Yet we should talk about something else taking this almost catastrophe as departing point: what must have happened not only to this lunatic individual but to our European societies in general for hypothetical Air Crash Investigation- movie scripts like this to turn into reality in the first place?
And here we re-establish the link with the country we so happily call home: Turkey. According to my modest commentator’s opinion Turkish society in general is based on the family and on family values. Granted, families do have arguments and in particular the younger generation would not automatically support whatever his or her parents (or grandparents) declare as the order of the day, tell me. But these are internal affairs so to speak, nothing to write home about.
The wider fabric of Turkish society is based on searching for harmony as well as making certain that everyone can lead their day to day lives in safety and comfort.
This entails that you and me expatriates become part of that so welcome everyday routine. Can you walk an empty sidewalk at night let us say from Ladies Beach all the way to the coach station without fear of being robbed? Absolutely! Can you wait for the last minibus for example behind the entrance to our castle in the clear knowledge of that not only is the waiting time no threat to your wellbeing but that the actual journey regardless of whether a lone female traveler or a group of muscle-honed lads is equally not dangerous? Certainly! Can old ladies count their monies with open wallets in front of a shop onone of our Boulevards or supermarkets without fear of being mugged? Of course! Have you ever left your patio door open whist nipping out to the local store a ten minute stroll away to buy a freshly baked loaf of bread? My family does and will always continue to do so.
Now you may say, well, you talk about our relatively small resort town, Kusadasi. No way – we initially raised our daughter in the capital Ankara and more than once did we refer to that fine city as Europe’s safest metropolis.
So what could be the reasoning behind a steadily growing acceptance of anti-social behavior all across Europe? Good question – yet no answers at least not from our politicians. Knife crimes on the rise, drug dealers roam streets freely, pensioners get beaten up. Bad enough already but as we learned again due to that plane incident seemingly only the tip of the iceberg…
We do have a threat by terrorists, unfortunately. But this is something law enforcement and intelligence will eventually take care of. What they cannot take care of is our everyday life and how we chose to go about it. Only we as society can take care of that.
Your friendly columnist has for sure no crystal ball to consult – please take this short analysis as what it is supposed to, an eye opener of sorts, food for thought in a sense of ‘what kind of society do we really want to pass on to our children and grandchildren?’
Back to that midair story: in the best case scenario that person was simply mad, period. Everyone on board and all loved ones on solid ground must thank the crew and others involved in helping them for swift and decisive preventive action including the pilots of the RAF jets.
In the worst case scenario however she is just a mirror reflection of how our society has developed; the word ‘developed’ employed as a pun of course. If violence and abusive behavior as the staple diet of far too many television programs or cinema blockbusters – not even adding the internet where apparently everything is tolerated – we should not be surprised if notions such as ‘hey, let’s go on a rampage through town’ become acceptable. Don’t like someone else’s color? Punch him. Feel offended by my teacher because my grades are not up to standard? Smash her car windows. Disagree with an elected office holder? Send in the boys; another sad reference to a German politician who lost his life in an attack a short while ago by a far-right killer waiting for him outside his house.
Had a bad day at the office or an argument with my neighbor or that silly person in front of me at the supermarket check-out took far too long to pay for his two items of grocery? Well, enough is enough, why not buy a plane ticket and show the world how cool I am by opening the doors midflight!
Promised – my next article will be once again much more uplifting, uplifting as in ‘ready for take-off.’ Please enjoy your flight back to Turkey unless you are already here. Have a simply fantastic summer season!