It has been fascinating being in Turkey as the event with the humanitarian aid ship has played out. Here in Dikili the hotel has no English channels so every now and then we flick on the TV and have a look at what is going on. It is wall to wall 24/7 Israel. There are crowds on the streets especially in Istanbul and Ankara going off screaming, throwing stuff at defence forces, wanting to attack the Israelite embassies etc, trashing pictures of Israeli leaders and more. I said in an earlier blog that there is a veneer of secularism here; this has unlocked the Islamic and national pride. These people are really upset!
What this will do is tip the balance in the middle east. Turkey have allied with the USA and have been Israel's friends in the region. This is coming to an end I think. One local suggested Turkey will get a new govt and that govt will ally with Iran and Iraq. The price of petrol here is ridiculously high too, and this will then drop as they get the benefit. There is a real anti-US thing emerging. This will tip the balance.
It was astonishing to see clips on the news of Jews among the Turks protesting with them. Israel have really made a meal of this one.
NZers lack national pride. We get a little fired up for rugby. But we are nothing on this. In recent times I have become concerned about Laidlaw College in this regard. When we changed name we shifted from Bible College of New Zealand to a rather generic name. At the time there was discussion over losing the Bible. I am thinking we need to rethink the NZ part of our name. I do not feel comfortable with strong nationalism, it is scary and xenophobic or even militaristic at times. Yet, one senses that a nation must have a strong sense of unity and identity to make progress. I would like to see us Kiwis come to gether with a little more pride, while remaining open to the world. Another thing I am learning is that we live in a glorious land. These places are run down and struggling. We have everything except perhaps good public transport, especially in Auckland and we need to do better with youth problems. But on the whole, we live in a glorious place. We should have far more pride and a sense of joy in being Kiwi.
Enough, off to Izmir. Keown, out.