Monday, February 27, 2012

The Price of Turkey

In Turkey, books and gas are extremely expensive. That results in limited information for the Turkish people. Books, especially foreign language books, fall outside the price range of the average citizen. They are more expensive than in the United States even though Turkey's GDP per capita is significantly lower than the U.S.'s.

Relatedly, Turkish news focuses only on news in Turkey. There is very little foreign news. This shapes Turkish people's worldview in powerful way. Turkey borders Iraq and Syria, yet the violence in those countries seems like a world away. Even violence in southeastern Turkey felt as if it was in a different country.

Gas costs about 3.70TL per liter. That means it's roughly $8.25 a gallon. Again, Turks make less than the average American who pays about $3.70 a gallon right now. The price of owning a car is also far more expensive than it is in America. The result is that Turks do not have the freedom to travel within their own country that Americans possess. This is part of the reason why southeastern Turkey is so divided from central Anatolia and farther west. The other reason is ethnicity. The southeast is home to the Kurds.

No comments: