# GENDER AND AUTHORSHIP IN JWSR

Driven by mere curiosity, this is a simple study on the relationship between gender and authorship in the Journal of World-Systems Research. The Journal has been published as an on-line, open-access and refereed journal since 1995. There is a total of 23 published volumes that are accessible to anyone on-line.

Gender issues have increasingly become salient in sociology, political economy and political science. The fact that the World Bank has a whole bunch of gender-related indicators is a reflection of the need to create awareness of gender disparities and the immediacy of addressing this problem so that appropriate policy options can be created. In some countries this is less of an issue because the social and economic disparities between men and women are minimal whereas in some others the differences are quite dramatic.

The present Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has “made parity our central reform objective. We have already reached parity in the Senior Management Group, the top level of the administration of the UN. And we will soon reach it at the level of the country leaders of the UN. But our aim is to have parity across the board in the whole of the United Nations; and this will be a key instrument for us to be able to fight sexual exploitation with zero tolerance to fight sexual harassment and to make sure that we create an organization in which women and men can work together in full equality and contribute to a world in which women and men can also be in full equality.” (http://www.un.org/en/index.html, 7 march 2018). It is encouraging to hear such commitment from the head of the UN, who is right on the mark by stating that the problem is a matter of power inequality and therefore it is important to empower women.

A study on gender inequality in the LSE International Relations reading lists done by “. . .about twenty or so PhD candidates at the department manually (!) scraped the reading lists of 43 courses that were on offer during the 2015-2016 academic year, resulting in a dataset containing 12,358 non-unique publications. Of those, 2,574 involves at least one female author, while 9,784 features at least one male author. Moreover, 81% of the syllabi is written exclusively by male scholars.” (https://www.r-bloggers.com/quantitative-story-telling-with-shiny-gender-bias-in-syllabi/ Accessed 7 March 2018). The study found that there was an increase in female authors after 1990; however, when analyzed together, male authors also displayed a remarkable increase, indicating that the trend is universal. In the words of the author “Our illustration demonstrates two separate effects. First, there is absolute improvement over time; in syllabi, the number of publications by female authors tripled in the last three decades. Second, there is comparatively little relative progress in the same time frame.” (https://www.r-bloggers.com/quantitative-story-telling-with-shiny-gender-bias-in-syllabi/ Accessed 7 March 2018).

The study also found that the majority of the publication years included less than 20% female authors. “. . . we observe a similar trend after 1990; the relative improvement is about double: pre-1990, the female author ratio averages around 10%, while post-1990 it’s about 20%.” (https://www.r-bloggers.com/quantitative-story-telling-with-shiny-gender-bias-in-syllabi/ Accessed 7 March 2018).

According to Catalyst, “Women academics held 40.6% of academic positions across the 28 countries of the European Union (EU-28) in 2013.” Furthermore, and more importantly, “Women were a minority among senior academics (Grade A) in many European countries, including Belgium (15.6%), Germany (17.3%), the United Kingdom (17.5%), France (19.3%), Switzerland (19.3%), and Sweden (23.8%).” (http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/women-academia accessed 7 march 2018). The same source indicates that in the United States “While women held nearly half (48.9%) of all tenure-track positions in 2015, they held just 38.4% of tenured positions.”

In a male-dominated world, as aptly expressed by the head of the UN, I wanted to see how this disparity of power manifests itself in JWSR. As I was recording the data I did not make any distinction between editorials, articles or book reviews. I did not specify articles or book reviews that are coauthored, either. In the case of an article or book review with more than one author, their names are entered separately.

This is dirty work in terms of data collection because you just have to record the names and gender of authors one by one, which is quite time-consuming. I don’t think web-scraping would work to get these data; at least I’m not aware of it. The database I formed includes volume and issue number, author’s name, gender and the year of publication.

The database contains a total of 792 entries as explained above. Within this total 180 are female and 612 are male authors. This results in a female/male ratio of 29.4%. For each publication by a female there are 3.4 published by males.  No effort was made to classify authors on the basis of ethnicity as this would be rather nebulous and make things complicated.

A few other remarks are warranted. A time-series plot of publications reveals that male publications seem to have more noticeable fluctuations compared to female publications. Moreover, female publications surge in 2010 and between 2010 and 2017 they have more fluctuations.

Such an analysis of authorship in and of itself may not be very meaningful unless these data are compared to other journals or viewed within the context of general statistics on women in academia. For the 23 years in question, females published 7.8 articles per year, and males 26.7. The ratio is 1 to 3.4. It can be seen that the increase in female publications in JWSR is greater than the one in males but there is still a long way to go in reaching parity in academia in general. It is pleasing to see that women are publishing more in a journal that is dedicated to world-systems analysis, a perspective that focuses on the nature and underlying dynamics of inequality on a global scale. To what extent this inequality in academia is a reflection of material conditions in which individuals find themselves trapped and to what extent it is a result of ideological (gender-based, male-oriented) or social prejudice is a question that needs to be addressed.

# The Kaya Identity: The Case of Turkey

The Kaya Identity expresses carbon dioxide emission levels as a product of population, Gross Domestic Product per capita (personal wealth), energy intensity (energy per GDP) and carbon intensity (CO2 emissions per energy consumed). Developed by Yoichi Kaya, its mathematical notation is $F = P(G/P)(E/G)(F/E)$ where F is carbon dioxide emissions, P is population, G is GDP, and E is energy consumption.

It can be calculated not only for global emissions, and hence for modeling, but also for individual economies. Although it has been viewed as tautological by some(1), the IPCC report also uses it. “The Kaya multiplicative identity. . . underlies the analysis of the emissions scenario literature.”(2)

The World Bank data make it easy to calculate the index. The chart below, produced using the Bank data, shows clearly the steep increase in Turkey’s carbon footprint. If the present trend continues, the carbon emissions are likely to increase for the foreseeable future.

It is obvious that population plays an important role in the size of an economy, and the bigger an economy gets, the more it will need and consume energy. Liberal economics primarily focuses on economic growth, which, regardless of how incomes are distributed or to what extent growth is translated into development, is deemed desirable for raising standards of living. One question at this point is how far we can go without depleting the world’s resources. Another question can be raised regarding climate change and global warming. However, in a capitalist, and therefore, consumption-based economy where firms produce commodities in a competitive (and also in oligopolistic) conditions it is difficult to imagine producers coming up with alternative (environmentally friendly, so-called sustainable) policies and technologies unless they are forced to do so through government regulation.

Energy intensity can be reduced by developing technology to increase efficiency in energy use. Furthermore, development of renewable energy sources (wind, solar and other forms of energy) should reduce carbon emissions, but again,  this is a matter of the extent to which governments can enact and enforce regulations to reduce harmful emissions. Otherwise, firms will carry on their business as usual, externalizing their costs regardless of any ethical considerations this kind of behavior might imply. Recent history has countless examples of such blatant violation of ethics and of regulation no matter how permissive or restrictive those regulations might have been.

In the face of global warming, which is well-documented now, it is imperative that governments, including those of Turkey, tackle these issues urgently otherwise humanity moves headlong toward its own demise.  As Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, recently put it, “If we collectively chicken out of this, we’ll all turn into chickens and we’ll all be fried, grilled, toasted and roasted.”(3)

References:

(1) Mario Bunge. Evaluating Philosophies. New York: Springer, 2012.

The

# Obsessed with Political Stability

The turbulent 1970s inflicted a lot of pain and suffering on Turkish society. Sharpening class struggle, internal strife and terrorism along with frequently formed coalition governments in the context of economic bottlenecks that were associated with import-substituting industrialization prompted the coup d’état of 1980. The military junta formed by the leaders of the coup curtailed civil rights, repressed wages, persecuted the left and eventually drafted a constitution and made changes in the electoral system. The most important change in the elections were the introduction of 10% nation-wide threshold for the participating parties. The rationale for this was that the previous system allowed too many political parties to enter the parliament, resulting in coalitions that were allegedly a source of instability and ineffectiveness.

One of the arguments put forth by the ruling AKP (the Justice and Development Party) in its election campaigns and in their overall discourse has been to maintain “stability” in the country. For this reason the AKP was never interested in lowering the threshold of 10 percent national vote that eliminates small parties from the parliament. For the same reason, the AKP recently managed to change the regime from a parliamentary one to a presidential one, causing a lot of heated debate, controversy and unrest. The regime change is a relatively new development, and we have yet to see if and to what extent it has contributed to stability, but the election practices have been around for the last few decades, sometimes causing a significant portion of the electorate not being represented in the parliament.

Therefore, a look at the numbers will be useful to assess the argument for “stability.” Granted that this is not an in-depth analysis of Turkish politics, even a cursory examination of it can reveal a lot and give us some insight.

Since the proclamation of the Republic in 1923, 57 governments were formed until 2002 when the AKP won the elections and came to power. Being able to draw a significant amount of support from its voters, the AKP has managed to win consecutive elections, and at the moment it is the ruling party. Since 2002, the AKP, having won several local and parliamentary elections, and including some government shuffling along the way, has formed 8 governments.

In other words,  this means 57 governments in the 79 years between 1923 and 2002, and 8 governments between 2002 and 2017. Put differently, a new government was formed every 1.39 years during the former period, and a new one every 1.88 years during the latter period.

If we exclude the single-party period (1923-46), Turkey has had 43 governments in the following 56 years (1946-2002), which translates into an average duration of 1.39 years for all governments, 1.30 years for non-AKP governments, 1.88 years for the AKP.

This crude calculation shows that the AKP governments have been able to stay in power somewhat longer than all the previous governments, regardless of all other factors. However, the difference does not seem to be all that impressive, considering that a life of 1.88 years per government still falls short of the prescribed period of four years between elections. Also, considering the increasing terrorism and tension regarding the Kurdish issue, not to mention the economic dire straits that the country is facing at the moment, the question is whether the AKP can be regarded as any more successful in tackling the problems it faces, or its performance and stay in power as an achievement of stability.

# On Ibn Khaldoun and Comte (out of the clear blue sky)

Turkish politics in recent years has become like a volcano that is constantly grumbling and spewing gases and dust and that can erupt anytime, creating a big tremor with a lot of pain and destruction afterwards.

The president’s recent comments about Ibn Khaldoun and Auguste Comte while receiving an honorary doctorate at a university did not quite shake the country or the world but they certainly did not go unnoticed. He usually dwells on more mundane, or for want of a better term, more current issues delivered in ordinary (read colloquial) but high and mighty language; however, this time what he referred to were not within the pale of Joe Schmo, stirring some debate and bewilderment among the illuminati. He basically stated something to the effect that it was unfortunate that Ibn Khaldoun was given short shrift, and that Comte was problematic. He also added that Ibn Khaldoun’s ideas were almost condemned [to extinction]. From his speech, at least to the extent it was covered in the media, it was not clear how and why he considered Ibn Khaldoun a rather neglected or overlooked figure or how and why he determined Comte was “problematic.” One would expect that such assertions on the two great personalities of history and philosophy respectively should have been supported by solid evidence and scholarly references, considering that his talk was on the occasion of receiving an honorary academic title.
It was also curious that the president referred to Ibn Khaldoun in this manner because he and the party he is a member of often emphasize islamic principles and values that are antithetical to critical thinking and rationalism whereas Ibn Khaldoun was a historian and historiographer that derived his philosophical views within the rationalist tradition perhaps best represented by Averroes (that conservative/sunni muslims usually abhor because he considered reason and philosophy superior to faith and faith-based knowledge). Furthermore, and contrary to what the president claimed, the pinnacles of Western academia acknowledge the excellence of Khaldoun’s work that was not to be equaled for centuries to come. It is also known that the Ottomans that the president and his circles seem to be proud of being descendants of showed great interest in Ibn Khaldoun’s work during the 16th and 17th centuries. The great historian’s magnum opus, the Muqaddimah was also translated into Turkish in the 18th century, indicating that his significance as a historian/philosopher/sociologist was not ignored either in the West or in the Ottoman/Turkish realm.
Following in the footsteps of the “problematic” Comte (and Durkheim) and comparing their significance quantitatively would not be definitive, and more importantly, it would be absurd to do so. Nevertheless a simple and general search on Google Trends, much to the consternation of the president or his speech writer, indicates that since 2004 Ibn Khaldoun (represented by the blue line in the chart below) was on average searched more times than Comte  in the English Language and on a global scale. Measured in the category of Books and Literature, Ibn Khaldoun averages 18 against 11 for Comte. This seems to debilitate the president’s argument. Granted that these are crude methods to compare masters of intellectual achievement that left an indelible mark in the history of human civilization, but such quick and dirty ways of dealing with a problem sometimes can be quite telling (and fun).
The moral of the story is, the president cannot be expected to be knowledgeable about everything; however, it goes without saying that he needs competent advisors.

# Istanbul Temperatures: March 2017

As the disputes on global warming and climate change rage on at various levels, I checked the minimum, average and maximum temperatures in Istanbul in March 2017. This year’s temperatures seem to be higher than the 90-year averages (1926-2016).

According to the State Meteorological Office, the historical minimum, maximum and mean temperatures were 4.2, 10.9 and 7.7 degrees centigrade. This year, however, these temperatures were 6.194, 14.19 and 10.23 degrees respectively.

This year’s warmer temperatures may not seem to be very meaningful in and of themselves; however, considering that the overall context is a hot issue (no pun intended), there may be enough reason to worry about the higher temperatures of this year, as these may be evidence for the much feared global warming.

# Dünya Beş’ten Büyük müdür?

Dünyanın Beş’ten büyük olup olmadığına karar vermek çok da zor değil. En basit tarzda mantık yürütecek olursak bir bütünün parçalarının bütünün kendisinden büyük olamayacağı varsayımıyla dünyanın Beş’ten büyük olduğu sonucuna hemen varırız. Ya da dünyadaki bağımsız siyasi birimlerin sayısının 195 olduğunu hatırlarsak, 5 birimin 195 birimin sadece %2,56’sı olduğu, yani çok ufak bir kısmını oluşturduğu hemen ortaya çıkar. Ancak,  kazın ayağı öyle değil.

Söz konusu Beş’in 2015 yılındaki toplam Gayrisafi Yurtiçi Hasılası 35.652.414.960.840,3 (yaklaşık 35,6 trilyon) dolar olup dünya toplamı olan 73.891.888.588.445,7 doların % 48,25’ini, bir başka ifadeyle yarısına yakın bir miktarını oluşturmaktadır.

Aynı yıl söz konusu Beş’in toplam nüfusu 1.968.682.249’dur; bu da dünya nüfusunun %26,8’ini oluşturur.

2014 rakamlarına göre Beş’in araştırma geliştirme harcamalarının Gayrisafi Yurtiçi Hasıla içindeki ortalama payı %3,74 olmuştur. Bu da dünya ortalaması olan %2,12’nin üzerindedir. Türkiye’de ise bu oran %1’in biraz üzerindedir.

2015 yılı SIPRI istatistiklerine bakıldığında Beş’in askeri harcamalarının Gayrisafi Yurtiçi Hasılaya göre ortalama oranının %2,86 olduğu, bunun da % 2,27 olan dünya ortalamasının üzerinde olduğu görülür. Yalnız ABD ve Rusya’nın toplam askerî harcamaları, dünya toplamının %40,5’ini oluşturmuştur. Buna Çin’i de dahil edersek üç büyük ülkenin harcamaları %53,65 olur.

2015 yılında her yüz kişi başına düşen internet kullanıcısı sayısı ortalama olarak 78,71 kişi olmuştur. Bu,  dünya ortalaması olan yaklaşık 44 kişinin epey üzerinde olan bir değerdir. Türkiye’de bu 54 kişi olarak gerçekleşmiştir.

2014 yılında Beş’in yüksek teknolojiye dayalı ihracatının toplamı, dünya toplamının %42,33’ü kadar olmuştur. Türkiye’nin bu tür ihracatının Beş’in ortalama değerine oranı ise sadece %1,3 olmuştur.

Netice itibariyle dünya düzeninin değişmesini talep ederken rasyonel ve tutarlı bir mantık üzerinden gitmek gerekir. Bu tür bir talebi dile getirecek ülkenin ise Beş’i karşısına alabilecek güçte olması beklenir.

# The Economic State of Affairs in Turkey: Growth and Inequality

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has maintained its popular support since coming to power in 2002. The government and the circles associated with it claim that the AKP governments have performed much better than previous governments, pointing out enrichment of masses, its mega projects and never-seen-before privatization schemes that it undertook rather zealously. Arguing for an unprecedented economic success in the history of the Republic, they proudly point out the unwavering electoral support they have been receiving in most local and national elections. In the framework of authoritarian, increasingly repressive and blatantly extra-legal practices of the government, one consequently feels it necessary to go beyond aggregate statistics and see if their high-fluted discourse is justifiable.

When comparing economies or speaking of change in the size of an economy it is conventional to refer to aggregate measures such as Gross National Product (GNP) or Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, we know that these are simply average figures that conceal a lot more than they reveal. For a crude comparison among economies, or to get a rough idea about how a particular country is doing in the world economy, these figures have some practical utility but beyond that they are almost useless. Even in per capita terms such statistics are not very informative. Therefore, alternative measures have been created to overcome the limitations of the conventional measures of economic growth. The Purchasing Power Parity, for instance, is one of them. Additionally, measures of poverty and inequality have been created in recent decades to understand social and economic phenomena better. Moreover, the Human Development Index (HDI) of the United Nations is an attempt to measure the level of development, a composite measure that consists of a number of basic indicators, reflecting development, rather than simply growth.

Using the conventional measures of economic growth, it can be seen that Turkey’s Gross Domestic Product, according to the World Bank, rose from 13,995,067,817.5092 in 1961 to 718,221,078,308.824 current US dollars in 2015. The increase is an impressive 5032 percent. The same figure for 1961-2001 was 1301 %, for 2002-2015 208.86 percent. GDP per capita, on the other hand, rose from \$508 in 1960 to \$9130 in 2015.

Between 1961 and 2015 the annual rate of increase in per capita GDP, including all the ups and downs in the 54-year period, was 2.53 percent on average, which can only be considered a modest rate of growth. The per capita rate of increase in GDP in the 2002-2015 period turned out to be 3.33 percent on average, which is somewhat higher than the average for the pre-AKP period but is not all that impressive. What makes the GDP growth rate during the AKP period “shine” is perhaps the meager growth of 1.777 percent in the immediately preceding 10-year period during which an economic crisis wreaked havoc in Turkish economy.

However, as indicated above, the aggregate measures are never adequate; they conceal crucial facts such as income differentials or poverty rates. Therefore, we will have to look at the picture from the perspective of social justice and equity, criteria that should be of prime concern for the party in government.

The Gini coefficient, a measure of inequality, was 39.3 in 2013 (OECD), indicating a high degree of income inequality. In fact, Turkey has one of the highest levels of inequality in the OECD area. Similarly, the poverty ratio was 17.2 % for the same year. Income shared by the top 10 % of the population between 2002-2013 was on average 30.54 % with minor fluctuations over the period. On the other hand, the income share of the lowest 20 % in the same period was on average 5.67 percent. As one can realize, these indicators manifest a high degree of inequality and poverty, that is not captured by the aggregate measures of economic growth. An unemployment of 10.7 % in July 2016 as announced by the Statistics Office of Turkey testifies to the mere fact that poverty and inequality are not negligible. In the 15-24 year age group unemployment is 19.8 %, indicating that a major portion of the jobless is among the youth, which happens to be one of the largest demographic groups in the country (median age being 30, half of the population is 30 years old and younger).

Considering the regional disparities in incomes and development, and the fact that 66.5 % of the population having non-mortgage debt, the policies of the AKP government can hardly be considered a success. Chronically low rates of savings, inadequate flow of foreign investment (unfortunately seen as panacea for low rates of savings in liberal economics), and moreover, the flight of capital due to recent political instability, terrorism and wars, not to mention the exceptional ineptitude of the policy-makers, the economy is on the brink of collapse, despite feeble efforts of government officials to calm public anxiety. It has to be pointed out that the economic growth the government is so proud to emphasize has been due to services and the construction sector, not to industrial production. The manufacturing sector was able to maintain itself through borrowing excessively and producing mostly for the domestic market. Even exports are based on importation of goods to a large extent, indicating serious structural problems with the economy. With a long-term debt in excess of \$200 billion, the private sector is in dire straits. With a dwindling economy, the government is hard-pressed to increase its tax revenue not only for regular expenditures but also for financing the military operations in the east of the country and in Syria. With the national currency rapidly eroding against the US dollar and the panic on the part of the government pathetically calling for “de-dollarization” of the economy, the picture is quite bleak and the collapse seems imminent (ironically, most of the savings in foreign currency are located in provinces that have overwhelmingly voted for the conservative/nationalistic AKP, recently calling for reversion to the “national” currency and gold).

According to the UNDP, Turkey’s Human Development Index increased by 1.26 % in the 1990-2000 period. During the ensuing 10-year period, which corresponds to AKP rule, the figure was 1.23. That simply indicates that the AKP-period’s economic growth did not translate into any more development than the previous period. In fact, it was slightly lower. During the 2010-14 period Turkey registered an HDI growth rate of 0.79, resulting in an average growth of HDI of 1.17 percent for the 1990-2014 period. According to the 2014 figures, Turkey is in 72nd place in the community of nations. This clearly is not concomitant with its economic size, which the bureaucrats and politicians are often proud to point out for being among the top 20 economies in the world. Compared to countries with even a lower per capita income, such as Serbia, Cuba and Costa Rica, just to name a few, Turkey’s overall development is incompatible with its income level or with the size of its economy.

The conclusion we can draw from all this is that economic growth in Turkey has not resulted in the kind of economic development one would expect. The governments in recent history have not been successful in creating the necessary conditions for a structural transformation of the economy, and the AKP governments of recent years have not been any more successful than the preceding ones.

# Çirkin Tavır

Bundan bir önceki yazımda Istanbul Belediyesinin (bazı) parklara koyduğu tabelalarda Istanbul halkına adeta bir lütuf yaptığını ima eden ifadesini eleştirmiştim.

Belediyeler, şehirleri yaşanılabilir yerler haline getirmek, insanların dinlenebileceği, nefes alabileceği parklar ve dinlenme alanları yapmak, çocuk parkları inşa etmek ve benzeri işler yapmak zorundadır. Sözü edilen bu işler, belediyelerden beklenen, onların görevi olan icraatdır. Bu nedenle de, yapılmış bu tür işleri veya hizmetleri bir lütufmuşcasına sunmak ayıptır.

Istanbul gibi 15-20 milyon insanın adeta alt alta üst üste yaşadığı, gürültüsüz bir köşesinin neredeyse hiç kalmadığı devasa bir motropolde bu tür alanların oluşturulması, yiyip içmek kadar önemli ve doğal bir ihtiyaçtır. Tabiattan yeterince uzaklaşmış, çevresine ve doğaya yabancılaşmış metropol halkının genciyle, yaşlısıyla nefes alabileceği alanların oluşturulması belediyelerin öncelikli işleri arasında yer almak zorundadır (her ne kadar ütopik ise de, kentlerin ve özellikle de Istanbul’un modern bir şehircilik anlayışıyla yönetileceği varsayımıyla düşünüyoruz).

Köylülükle kentlilik arasında sıkışıp kalmış, yeterince kentlileşememiş, kültür fukarası ve üstelik sınır tanımayan bir rant hesabıyla kenti yöneten taşralı kadronun hiç değilse işi bilen uzman, akademisyen, meslek odalarının sözünü dinlemesi beklenir. Ne yazık ki mevcut yönetimin bu tür bir çalışma anlayışından fersah fersah uzakta olduğu görülüyor.

The attitude of the Istanbul Municipality leaves much to be desired when it comes to presenting its services.

The placards they have placed in some parks indicate that the park is a favor by the municipality when in fact it is the “duty” of local administrations to make urban areas livable by building parks and recreational areas. When the residents of a city vote for a particular candidate, they expect basic services no matter what. Creation or rearrangement of urban space for common good is among them. Therefore, it is appalling that services we expect and naturally take for granted are presented as if they were a big favor or as something granted out of the administration’s good heart!

# Görev mi, Lütuf mu?

Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi’nin parklara yerleştirdiği tabelalarda “Bu Park, Istanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesinin ……… Halkına Armağanıdır” ifadesi yer alıyor. Belediye yetkililerine hatırlatmak gerekir ki, kentin muhtelif yerlerinde oluşturulan, bakımı yapılan parklar ve bahçeler, şehircilik anlayışının bir gereği olarak yerine getirilmesi gereken ve kanunlarla belirlenmiş bir görevdir, lütuf değildir. Parklara böyle bir tabela yerleştirilecekse yapılan hizmetin bir armağan olduğunu yazmak en hafif ifadeyle Türkçe bilmemektir. Daha da eleştirel bakarsak, kaba bir propagandadır, yakışıksız ve çirkindir.

9.7.2004 tarih ve 5215 sayılı Belediye Kanununun 14. maddesi, “Belediye öncelikle imar, su ve kanalizasyon, ulaşım gibi kentsel alt yapı; çevre ve çevre sağlığı, temizlik ve katı atık; zabıta, itfaiye, acil yardım, kurtarma ve ambulans; şehir içi trafik; defin ve mezarlıklar; ağaçlandırma, park ve yeşil alanlar; konut; kültür ve sanat, turizm ve tanıtım, gençlik ve spor; sosyal hizmet ve yardım, evlendirme, meslek ve beceri kazandırma; ekonomi ve ticaretin geliştirilmesi hizmetlerini yapar veya yaptırır. Büyükşehir belediyeleri ile nüfusu 50.000’i geçen belediyeler, kadınlar ve çocuklar için koruma evleri açar.” ibaresiyle belediyelerin görev ve sorumluluklarını net bir biçimde belirlemiştir.

Sonuç olarak, yapılan bu hizmetin halka tanınmış bir ayrıcalık veya bir lütuf gibi gösterilmesi son derece yakışıksız ve çirkin kaçmaktadır. Umarız Belediye bu kaba propagandaya bir son verir ve vatandaşa karşı daha saygılı bir tavrı benimser. Unutulmamalı ki belediye yetkilileri seçilerek görevlendirilen kimselerdir; görevleri hizmettir.

# Kültür Erozyonu

Fotografta görülen lokantanın tabelası, Türkiye’de kültür erozyonunun varmış olduğu noktayı, kültürel kişiliksizliği ve cehaleti gösteriyor. Bu ve benzeri tablolar, şu anda içinde bulunulan siyasi karışıklık da göz önüne alınarak değerlendirilecek olursa, Türkiye’nin yakın gelecekte ne kadar abuk subuk bir ülke olacağı, her şeyin ne kadar sürreal olacağı çok net olarak görülür.

Bu tabela kültürel kişiliksizliği gösterir çünkü Istanbul’un turistik olmayan bir semtinde, hiç de gerekmediği halde İngilizce bir tabela kullanma çabası var. Kültürel erozyon var, çünkü hem Türkçe, hem de İngilizce sözcükler zırva bir biçimde bir araya getirilmiş. Cehalet de var çünkü “ızgara” ve “yemek” ayrı ve farklı kategorilermiş gibi “Izgara ve yemek evi” ibaresi kullanılmış.

Dam üstünde saksağan, vur beline kazmayı!