The Karagöz puppets comment on recent legal changes in Turkey, my absence from the Internet & obtaining a “certificate of good citizenship”


The Karagöz puppets have been nagging at me. “When are you going to write about us again on that Internet?” I usually say something along the lines of “be quiet, I’m studying Turkish on Rosetta Stone,” or at times I’ll just say “I am so tired and I don’t feel well, I have to put my health first, beyond puppets.” This does not go down well.

They are done being diplomatic and are now much more insistent. I hear them whispering as a group, saying things like “now that M’Lady is still sick, the cross cultural elements of their relationship are even more present in odd ways where perhaps he is not Turkish-seeming at all given how supportive he is! She should be writing! The potential for macho myth stereotype busting is off the charts and she’s ignoring it.

And then I hear the politically correct puppet named Esma say things like “just because he’s a Turkish man, we shouldn’t assume he can’t or won’t be happy to cook and clean.”

However, nothing got the puppets more riled up and giggly than seeing the instructions for our Turkish citizenship application for me. They thought the instructions were a perfect example of Turkish red tape bureaucracy. And indeed I do agree. The puppets were not, however, very helpful when it came to understanding how to implement the instructions.

The modern puppet, Celebi, was feeling a bit sarcastic and downtrodden when he commented on our attempt for me to gain Turkish citizenship. He reflected “why do you even want to think about getting Turkish citizenship when there are incremental moves being made by the AKP – such as this move to separate men and women from eating together in public universities. Or even the idea that police should be allowed to search and investigate co-ed private apartments near universities. Every day, there is something new that takes us farther towards traditional sharia-types of law.”

Regardless of our concerns about what is happening in Turkey, we are still exploring the citizenship option – mainly so I will have health care and expanded property rights for our time there.

So, today’s post is actually more of a question. As my application for Turkish citizenship (slowly) moves forward, my next task is to obtain a “certificate of good conduct.”

Oy vey. Allah, allah! How’s that for Islamo-Judaic mixing?

In addition to multiple other bureaucratic papers and photos, we need this in order for M. to apply for our “aile cüzdanı,” which by understand to be a “family card” listing all the members of his family. Of course, needless to say this is a patriarchal focus. Whatever, I’m over that.

Here’s what I’d like to know – how have others gathered this “certificate of good conduct?” Via a criminal record check in once State – in the United States? A letter from a trusted Turkish friend or relative? Any advice greatly appreciated!

And now I will return to Rosetta stone studying… A program which I love and highly recommend. I am speaking more Turkish than I ever have… Even if it makes the puppets cringe, wince and roll over to play dead at my at times grammatically horrible misstatements. More on that to come!

Hoş çakalın!

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8 Responses to The Karagöz puppets comment on recent legal changes in Turkey, my absence from the Internet & obtaining a “certificate of good citizenship”

  1. Alan says:

    . . speaking personally, I avoid the Turkish bureaucracy like the proverbial plague – even if I can’t breath under the pillow!

  2. I like hearing about how much you are enjoying Rosetta Stone, and that you are slogging through the citizenship process. And that you are writing again. And that you have energy for thinking about a variety of topics in a day –

  3. Liz! It’s great to have you back. How are you holding up?

    In response to your question about Turkish citizenship, I haven’t got as far as applying for it yet so can’t say anything about the good conduct certificate. All I can do is commiserate about the travails of Turkish bureaucracy. I had to go to the Turkish embassy in London after I got denied entry last month, and they were so unpleasant I was reduced to tears all over again. I hope you have a better experience with this…

    Good luck with it! k x

  4. Ilyse says:

    The last time I checked many years ago I was told I would need to give up American citizenship in order to obtain Turkish Citizen, whereas my husband can hold dual citizenship. Have you found that not to be true? I look forward to your reflections and information on your process.

  5. lizcameron says:

    Hmmm………I’m not surprised to hear this. However, I know many people who have both. I think both systems do not talk to one another. The application processes are separate … and I know that people coming to the US who achieve citizenship do not have to give up their Turkish citizenship. I’ll keep you posted!

  6. lizcameron says:

    I am SO sorry to hear that you were denied entry. That is JUST AWFUL. I suppose “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is the reframe here. I’m hoping by now you are back in – and that your Dad is easing up a bit. 🙂 🙂 Been there.

    Thanks for the good wishes, as well. I am still dragging along, by any means necessary! 🙂

  7. lizcameron says:

    Hi Nancy – thanks so much for your comment. It feels good to have energy for writing, well, on the days that I do have it! Rosetta Stone is an easily accomplished task from bed! XO, Liz

  8. lizcameron says:

    LOL. That sounds about the right place to be avoiding bureaucracy. Some consider it a blood sport (including M., from what I can tell).

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