Turkey's 'My Fair Lady' problem

After this column argued last week that "Turkey's identity crisis is too persistent to disappear, even after decades of soul-searching, Turkey is too Islamic to belong to Europe, too secular and non-Arab to belong to an Islamic club, too Sunni to find a seat in any Shiite Muslim club, too Turkish to find allies in a Eurasian pact, and too alien to find a meaningful African alliance," a most dear friend wrote from London: 

"This phenomenon, 'falling in between the floorboards' is not a unique problem for Turks. Take Greek mythology: Pygmalion, probably, was the earliest recorded case of this 'malaise.'  When Audrey Hepburn moans in 'My Fair Lady,' 'I am not yet a lady, but too sophisticated to go back to being a flower girl,' she is expressing nothing but the same identity crisis that Turks are suffering today … If you take Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, Eliza Doolittle, you could see the essence of the problem. What are her [Audrey Hepburn's] choices? She could chuck in all the training Professor Higgins has given her, pack her bags and go back to Covent Garden, to being a flower girl. In fact, in the movie, this is exactly what she does. However, when she does arrive at Covent Garden, what does she find? She no longer fits into that world." 

In a similar "floorboards" problem, Labor Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu disagreed with Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ who defended the bill that pardons child abusers on "religious marriages that are a reality" by suggesting these marriages occur with the consent of the minor. Mr. Müezzinoğlu said: "There cannot be a bond of love between a 14-year-old [girl] and a 30-, 40-, 60-year-old man." Mr. Müezzinoğlu was right.  

The same "floorboards" problem is evident in President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's foreign...

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