Heidi Trautmann

Heidi Trautmann Column 33 - Let’s talk about Culture and …..Vox Populi



The fight for a small park in the centre of Istanbul is topic no. 1 in the media, in facebook, and any other social channels – except the Turkish media I hear, they are condemned to silence. However, today individuals in power cannot isolate a problem, deal with it, brush it off the table, do away with whatever is in your way of interest and not become known and discussed all over the world within minutes.

A man, elected by the votes of people with trust and the conviction that he will serve their common interest to the best of the country, surpasses this basic rule of democracy and orders police units to attack his own people with unduly measures, high pressure water jets, tear gas and other chemical substances, so that many get injured and three persons were killed as I read the news coming in while I write these lines. People who have the right to voice their opinion, who have come together to protest against the destroying of the green living heart of the city, they have attached themselves to the old trees which have given them shade in the hot and liveless centre of a stone desert, they are being neglected this right and are fought down with brutal force as if an enemy, as if these peaceful protesters would steal the property of someone; this park is their property, it is public property and nobody has the right to knock it down without their consent. That is the law.


Enough is enough, vox populi says loud and clear, and while fighting for one cause so many other topics of dissatisfaction are coming up the throat of many. It is a dangerous moment and a diplomatic leader would listen to vox populi and find an agreement. Let’s repeat it again: the leader of a country is a public servant and not its absolute master.

We have had so many examples in the ancient past, we have many examples in the younger past, just to mention the Mediterranean countries; vox populi, when made angry and dissatisfied can stand up and it is proven that it will win in the end. People cannot be made into mere subjects, history has taught us this and the more they are educated and have been taught the freedom of the spirit, the more they will fight for their rights.


I was talking about the ‘uniform syndrome’; a person coming into power gets used to have his shoes licked; it is not only his own morale fault to accept this service but also the fault of the licker; why is this person doing it? He expects a favour for his spittle.

A man who joins police forces becomes a different person; he becomes an obedient member of a force enabled to use weapons to reestablish order or to enforce the will of a leader. Perhaps one of the policemen lives in the area around Gezi Park and is often sitting there with his family in his off duty hours, what does he feel when he fights against the peaceful protesters? He does not feel anything, he is a policeman. Hence ‘uniform syndrome’. It needs an independent morale indicator in a person to say: up to here and no further. It has also often been discussed, where the level of absolute obedience has its limits and when for example a soldier is permitted to be disobedient, to refuse to kill, when he realizes that the reason for aggression is not justified.


A person in a position of responsibility needs the support and the goodwill of the people he represents in order to do his work properly. Brutal force creates brutal force, an old wisdom, a good functioning family is based on mutual respect and understanding. 

I have copied the picture of the three monkeys from the Internet.

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