Mithat MELENI would like to share with you an observation I find interesting.
I traveled to two different cities in eight days. These are New York and Brussels. For many years, I have been going and coming to these cities and I find the opportunity to observe the changes in them. Also I would like to say that I lived in both of those cities for several years.
My friend, the late Faruk Orhan was a very articulate person. “Today the world is not ruled by God and the Prophet any more. He has delegated world affairs to the USA. He rules the world through America,” he used to say. If the world is really ruled by the U.S., then its heart is New York, and New York's brain are the universities surrounding New York City.
Indeed our modern world is ruled by scientists and scholars. You can realize this fact when you are in New York City. All developments are the consequences of serious economic and political studies. The U.S is a heaven for scientific studies and for producing innovations. Everything to the outside world is sold by the Americans or, actually, the New Yorkers. If we don't officially register our national food “döner”s name, the Americans are soon going to sell it to the world under the name of Gyro.
Sex and the City:
The latest movie, Sex and the City, is a product of American and New York propaganda. It is a soap opera, but everybody can find something of themselves in it. All kinds of products, from puddings, to t-bone steaks, from jewelery to signature garments are advertised in the movie. I don't think even the female star of the movie leads such an exaggerated life. On the contrary, she tells the press that her private life is very quiet. The mayor of New York, who is one of the secret sponsors of the ***** complains that nobody thought of including him in the cast.
Sitting in New York Greenwich Village and the Brussels Ixelles we discussed all these observations with friends. The system has become partly democratic and partly global. And this system has developed its own kind of entertainment. Under the influence of the Mediterranean culture, people living in the north seem to get used to outdoor living. All indoor cafes, bars and restaurants have outdoor places where people eat, drink and enjoy themselves until the early hours of the morning. The competition in this global world and the urge to earn more money has spoiled human relations.
Making big money and realizing your dreams may be easier in the U.S. than in Europe. But as far as I could see, Belgium and the rest of north Europe is rapidly becoming Americanized. Actually, the U.S. is not dictating its lifestyle to the others. These others are adopting the American lifestyle because it gives hope to the people and it is attractive.
In Brussels, Ixelles has replaced the Grand Place. All African Europeans have overtaken the old, touristic parts of the city, including the Grand Place, benefiting from the inter-communal clashes between the Wallons and the Flemish. Consequently, Ixelles has turned into a second Greenwich Village, with its outdoor entertainment places.
Every Wednesdays the open market of Brussels is staged in Ixelles. After doing their shopping city dwellers enjoy themselves in bars and restaurants until the early hours of the morning. I want to draw your attention to one important point. Today nobody wants clashes, disturbances and wars any more. They want to stay away from fights and clashes, be happy, enjoy themselves in a real free society. Can you imagine that people living in a real liberal society like in Belgium want to escape from African Europeans?
Thinking big:
After 9/11, security in New York is very much established. “We have suffered so much, we have seen atrocities. The number of our victims is more than 3,000. Let's not forget it and live happily ever after,” is the new slogan.
Greenwich Village and Ixelles are the hometowns of leading universities of the world such as NYU and University of Brussels. In all modern and civilized cities of the world there are universities and the communities recognize their values. In Istanbul we have a precious neighborhood in the historic peninsula. It is full of glorious Byzantine and Ottoman history. The world's almost oldest university was founded there 600 years ago. Süleyman the Magnificent had ordered his chief architect Sinan to build the magnificent Süleymaniye Mosque there. His aim was to turn the old university and the neighborhood into a world culture center. We still can make the neighborhood of Süleymaniye the world culture center. To do it we have to think big.