I am currently majoring in political science with a focus in international relations. I try to keep on top of events that are happening across the world. I came across this article in the Economist that talks about a failed coup in Turkey in 2016 and its effect on universities. The unsuccessful coup led to the fear among Turkish citizens, including college students, who were afraid of punishment from the government of Recep Erdogan. As a result of the coup, 5,000 academics and countless books were taken. Additionally, places of common use among students have been shut down, among other crackdowns. This has not sat too well with some college students who want the freedom to voice their opinion.
Since the students feared retaliation from the government if they voiced their opinions, some started using science fiction novels to connect to the things that were happening around them. For instance, one of the students stated that “two: artificially intelligent robots contemplate the limits of their brains. Humans, the bots agree, are afraid of the creation’s potential power, so rules are designed to limit the use of their full intellect and to keep them from questioning authority”. With this, the student is basically saying the government is doing whatever they want, whether good or bad, and not allowing the average citizen the time to voice their concerns.
It is creative of the students to use fiction and other forms to voice their concerns. Education gives us the background to be able to contribute to society as citizens and I am glad to see my peers in Turkey doing that.