Russians Should Not Be So Quick to Resume Tourism in Turkey

“While the family of the dead Russian pilot refuses Erdogan’s gifts, our tourists are much less concerned about honor and dignity”

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Antalya, Turkey, is one of the most popular tourist destination for Russians

The author is a famous writer and left-wing political activist.

No sooner did Putin have a phone conversation with Erdogan than Russians began booking vacations to Turkey.  

Tour operators are drinking champagne and dancing on the tables.

While the family of the dead Russian officer – good, wonderful people – refuses Erdogan’s gifts (he offered them a house), our tourists are much less concerned about "ridiculous ideas" like honor and dignity. They only care about "summer holidays"  - in Turkey and nowhere else! The whole world consists of Turkey! Turkey is the center of the universe! There are no alternatives - don’t even suggest one!

I respect Turkey. I like Turkish literature, and all the Turks I have met are good people. I respect the right to leisure. But people should still be humans on vacation. If they don’t want to go to the Crimea or Lake Baikal, they can go wherever they want - even to the Moon with a one-way ticket.

I respect our diplomats who managed to get Erdogan to apologize one way or the other, and offer the family of the dead soldier a pay-off. They have their own reasons and goals.

But it seems to me that every Russian should have some kind of inner dignity. If a wife loses her husband, she won’t marry the other guy in a month. Even if she realizes that he is her soul mate.

A man won’t go dancing the day after his brother dies, toasting him, even if his brother wouldn’t criticize him.

People don’t go on a cruise with their friends the day after their child dies, saying “We can’t save our child, but we want to see the world”.

Anyone who does this is not quite right in the head.

You can ask me: "OK, when we can go to Turkey? Who decides?"  

I don’t see why I need to answer these questions.

You may go whenever your heart tells you, but the grass hasn’t yet grown on the grave of the dead Russian heroes.

Wait a month or a year – and watch our Turkish comrades as they get a feel for what we have experienced. They would probably respect us, saying: "This nation still remembers what solidarity means.”

If you don’t feel anything yourself – it doesn’t matter – you can simply follow public etiquette.

…but it looks a bit strange to join a crowd rushing to Turkey… as if you’d been in prison.

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