Conversations with Furkan

Furkan has his own style. His face expresses a high variety of gestures and his unique talent: sensitiveness and a great diplomacy. A conversation with him can be full of adjectives, but never boring because he has lots of interests.  Even though he would like to be musician (actually, he records himself singing his favorite songs) or painter, finally he studied Sociology. This experience gave him lots of knowledge that he will tell us about in the following interview. Furthermore, thanks to his travels around Europe: Poland, UK or Czech Republicat, where he was studying in an Erasmus exchange, he got a wide view of social and cultural diversity.

On May 2012 he came to Romania from Beyoglu, European part of Istanbul where he was born,  for working as a volunteer. Here, he’s not working as a sociologist, but If someone enters into his room, the mark of this ability rounds the four walls long. He has a collection of money from more than thirty different countries and several proverbs hold on the walls, written into different languages. His curiosity and good disposition made possible this interview.

What are you doing in Brasov?

I’m volunteering here in Romania since almost 7 months, I’m working in Asociatia Colors, Romanian organization and I’m trying to  make activity that teaches something to local people , to influence them and socialize them and eventually so as to create happy people no matter how old they’re.  I didn’t know to be honest that Brasov is such beautiful and awesome city like I noticed so far, I’m lucky to be in this pretty city and I get benefit of it so much.   This project is not that special for me, It could be something else. Let’s say, this is just coincidence.

However, you studied sociology, which is not exactly related with this kind of job, isn’t it? Why did you study Sociology?

I studied sociology, because I believed there is a lot of problem in Turkey recently based on structure of sociology.  Although the fact that my way to sociology has track out   now for some reasons. I did not find some theories so realistic and applicable. For this reason, I decided to discover life, community and people.  Not from the books.

From your point of view, what is the objective of Sociology?

Objective of Sociology is based on function of society, social changings, conflicts and identities.

Sociologists are considered as observers of social mass. They try to explain changes in society. In this case, what is the difference between a sociologist and an anthropologyst?

Well, I received Anthropology Knowledge too during my University study.  Hence, difference is very simple.  Sociologists are observing , analyzing making surveys and questionnaires to enlighten some realities or finding a solution to problems. While doing this, They’re not  in the centre of attention, I mean they’ re more likely taking passive role as member of society actively being a part of it.

As to Anthropologists, They’re important part of their research. Because They’re working, giving effort, participating, feeling, living, tasting as well as they observe. Plus, at some point, Anthropologists can   work with small tribes and communes as Sociologist most likely focused on general community issues.

Sociology, as a science, tries to explain changes in the cultural movements. So, do you think that foreigner observer are more effective than locals? I mean, does objectivity exist regarding the figure of the sociologist and considering what is its own background?

I think a foreigner observer   is more effective than local one, the reason of this is that  local observer willingly or unwillingly stuck in culture and tradition of his own nation and society and can’t escape. So He can’t be so objective, probably He would make some comments that can be seen a “healing” on his society that is untrue.

Tell me what is the most important essay or book regarding sociology that most influenced your thinking and why

Peter L. Berger and its essay called “The Social Construction of reality” is the most influenced on me and on my thinking too.  Because I noticed that Social code of society and its constructions are everything for a community.  Every single thing depends on this how we build the reality on society. For instance, gestures and meaning of body acts, changeable from country to country.

Tell me three aspects of character that a good sociologist should have or develop

1-      To be foresee,

2-      To be open-minded

3-      to be brave


What do you think that a sociologist can contribute more with?

He must be firstly Human and tolerated and open-viewed. Then he can contribute more. Cuz  I saw many sociologists that were not human in my opinion.  Contribution of Sociologist is depends what country this sociologist belongs to.  For instance, While American sociologists can work as press and go through other continents and make interview or question-answer forms or documentaries, Turkish Sociologist almost do nothing. If it is Ph. Dr., then He writes couple of books and makes read his students when he started to work in University.


What would you like to do in the future regarding your career and studies?

I don’t want my future job with sociology. I think I became capitalist, most of my colleagues became ordinary officers with low salary even though they struggled much all over years.  Thinking I deserve better, I won’t keep on with it.  I like Tourism, Guiding,  Language Schools and Museums more…

To be continued…..

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