volume 7 Turkeys issues December 2004


Society and Science:

A Turkish Perspective


We are living in a globalizing world in which the relations between countries become more and more entangled. The European Union is one of the fast growing conglomerates of countries that try to interconnect economies in the hope that it will improve the quality of each economy. Until now 25 countries have been united, and more are waiting to become a member of this continent. A country that hopefully waits for this union is Turkey. In more than one aspect it is an interesting country and perhaps a test case for the noble European intention: to unite different cultures, Christian, Islamic and atheist, to respect human rights and to bring welfare and peace to the whole world. Is this possible in a world in which civilizations and religions seem to clash?

In the world of terror the coexistence of different religions and cultures in Turkey poses a challenge. The Turkish culture, being on the port between Europe and Asia is a mix of Arabic and European culture. Turkey is a large country with many natural resources that could strengthen the economy of Europe.

Each country in the world is confronted with complex societal problems. For this special issue on Turkey Turkish scientists are invited to reflect on some of their major problems: the issue of emigration-immigration and rural areas, the issue of disasters, specially earthquakes and the issue of terrorism.

We are happy that this special issue of the Journal Methods and Models of Complexity is filled with three highly interesting articles of Turkish researchers containing complex societal problems our modern society is confronted with.

It is no coincidence that one of the articles is dedicated to the problem of global terror. Being in a country where different cultures and religions live together, Mustafa Erdogdu "examines underlying reasons and motivations of suicide bombers and the environment that breeds such terror" and asks himself " how can we develop long-term cures to solve this global problem". Presenting this argumentation in a scientific atmosphere underlines the way Turkish researchers support 'the freedom of discussion'.

The interaction at the labor market inside Turkey and between Turkey and Europe is brought to our attention in the article of Ali Gökmen and his colleagues of the university of Ankara. The way they approach this issues as a complex problem is worthwhile considering and a learning experience for both Europe and Turkey. "Due to the need of cheap labor in Europe, the poorly equipped people from rural areas were accepted as workers from Turkey …. The migration of people from rural areas to …. European countries caused several problems". Problems that arise are certainly complex problems and the case study 'Balaban Valley Project: Improving the Quality of Life in Rural Area in Turkey' shows how scientists, from different disciplines can support each other to analyze and handle a complex problem. In the Balaban Valley Project scientists support, based on the ideas of the COMPRAM approach, the local community by increasing the level of living in this rural area by mutual interventions on different levels in the community.

The article Wei Yi & Linet Özdamar demonstrates that scientists are willing to analyze and can be helpful for solving problems in a modern society. The article reflects the problem that nature poses to society: severe earthquakes. How can science be helpful to answer the question of "how affected people can be evacuated, wounded people can be transported to hospitals, and commodities can be distributed from warehouses to centers of aid?" Wei Yi & Linet Özdamar describe "a dynamic and fuzzy logistics coordination model used for conducting disaster response activities". The article explains that such a coordination model can be helpful to solve complex real life problems.

 Keywords: Turkey, rural area, immigration, terrorism, disaster, earthquake

 Cor van Dijkum and Dorien DeTombe

Chief Editors

volume 7 Turkeys issues December 2004