„But the nightclub outrage revealed another story that is as important for understanding Turkey today as the political and executive failures that led to the attack. Turkey’s social fabric is torn at the very heart, which makes it impossible for the country to grieve as one, let alone share joy and happiness – not that these feelings are much to be found in the country these days. Reina is no ordinary place. In the past five years or so, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been railing against secular Turks as members of an ‚old Turkey,‘ people who are out of touch with the country’s reality and unfairly privileged, who – in his words – ‚sip their whisky while enjoying the view over the Bosporus.‘ Indeed, Reina is characteristically frequented by secular ‚white Turks‘ – a term coined by the late journalist Ufuk Güldemir – the well-educated upper middle class.
Not so long ago, nobody in Turkey really cared if some of the club’s clients drank too much alcohol, got wasted, danced and had some carefree fun. Now not only is the lifestyle of the secular people under threat, but their joy is, too. (…) Although the majority of Turkish people are conservative and religious, alcohol consumption or celebrating the new year had never been a big issue among the public. Everyone knew that respect for other lifestyles was not a matter of human decency in Turkey, a melting pot of cultures, but a condition for peaceful coexistence. Those days are gone with the old Turkey. Turkey was never a proper democracy. It has not been able to transform its institutions into inclusive ones following the 1980 coup. But what it experiences now is also unprecedented. Now, we have a new country: a new Turkey without any shred of tolerance.“ (Ezgi Basaran: „Secular citizens of Turkey have never felt so alone“)