Ece Temelkuran on Labour Force/Humans

Who is ‘the other’ for you?

The other is a "liquid concept". As I have been living in foreign soil in West and East for the last six years I came to understand that "the other" can easily change. Coming from Turkey I started to consider myself as a Middle Eastern. When I write or speak about Middle Easterners without underlining it I always included the Turkish and myself in the sentence. But the definitions, assumptions, even the "truth" can stand solid until it is seriously challenged. Wait until something really goes wrong and you want to put the guilt on somebody, the other. For instance if you are sexually harassed, or basically cheated by the taxi driver in Beirut then you will have a better idea about "the other" in your head. "The other" sleeps there in the labyrinths of the brain until it appears as the danger. Although it is, whatever the problem is, something that can happen anywhere, your mind will be automatically going for the sentences that start with "the Arabs", "the Middle East". So actually I think there is no other until something threatens you, your being. Or we can upside down the sentence which would make it clearer: If there is a threat the mind searches for "the other" to personify the danger. The human being creates "the other" to make his fear solid to identify it, to make it something real so he can put a finger on it. If we go back to the "labor force-people" dilemma, there were no "people" before the labor force demonstrated the problems of the human being. So the other is an entity that you can squeeze in all your fears.