Riots in Istanbul’s Gezi Park in 2013 lasted two months and had a significant and ongoing impact on Turkey’s social, cultural and economic life. A study by Mehmet Ali Turkmenoglu of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Mus Alparslan University suggests that the multi-layered crisis seriously affected food sector businesses in the neighbourhood around the park. He has interviewed dozens of managers in this sector to find out how they coped with the problems and how they are addressing the long-term issues that arose from the riots.
His survey of managers reveals that there were two main psychological copying mechanisms that food sector managers used. The first was simply being hopeful about the future and the second being patient against the multiple challenges they were facing including those surrounding emotional, physical, interpersonal and financial problems that emerged.
“Many managers stated that they consider their shops as ekmek teknesi (their bread and butter),” Turkmenoglu explains. He adds that “managers endured challenges by keeping this notion in their minds.” Motivation was also found in the proverb “umut fakirin ekmeğidir” – hope is the poor man’s bread.
Turkmenoglu, M.A. (2018) ‘Hope and patience as coping mechanisms of food managers in the face of challenges: the Turkish case’, Int. J. Work Organisation and Emotion, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp.209–223.