Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Leaders we deserve

Dear Colleagues

Your writer would like to note the following information of educational backgrounds of the leaders of the countries we have relations with.

Former Prime Minister of Greece Mr. Kostas Karamanlis could speak three languages. He had PhD degree. "Kostas Karamanlis, a nephew of former Greek President Constantine Karamanlis, was born in Athens and studied at University of Athens Law School and at the private Deree College, continuing with postgraduate studies in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the United States, where he gained a master's degree and a doctorate in political sciences, international relations and diplomatic history."

New Greece Prime Minister Mr.George Papandreou, can speak also three languages, Greek, English and Sweden. He has post graduate studies in Harvard USA and in Sweden. "He was educated at schools in Toronto, at Amherst College in Massachusetts, Stockholm University, the London School of Economics and Harvard University. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Amherst and a Μaster's degree in sociology from the LSE. He was a researcher in immigration issues at Stockholm University in 1972-73. He was also a Fellow of the Foreign Relations Centre of Harvard University in 1992-93."

Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Iranian president, studied civil engineering as an undergrad and mastered in the same subject. Before embarking on his career as a public official, he also earned his PhD. in transportation engineering and became a member of the faculty at Iran’s Science and Technology University.

In Germany Prime Minister Mrs. Angela Merkel has PhD in "Quantum Chemistry". She speaks Russian fluently, and communicates in English in her daily life. "Merkel was educated in Templin and at the University of Leipzig, where she studied physics from 1973 to 1978. Merkel worked and studied at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin-Adlershof from 1978 to 1990. She learned to speak Russian fluently, and earned a statewide prize for her proficiency. After being awarded a doctorate (Dr. rer. nat.) for her thesis on quantum chemistry she worked as a researcher"

In France, Prime Minister Mr. Nikolas Sarkozy has Post Graduate degree in Law. He speaks English but tries to avoid public speaking due to his high French accent. "He enrolled at the Université Paris X Nanterre, where he graduated with a Master in Private law, and later with a DEA degree in Business law. "

In England, Prime Minister Mr. Gordon Brown" has PhD in Economics. He speaks French with high tone of English accent. "Brown graduated from Edinburgh with First Class Honours MA in 1972, and stayed on to complete his PhD (which he gained in 1982), titled The Labour Party and Political Change in Scotland 1918-29"

In Italy, Mr. Sylvio Berlusconi has degree in Commercial Law. He gives public speeches in English where and when necessary. "He studied law at the Università Statale in Milan, graduating with a thesis on the legal aspects of advertising in 1961"

In Russia, "Putin graduated from the International Law branch of the Law Department of the Leningrad State University in 1975, writing his final thesis on international law" He speaks German as if German is his mother tongue. He takes English speaking training non-stop

Mr. Barrack H. Obama attended Occidental College, transferred in 1981 to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations and graduated with a B.A. in 1983. Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988, graduating with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991. He speaks only English. Obama says “I don't speak a foreign language. It's embarrassing!”

In Turkey we had Prime Ministers with Engineering degrees in the past, all of them could speak foreign languages, most of them were fluent in English. On the other hand we have overall national average of 3.9 years in education, 5.1 years for population above 15 years age (as of year 2008 Ref.WorldBank).

Everywhere in the world, Voters choose the politicians with same qualifications as themselves. Masses are governed by the politicians they deserve. We need to have better terms than "One minute" impromptu initiatives. Religious preaching is one way to influence the masses but not sufficient nor best of all in the long term.

Your comments are always welcome.

Haluk Direskeneli