All the time, people ask, “Carpetblogger, can you please explain Turknology? I think you popularized the term, didn’t you?"
Yes. Yes, we can and we did. Thanks for noticing.
Turknology is not something you don’t not see. Turknology is showy. It begs to be noticed. In fact, if you can’t admire its audacity, it probably isn’t Turknology. You’ve certainly seen it in your daily life but maybe you didn’t have the right word to describe what you were seeing. If you say to yourself “boy, that looks seriously half-assed, but it seems to work OK so I’m not going to give it any more thought,” that’s Turknology.
If we had to invent a slogan for it, it would be something along the lines of: “Turknology: innovation in pursuit of mediocrity.”
There are certain places where Turknology comes in handy, particularly for maintenance of a home you don’t own. Turknology can solve a pressing problem in a pinch, provided the consequences of inevitable failure are manageable. Need to hang a window shade or shelf in a rotting wall? Turknology is perfect for that. Who cares if it falls on someone else’s head in year or so?
A Turknologist is not unskilled or without creative abilities. A Turknologist comes up with a clever stopgap measure to prevent a problem from worsening or allow it to be ignored long enough so that it becomes someone else’s. Long-term solutions are rarely the objective of Turknology so it’s not fair to judge a Turknologist by his failure to provide one. (A Turknologist is usually, but not always, male. The Carpetblog cleaning lady, for example, has an advanced degree in Turknology)
In some unique places, Turknology is less visible, but it’s still there. In those places, you seek it out because it’s vastly superior to what’s available locally. Usually, those places are called Crapistan. In Crapistan, your biggest problem is rarely the one caused by relying on Turknology. (If you don’t know if you are in Crapistan, we’ve created a helpful guide. Or two. Maybe three.)
There are situations, however, where Turknology is absolutely inappropriate. Its use must be discouraged in the strongest possible terms. These places include:
- Dentist Offices
- Coal mines
- Apartment buildings in earthquake zones
We recently had intense dental work completed in Istanbul. Over multiple lengthy visits to the dentist’s office, we meditated deeply on Turknology and how much we hoped not to be confronted with it. We are pleased to announce that there was not one shred of evidence that any part of the procedure was being done half-assedly. Inserting a permanent metal screw into a jaw is not a job for a Turknologist. We’ve also never observed Turknology on Turkish Airlines, to its credit
We haven’t spent much time in Turkish coal mines, but overwhelming recent evidence suggests over-reliance on Turknology, with predictable catastrophic consequences. Sometimes, the job just has to be done right the first time.