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(Milliyet Newspaper, 29 February 2012)
Prof. Dr. Mikdat Kadıoğlu played a trick on local municipalities who weren't
paying any attention to what he's been saying about disaster management.
Kadıoğlu wrote in his column as if the words were coming out of the mouth
of 'Mike Judgeson', an imaginary expert Kadıoğlu invented. Subsequently,
quite a number of mayors who hadn't ever called him rang him up asking
'how can we get in touch with 'Judgeson?''.
Kadıoğlu, the head of Istanbul Technical University's Meteorology
Engineering Department, played a trick that calls to mind Black Sea
tales of practical jokes on local municipalities that he felt were
disregarding disaster management. He first assumed the guise of 'Mike
Judgeson' a foreign disaster management expert he invented. He then
wrote his weekly column in Hürriyet newspaper, giving his warnings
as if from the mouth of 'Judgeson'.
The predictable happened next - deputy governors and mayors who'd
never called Kadıoğlu phoned him to ask about 'Judgeson'. The callers
said that 'Mike Judgeson really understands us. He's identified our
concerns and explained what we should do. He's figured things out for
us. How can we reach him?' In response, Kadıoğlu told them that it
was really him they wanted to talk to. Hearing this, the callers knew
Kadıoğlu had played a joke on them and they hung up.
Kadıoğlu explained that 'there's an admiration for foreigners in Turkey
so I figured I'd give this tack a try. I just repeated everything I'd already
said and written. But when they came from the mouth of a foreigner
they suddenly became valuable.' Kadıoğlu said he may try other ways
to get attention, saying 'I'll do something on the Bosphorus Bridge.'
The warnings that Kadıoğlu put forth from 'Mike's' mouth underscored
that disaster management is something that requires long-term experience
and the accumulation of information. This is what Kadıoğlu said to the
municipalities in the guise of 'Mike Judgeson': 'I think that you should
forget about personal opinions and follow the international literature.
Like the rest of the world, you should look at disaster and critical
situations as a 'scientific branch'. Otherwise, you'll have two disasters
at the same time and never forget that disasters don't care about your
title. History won't forgive you!'