Usage of social media by the Turkish community in Australia was initially hampered by the general reluctance of community members to have computers in their homes, according to one academic study. In one instance, members of the Turkish community who were being housed in the e-Ace project at Atherton Gardens high rise public housing estate in Melbourne’s inner city, refused the free computers and internet connection being offered because of concerns about their women and children accessing culturally inappropriate material, like pornography. Of course, these concerns are also shared by many other Australians from all sorts of cultural backgrounds.
Twitter seems to be a popular place for many Turkish Australians to social network and share their passions for sport (soccer), good food, Australian politics and what is happening back in their homeland. Cenkbaban is an example of one such individual who is utilising this social media platform to share his interests and commentary. The opening of an exciting new Turkish restaurant in Sydney’s Enmore conveys what a good medium Twitter is for the natural promotion through digitalised word of mouth; no better marketing for a restaurant. Food is such a primal link for migrants, as memories of the dishes cooked by their parents are evoked by the consumption of more recent versions of them in cafes and restaurants.
Turkish Social Media in Australia
Serpil Senelmis a Turkish Perth woman is now an ABC Radio producer in Melbourne. She covered the 100th Gallipoli celebrations last year. Serpil uses both Twitter and Linked in to share her opinions and social commentary with friends, peers and followers. The Turkish community in Australia, has in its more recent generations, made positive use of social media to both transcend its borders and maintain connections. The Internet has made the world a smaller place, enabling migrants to reconnect with loved ones back in the homeland, when the Turkish authorities allow its people to make use of social media.
What does the future hold for Turkish social media in Australia? Turkish restaurants and businesses can make use of social media platforms to promote themselves within the greater community. A social media agency can be useful in managing the opportunities afforded by the medium. Turkish clubs and associations can also make positive use of the channel to promote the wellbeing of their members. Social media is ultimately about community, as most of its platforms were designed specifically for that purpose. The Turkish community here will only be richer for its uptake of the medium.