CLOSE
CLOSE

LALE KEMAL

[email protected]

LALE KEMAL
January 23, 2013, Wednesday

US delivers democracy message to Turkey

US President Barack Obama has given a strong message at the inauguration ceremony for his second term as the US president on Jan. 21 that his administration will continue supporting those nations furthering democracy and freedoms. Obama was sworn in for his second term in the presence of hundreds of thousands of people crammed into the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to watch the ceremony.

Obama's message of support to those nations intended to improve democratic standards has been reflected in his remarks in below.

"America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom.”

Time will show whether Obama and his new team will be able to meet their pledges of supporting those nations working to improve democratic standards in their countries. But when his speech of support for democracies in the world is applied on Turkey, it may be evaluated in the sense that the Obama administration will not lend its backing to anti-democratic actions in Turkey, such as forming coup plans to unseat democratically elected governments. Similarly, the US has already demonstrated its strong opposition to the Turkish government's increased pressure on the freedom of press.

Born to an African American father and a white woman, Obama, in his childhood, was a natural object of discrimination towards African Americans. In his inauguration speech, Obama emphasized in his following remarks that it is not the colors of their skin that binds the Americans together:

“We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional -- what makes us American -- is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness'."

In the meantime, veteran Senator John Kerry, and former Senator Chuck Hagel have been nominated as the new secretary of state and secretary of defense, respectively under Obama's second term as president. Counterterrorism advisor to Obama John Brennan has been nominated as the new CIA chief, replacing retired Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned from this post following the disclosure of his extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell, who had been writing his biography.

Here is a mini piece of gossip that I want to share with the readers concerning Petraeus' love affair. When visiting Turkey in August 2011 to bid farewell to Turkish officials as he retired from his position as commander of US forces in Afghanistan to take up his position as the chief of the CIA, Petraeus' lover, Broadwell, was reported to have accompanied him and stayed in the same hotel in Ankara and that she was registered with the hotel as his biographer.

Kerry, Hagel and Brennan, in the meantime, are important names since they will have close contact with Turkey in particular regarding the ongoing battle in Syria between the regime forces and the opposition.

To sum up, Obama's message of support to the nations that strive for democratic standards can contribute to the resumption of reforms that the Turkish government has put the brakes on, while discouraging anti-democratic elements in Turkey.