[CAFE CAPITAL] The unbearable pain of being unable to play on the same field

[CAFE CAPITAL] The unbearable pain of being unable to play on the same field

Trabzonspor fans present team jerseys to TOBB President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and Foreign Trade Minister Kürşad Tüzmen.

October 20, 2008, Monday/ 18:05:00
Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu summarizes Turkey’s agenda by pointing out the Turks’ inability to play soccer on the same field with their peers.

Turkey is experiencing one of the most historic points in its history. The Ergenekon case, a crime network accused of a number of political murders and attacks designed to trigger an eventual military takeover, begins today. With the case, more than half a century will be interrogated. Pointing out that the Counter-Guerrilla, a secret insurgency campaign plot devised by NATO in case the country fell into the hands of a communist regime during the Cold War era, was established in 1952, my veteran politician friend said. “Those years were the starting point of the multi-party system, which had since 1924 been delayed by pressure and various plots. The year 1952 is also the second anniversary of the transition to a multiparty system. A gang that terrorized in the name of the state for 56 years and worked in order to prevent social welfare is facing court.”

Parliament, which represents the national will and is entrusted with solving the country’s problems, and the ruling political parties in it have suffered from deadlock for 56 years. The Counter-Guerilla type Ergenekon formations were an organization that remained out of reach and solution for the last 56 years.

Prime ministers unable to meet the demands of the organization paid the price for their behavior. The policies of Adnan Menderes, who served as prime minister during the 1950s, focused on advancing the country and cost him his life.

When he was prime minister, Süleyman Demirel was attacked in the building he worked at. Demirel delivered a message after getting punched in the face. Bülent Ecevit and Turgut Özal were assaulted when they were prime ministers. Ecevit later confessed that he could not reach the Counter-Guerilla organization he was seeking. Insisting on advancing the country, Özal died in the third year of his presidency and the circumstances surrounding his death remain suspicious.

The relationship between Counter-Guerilla and the incident in which the nose of the former Prime Minister Mesut Yılmaz was broken is not yet clear, but I think he will eventually confess that he also could not solve the Counter-Guerilla problem. Moreover, a coalition government formed by Tansu Çiller and Necmettin Erbakan was overthrown through a postmodern coup. All this left Turkey with a crisis in 2001.

We were in northeastern Trabzon province as guests of the TOBB and Hisarcıklıoğlu was given an honorary doctorate by the Black Sea Technical University (KTÜ). In Trabzon, the site of the First Silk Road Businessmen Summit, the most discussed issue was the ongoing global crisis and its impact on Turkey. Even though this was the first meeting, countries located on the historic Silk Road, an ancient trade route stretching across Asia, showed considerable interest to the meeting.

Hisarcıklıoğlu addressed the audience and his most striking comment was: “I want neither money nor privilege. I want Turkish businessmen to play on the same field as other businessmen of the world.”

Then my veteran politician friend asked me in a low tone, “Do you know what happened to businessmen, businessmen candidates and politicians who wanted to advance the country?”

Hisarcıklıoğlu spoke further, stressing the complementary aspect of the spiral composed of a “powerful economy” and a “quality democracy.” He further emphasized that the obstacle in front of such a positive spiral is the current Constitution, formed by the perpetrators of the Sept. 12, 1980 coup, and legislation governing political parties and elections.

The pursuit of a civil constitution and the latest constitutional amendment by Parliament was about to end the term of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

Feeling the danger of a judicial coup very closely, Turkey now questions the last 56 years of such circumstances.

Anger and lack of opposition in politics

Some argue that the most important problem of the Turkish political arena is the lack of any real opposition. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also endured rows with an unruly opposition. But the prime minister's attitude has since changed. Even though he previously defended his anger by saying "anger is also a kind of art," just this past week he spoke on four separate occasions about the negative effects of anger.

    Erdoğan previously said he would not respond to opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. He also said he was not taking into consideration explanations of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, who criticized the government fiercely.

    I spoke with a high-ranking AK Party member about this and he said: "I think all these issues are related to one main issue. I think the prime minister wants to reduce tension." The main issue this AK Party member emphasized was the Ergenekon case.

Turkey's active foreign policy awarded

Turkey was elected to the United Nations' influential Security Council for a two-year term, infusing the country with much needed hope. One of my politician friends, a foreign policy specialist, said this latest development was Turkey's award for an active foreign policy over the last five years. Turkey was elected after getting the votes of 151 countries of the UN's 192 member countries. This award was not won easily. President Abdullah Gül pursued it immediately after becoming the foreign minister and Turkey took important steps for regional and global peace in the five years that followed.

    President Gül, Prime Minister Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, who visited New York in the days leading up to the election, gained an important victory in terms of Turkish diplomatic history.

    Turkey will contribute to world peace more from now on. It is expected that Turkey will have a more effective role with its Security Council membership. As Turkey was elected to the Security Council membership, expectations that both Turkey and world peace will profit from this decreased tension in Ankara. We first observed the effect of this development in Trabzon.

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