Coups stabbed Turkey’s democracy, PM says
KONYA - Hürriyet Daily News
Daily News Photo / Selahattin SönmezMilitary interventions into Turkish politics not only stabbed Turkey’s democracy but Turkey’s economy, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during an inauguration ceremony for irrigation projects in the central Anatolian city of Konya.
“Economy and democracy mutually strengthen each other. When the economy is worsened, democracy is also wounded by military interventions. On the other hand, when the military intervenes in politics, economic losses increase. The cost of the e-memorandum of 2007 was $2 billion for Turkey via interest yield,” Erdoğan said in Konya Dec. 16.
Erdoğan officially launched 89 projects in Konya including the Aslım solid waste power plant, the Bağbaşı dam and the “Blue Tunnel” irrigation project that will channel 440 million cubic meters of water into the Konya Plain.
The premier called on the public to stand together against those attempting to set Turkish people at odds. “I beg you, please don’t allow those who are attempting to divide us [to do so]. Because we have something to do for this country. There are some people who envy us. But I believe we will not be trapped by them. We will defeat dirty plots that target our brotherhood. We will not allow those who attempt to set us at odds [with each other] in our eastern and southeastern regions,” Erdoğan said.
The prime minister also reiterated his call for Turkish families to reverse long-term demographic decline by having a third child, saying that new generations will build a stronger and bigger Turkey.
“I’m appealing to my young fellows, especially the single ones. You will marry and if God permits, you will raise the generation of 2071. And you will raise this generation conscious that they will place Turkey in a better place in the world’s biggest ten economies. That’s why I mention three children everywhere,” Erdoğan said, referring to the 1000th anniversary of the Battle of Manzikert, a battle fought between the Byzantine Empire and Seljuq Turks and seen as the battle that “opened the gates of Anatolia to the Turks.”
The recent education reform that profoundly overhauled Turkey’s education system, extending compulsory education to 12 years, will play a crucial role in “raising the generation of 2071,” Erdoğan said. “Take the compulsory education of 4+4+4 into consideration. Don’t care for those who [criticize the bill] on televisions. They don’t have any cause, but we have a cause. For this reason, we will continue to work.”