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Bartholomew won the public

HDN | 12/23/2009 12:00:00 AM | MEHMET ALİ BİRAND

We are arguing about Patriarch Bartholomew's latest statement. To tell the truth, it couldn't have been more effective or outstanding.

We are arguing about Patriarch Bartholomew’s latest statement. To tell the truth, it couldn’t have been more effective or outstanding.

The patriarch put his mark on a gorgeous PR success story. Talking to the prime minister several times or obtaining promises from the minister of education would not have been this effective.

I read all the papers since the statement was made. I watched TV programs and the news and examined the statements. The result is very clear:

- The patriarch knew how to draw the public’s attention. He put the reopening of the Halki Seminary on top of the agenda.

- The patriarch has received support from the public that was not anticipated to such an extent. Even those judges who view the Patriarchate as the devil’s empire in a traditional sense have shown sympathy and accepted that the state has exhibited a wrong attitude in the Halki Seminary issue.

- Politicians who oppose the patriarch were forced to keep their voices down. Besides, none were convincing. Foreign Minister Davutoğlu, with his first reaction statement, has not been accepted either. So much so that even the prime minister was quite easygoing. He did not exaggerate the incident and remained behind Davutoğlu.

[HH] Now it is the Ministry of Education and Çubukçu’s turn

So what will happen next?

Will the same old story remain?

Will there be any steps taken toward the reopening of the Halki Seminary?

Now it is Çubukçu’s turn. Let’s see if she will step in immediately.

By the way, one more note...

I can’t help but be happy about ongoing arguments. The best one was the statement made by Mihail Vasiliadis, the editor in chief of Apogevmatini, a daily primarily targeting the Greek community in Turkey, on CNNTürk’s program “Tarafsız Bölge,” hosted by Ahmet Hakan. I’m not sure a Greek citizen of Turkish origin would have been able to protect his rights on any of the Greek TV channels. My congratulations to Vasiliadis. He proved to be a genuine Turkish citizen.

[HH] Isn’t there any presentable man left in this nation?

I can’t believe what I’ve been reading and hearing.

I get the creeps whenever I take a look at what we’ve been experiencing for the past few years. It seems we’ve been living in an empire of fear and have not taken notice of it.

The present scenery we are facing is scary.

It seems we’ve been living in an underworld full of people preparing coups and conspiracies, a world of political mobs and vulgar gangs. Some may be true and some may be exaggerated accusations, but investigations and operations done in succession reveal a completely different Turkey and the presence of hundreds of hidden cells and thousands of armed people running around.

Please take a look at the latest situation:

- Even if we set aside published allegations within the frame of the Ergenekon case due to lack of evidence, those based on concrete evidence suffice. To tell the truth, people have organized themselves for a coup.

- Armed organizations have established associations that are anti-Armenian, anti-Christian and anti-Greek. That’s how Hrant Dink was murdered. Priest Santoro and others were slain because they did missionary work. And all this happened in front of the eyes of the gendarmerie or police, who just watched.

- Gangs have formed with the slogan “Our country is indivisible” and are going on manhunts in order to shoot Kurds.

- Then there are also security forces that have participated in similar events or illegal deeds. Almost every day we encounter operations or gangs in which chiefs of security forces are involved, such as the scandal over the skin of the slaughtered animals after the Feast of the Sacrifice.

- And let’s not forget to add to all that the PKK with its sub-organizations, those taking up weapons in the name of Shariah, the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

[HH] What is this, how will we fix it?

Sometimes when we read the paper or watch news on TV, we perceive Turkey as a country in which armed people run around killing each other or try to rob places.

Maybe we encounter similar events in other countries. But they have not escalated this much.

Will we be able to fix it?

Looking back at the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, I tell myself, “This will also pass.” But still I feel very uncomfortable.

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