2018 resolutions for Turkey 2018 resolutions for Turkey
2017 has been a difficult year for all of us. We will be entering an even more tumultuous year in a couple of days. But it is time to make our New Year’s resolution and predictions list. Some of them may take longer than a year to achieve but let us keep the goodwill.
• The economy: Money matters will be on top of our agenda next year. Not just in terms of bread and butter but in form of cryptocurrencies and debt crises.
• U.S. President Donald Trump will survive all the investigations but will have a hard time in the midterm elections. George Clooney may decide to run for the White House from the Democrats.
• Kurds in Syria will get a bigger autonomy despite Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s staunch stance. Syria will slowly become a more stable and secular democracy. France and Russia will play a bigger role in the region.
• Turkey will have more trouble with the U.S. and will be surprisingly more attracted and attached to the United Kingdom. Whether this is a good thing or not is open to debate.
• The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will seek early elections in a bid to get rid of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and have a two-party system with the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
• Despite all the ignorance people have regarding the İYİ (Good) Party and its leader, Meral Akşener, voters will consider this new alternative.
• Turkey should talk less politics, more environment, education and public health.
• Turkey should buy less and read more.
• Turkey should watch more comedy shows and military-related TV series and less mafia and family dramas.
• Small neighborhood cafes should and will become popular, but TV shows about lives in small amiable neighborhoods will become unpopular.
• Because of climate change concerns, Turkey should - and will - plant more trees, invest more in clean energy and start to consume less fossil fuel.
• We, as journalists, should travel more, especially to the U.S. and Europe, and speak about all the pluses and minuses of our struggle to build a better democracy in our country.
• More Turks should visit Jerusalem, stay in Palestinian homes and invest in tourism. Doing this more than umrah pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia might serve world peace more.
• Turkey should invest more in youth education, encourage its military to hire more young people and enforce foreign language education for all education levels. The choices should include Russian and Chinese as well.
Trouble with the latest decree
While everyone is worried about the recent statutory decree giving impunity to civilians who took up arms against coup plotters on July 15, 2016, there is another issue that needs clarification.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gained authority to be the chairman of the Defense Industry Undersecretaries Board. Although it would not be appropriate to jump to conclusions, it is important to underline the fact that two of Erdoğan’s close contacts are directly linked to defense procurement processes.
His son-in-law, Selçuk Bayraktar, who is a brilliant engineer, is a pivotal figure in the Bayraktar Defense Industries, which supplies armed and unarmed drones to the military. Ethem Sancak, who is a member of the AKP’s Central Executive Board, is on the board of BMC, another big supplier of the Turkish Armed Forces.
Thus, the procurement processes should be even more competitive and totally transparent in order to avoid any problems emerging in the future. I am confident that both Mr. Bayraktar and Mr. Sancak, who are also big exporters in this global business, would prefer it to be that way in order to avoid any conflict of interest.