What should I tell my readers, Mr Ekmeleddin?
A reader who recently commented under the name “Kasım Gül” in the digital version of my column is actually quite right in his comment. Am I right, Mr. Ekmeleddin?
I asked a question in the column about whether you have done all you could for Gaza in 2009, maybe even sacrifice your skiing trip in the Alps?
My reader commented: “I'm an ordinary citizen. I don't have research opportunities, but you have written about İhsanoğlu's ski trip in the Alps and have repeated it today as if it was true. I don't think column writing should be like this. You can say you do not agree with Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, but you're writing about incidents that we only hear about from you, is this not some kind of perception management?”
This is true…
How should I answer, Mr. Ekmeleddin?
At the end of the day, my research means are also limited. I can only ask you from this column whether it is right or not, even though my sources are reliable. I can't think of any other method.
Would you consider it worth answering positively or negatively so that we reach the truth?
Let me clarify the situation. The question was this:
- It was New Year’s Eve in 2009. While Israel was conducting Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, you were the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Including children, 1,133 Palestinians were massacred and more than 4,500 were injured.
- Is it true that during these atrocities, you were keeping “cool” and did not disrupt your ski trip in the Swiss Alps?
- Could you not have used your identity as the former OIC secretary general, which you are using today in your election campaign, at that time in 2009, to comfort hearts and make a change?
- Was your position as the OIC secretary general, which you held for two terms - a total of eight years - your greatest achievement? Is it the “Star of Jerusalem” that the Palestinian administration distributes generously?
- Remember the chestnut pilaf and turkey feast that you gave at your residence on New Year’s Eve, as a bloody tragedy was unfolding in Gaza? Didn't you deliver an “absolutely cool” speech then, mentioning that one should not be too excited and agitated before such events? Wasn’t your audience feeling very uncomfortable about your “coolness?”
- What made you “persona non grata” for your host, the King of Saudi Arabia? Why did he insist so much as to send a special messenger to Turkey? What was the reason he prolonged the appointment of an ambassador when Ankara was not cooperating?
- How was your reputation damaged in the Arab world, where you claim to have a very high one?
- If it wan't for Ankara’s determination not to have the first ever Turkish OIC secretary general wasted, would you have been able to save yourself from the pressures of abandoning your duties in the OIC?
Let me repeat my call, sir, in its initial form:
Mr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, get rid of this cruel suspicion and these rumors about your past performance.
Tell us calmly how you did not resort to fierce speeches while Gaza was on fire, but managed with “quiet diplomacy” in the Alps. Tell us, so that those who talk behind your back and blame you for nothing will be ashamed.