Who will be in the family picture?
102 days from now, that is, on Nov. 16 2014, 20 people will gather in the Australian city of Brisbane and have the opportunity to take a photo.
That photograph will be a striking picture showing the character of the regime in Turkey. The leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies will have their family picture taken that day. I am curious who will represent Turkey in that picture. Will it be Turkey’s newly elected president? Or Turkey’s prime minister, whoever will be that day?
If you are asking what the importance is, I’ll explain.
The name of the G20 summit meetings is known to be the summit of the “heads of government.”
If I were to write it more openly, the person who attends the meeting is the person heading the executive branch in the country.
Therefore who will be in that picture from Turkey on Nov. 16, 2014?
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says, “There was no G20 before us.” But there was…
Turkey has been a member of G20 since 1999.
But I’ll go to 2007. That year, a referendum was held in Turkey and it was decided that the nation will directly elect the president.
The constitutional powers of the president have not changed since that day, so let’s look at the family pictures taken at the G20 summits held since then.
The Prime Minister of Turkey, Erdogan, stood in the 2nd row during the summit that took place in Washington in 2008. He was also standing in the 2nd row during the 2009 Pittsburgh, U.S. summit; as well as the one in London the same year. It was once again him who joined the summit that took place in Seoul in 2010. In 2011, the person who was at the summit in the French city of Cannes was him, too. The 2012 summit took place in Mexico…The 2013 summit took place in Saint Petersburg…
In summary, from the referendum in 2007 to all of the G20 summits that have taken place up until this day, it has always been the Turkish Prime Minister, Erdoğan, who attended these events under the title of “Head of State and Executive.”
So who will sit next to Obama on Nov. 16? Turkey’s first directly elected president or the prime minister?
Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan spoke about an important problem during a speech he delivered the other day in İzmir.
He openly says, “The Gezi events and the Dec. 17, 2013 process have harmed our international image.” He underlines rather negative news finds its place in the international press about Turkey and continues:
“The presidency of G20 will pass onto Turkey next December. This is an important opportunity to correct that negative perception. The fact that a Turkey that sits on the table shaping global economy will also be beneficial for it to be perceived in a more positive way.”
So, who as the president of G20, will correct Turkey’s damaged image?
Two factors played a role in Turkey’s deteriorating image.
First, the disproportionate use of force against the innocent children during the Gezi Park events. Second, the corruption allegations of Dec. 17.
Who is sitting right in the middle of that image? Erdoğan, who openly says he wants to become a sultan. That’s why I am curious about who is going to improve Turkey’s image next November? The president that harmed that image or a prime minister who has the power to change the policy implemented by the one who harmed that image? In other words, a prime minister who refuses to be a puppet?
Each time we look at the “family picture” we will see ourselves. We absolutely need to go to the ballot box.