When will we be freed from April 23 displays?
I tried to hold myself back from writing this piece, but I gave way. You be angered by this. Keeping that in mind, I want to share my belief with you that there must be an end to the comedy we experience every April 23.
You must have watched it on television. There is no way you could have missed it, since there is not much else to talk about on April 23. Starting in the morning and continuing until the evening, this strange cuteness is constantly shown on our screens.
Well, you know, our children will become tomorrow’s grown-ups, tomorrow’s leaders. Whoever thought this up, the idea is that children take the place of the prime minister, of governors and district governors, and of commanders, and they deliver speeches as if they were the future prime minister, governor or district governor, et cetera.
How and by whom these kids are selected, I don’t know. The only thing I know is that the current moment in history selects children who reflect it. Generally they are extremely smarty-pants. Those who have the gift of the gab are selected. Apparently the previous night they have been given a thorough training by their families or by those who have selected them as to what to say and how to make a joke.
The funniest part of it all is that everybody takes part in this game. Look at how the prime minister and the ministers were laughing and having fun. What do you say about the journalists? They also act the part, asking serious questions of these smarty-pants children.
Also, there are those families who dress their tiny little children with police or military outfits and give them toy weapons. I go nuts when I see them. Why weapons? Why uniforms?
However, I do love the chirpy festivities in the stadiums. The glow of children dressed in all colors is something different.
Well, I have poured my heart out. If you enjoy this annual comedy show, keep on watching it. I, on the other hand, find it outdated. It seems extremely artificial and primitive to me. Why do we need such a thing? I do not understand it. Neither the children nor the grownups believe in the game they are playing, but no one dares change it.
Secularism did not lose
What a true revelation. We have all together seen with our own eyes how empty and how unnecessary was the fight that had gone on for years.
The headscarf-wearing wives [of politicians] were invited to attend the April 23 reception in Parliament. When the headscarf-wearing wives arrived, the Chief of General Staff and other top commanders were all present. They did not leave as if they had seen a freak. They shook hands; they talked.
What difference is there between Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel and previous chiefs of General Staff or other top commanders of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK)? There is no difference. They are also absolutely secular. They are devoted to the republic. They are also officers who have fully adopted Atatürk’s principles.
The only difference is that today’s commanders have recognized that the world and Turkey have changed. Therefore, in the past, we have gone through an unnecessary showdown. We have created tensions for nothing. We have acted as if the world was coming to an end, as if Turkey would collapse, as if we would become Iran in no time. A little bit of mutual understanding and a little bit more reconciliation could have been enough to prevent this.
The overall stance of Chief of General Staff Özel also contributes to the current environment. For the first time, we have a TSK that minds its own business and does not get involved in politics. There is a General Staff which does not issue unnecessary statements, which does not speak on topics that fall outside its jurisdiction and in which every commander does not speak at all times.This means we are able to accommodate change without fighting.