Should we dance in the streets?
A certain tall man, or someone trying to appease him, may place the “terrorist” label on us, but what can be wrong in saying that one opposes war unless it was waged for the defense of our own country? What is certainly wrong is the fact that the police and the judiciary considering such a label coming from above as a sacrosanct order, and trying to appease the power holder by detaining and launching a judicial probe against university students exercising their right to freedom of expression.
If honest living, self-respect and individual integrity require one to be labeled a “terrorist,” what can be wrong in that?
Of course, Turkey could not allow being besieged across its border with Syria by a hostile terrorist gang or its Syrian extension. If the Americans wanted to contain Iran or achieve some other political or military target in Syria, and if it needs an ally for that purpose, it should have looked to Ankara rather than establishing a dirty partnership with a group of terrorists it believed was a “lesser evil.”
On March 29, the impotent U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech in Ohio was heralded on all TV channels as a big story. Why? Because he said the U.S. would withdraw from Syria “very soon” as the target of eliminating DAESH was complete. Is Trump in power in the U.S.? Does the Pentagon or even the State Department listen to what their presumed leader is saying? The State Department spokesperson immediately replied that she was “not yet aware” of the president’s speech. It must be rather odd to be a president who is not listened to even by the spokesperson of the State Department. But there is an effective system of checks and balances in the U.S. and the president cannot simply use executive power in any way he wants. He might have some idea on an issue but unless it is shared by other dens of power then he perhaps has to reluctantly grasp it and sit back for a while until he is given the green light by the establishment.
In France it is similar. The Elysee Palace is not only the center of political power in Paris, but it does house the French president. Who he hosts and how he hosts them there is within his own discretion? However, it cannot be sane for French President Emmanuel Macron to suggest serving as a “mediator” between the terrorists and Turkey, which has been the target of the very same terrorists and has lost over 35,000 of its people in attacks carried out by those terrorists.
Turkey has all kinds of problems. Not least the economy. Over the past 12 years the Turkish Lira has lost so much of its value that the removal of six zeroes has become a bad joke. Inflation is rising while the value of the lira is plunging. Meanwhile, wages are stagnating. However, hoping for stability and fearful of a repeat of the economic meltdowns of 1999-2000 and 2001-02, precipitated by political uncertainty and a three-way coalition government, people continue supporting the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
According to an old anecdote, after each time they increased taxes Ottoman sultans dispatched their viziers in plainclothes to monitor the reaction among the people. Each time the vizier came back saying people were complaining but still paying the increased tax. But one time, when the vizier said people had responded by dancing in the streets, the sultan ordered the tax increase to be reversed. So should we Turks now start dancing in the streets?