Is it possible to have any sort of valuable discussion in a country where everything is either black or white? Life, however, put aside tones of gray in between black and white, is composed of many colors and grades of transition in between the seven colors of the rainbow. Do you know how many reds are there?
For many decades after the creation of the modern Turkish republic there was an effort to create a one-color new Turkey. The nation building process, which indeed was in full harmony with the then political climate of post World War I Turkey, was perhaps a requirement of the time. The republic that was erected on a foundation of awareness that it would be the land of the Turks, Kurds and other residues of the “sick man of Europe” that was blatantly murdered by the “beast with one remaining tooth” was forced to forget its roots. Was it the oil of Mousul that aroused the greed of the “empire on which the sun never sets”? What would have been the course of the young Turkish republic if right after its birth it was not pushed into an ethno-religious uprising in 1925?
Talking against or questioning the progress of the “peace process” that the government and its barkers are so proudly praising, has become more than enough to be branded of being an “anti-peace” person. However is it possible for anyone with some brains, a beating heart and a live conscience to align with anything but peace? The peace process ought to be one carrying Turkey into a more democratic and more colorful era than to a black and white one with no gray areas. That is indeed why all through the past many years I have been staunchly against the description of Kurdish problem as the main and foremost issue of the country. There is of course a Kurdish problem but that issue is just one chapter of the overall democratization problem of the country.
The most pressing issue of the country is democratization of politics. The most important problem of the country is to end black and white party politics and put a full stop to the authoritarian party leadership tradition. Without political parties becoming democratic institutions, will it be possible for governments or prime ministers to become democratic? If the fate of politician is left to the sole discretion of the party leader; if decision making, policy developing and execution is left to the person sitting at the top executive seat, can that country be democratic at all? Such an atmosphere can only nourish dictators or absolute rulers and the current Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is just no exception to that. Late Turgut Özal wanted to become executive president as well as, may Allah give him many healthy years, Süleyman Demirel. Thus, this is a chronic illness, not something peculiar to Erdoğan. Yet, never ever in post 1960 period Turkey had such an authoritarian and oppressive governance like the current one. Perhaps this writer is naïve enough not to grasp what “advanced democracy” is.
The peace process must have started with liberating politics, rather than providing a covert amnesty to terrorists or shyly ordering the military to play three monkeys to terrorists “withdrawing” the country carrying their arms. Was it not sad to read the military’s statement that it had no information or aerial photo or intelligence about withdrawing terrorists? How dare it could have and stayed spectator? That would have been a crime.
Turkey does not need to nourish a dictator yelling at the dictator of the neighbor. We don’t need a black and white country, nor a red or a yellow one. Time must have come to remember the rainbow and embrace it.