Why is he doing this?
AHMET HAKANBoth the opponent and the supporter are after a “rational” explanation; all of them are looking for an answer to this question: “Why is he doing this?”
Everybody is trying to explain the situation based on their own temperament:
- Those who take the risk of being stuck in clichés say this: “He is trying to change the agenda.”
- Those who want to appear like they are masters of politics, say this: “He is trying to consolidate his base.”
- Those who are keen on producing new theories, say this: “He is trying to provoke a Gezi-like incident to secure the Istanbul elections.”
- Those who adopt a cynical attitude, say this: “Because he could not get anything out of the headscarf issue, he is trying to get something out of house raids.”
- Those who are trying to talk about these lands as if nobody knows them, say this: “He wants to influence Anatolia; he wants to keep Anatolia in his palm.”
None of this is true, none of it.
- It is illogical that he would want to change the agenda because the new “agenda” he has brought forward is not a sugar- or chocolate-coated agenda; it is an agenda which questions liberalism, reformism and democracy. In other words, all these good features that have contributed to the Justice and Democracy Party (AK Party). It is a dangerous agenda and one that needs to be changed back immediately.
- It is illogical that he is trying to consolidate his base because his constituents have become exhausted by being constantly consolidated; they have been nearly suffocated. They need air more than anything.
- It is illogical to fuel an incident like Gezi because a prime minister who considers it his duty to tell dictators who are subject to popular uprisings, “Listen to your people,” would never want his own people to rebel again against himself…
- It is impossible that he is trying to cater to Anatolia because Anatolia is not a place that says, “Yes, Prime Minister. Let the police raid the houses. Align those young people. Come on. Take them to the police station. Show them.” Anatolia, before anything else, wants peace.
Well, then, why does he do this?
He is doing this because what we see before us is a person who:
- Believes that his own idea of morality should be adopted by everyone;
- Does not even regard it as possible that there may be other moral concepts;
- Finds it odd that there are ideas of morality and judges them with his own conceptions of morality;
- Thinks he has the right to interfere in other people’s lives and thinks he is doing this for the happiness of the people;
- Assumes that he can arrange Turkey as if it his own house;
- Believes that he is obliged to prevent the committing of sin;
- Wants to fulfill this obligation no matter what;
- Cannot be convinced that even if citizens are over 18, they cannot be adults;
- Divides the lives of his citizens into “legitimate” and “illegitimate” lives;
- Sees no harm in openly expressing that “illegitimate” lives could be raided with the police;
- Thinks that citizens who are not controlled by the state will pursue all kinds of malice in their private lives;
- Believes there are parents who want police to monitor the lives of their children;
- Is convinced that he could solve issues by assigning police to every household;
-Has over-expanded the archaic mentality of “I am responsible for the decency of the neighborhood” to “the decency of Turkey is my responsibility;”
- Is not even aware of the difference between “crime” and “sin;”
- Is able to plan bans, crimes and punishments based on sin;
- Embraces the opinion that even houses can be breached to prevent sin;
- Does not consider such interference as an intervention into people’s private lives if it is done to prevent sin;
- Is not even aware that what he is doing is simply social engineering;
- Sees social engineering as bad when it is Kemalists who do it; regards it as wonderful if he is doing it;
- Has totally discarded the issue of individual rights and freedoms from his personal agenda.
Well, this prime minister has plunged into this matter with all his sincerity, without acting or pretending, without considering any strategy, without any doubt that what he is doing is right, without any tactics.
And, this is the “worst” and the “most dangerous” side of the thing.
But even worse and more dangerous is that there is not a single person left around the prime minister who has the courage to say, “What you are doing is wrong; you can’t do it like this,” even though they do think that what the prime minister is doing is wrong.
Ahmet Hakan is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Nov 8. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.