2015, a year hard to forget...

2015, a year hard to forget...

Ünal Çeviköz
2015 will be remembered as “A year gone with the elections,” or, rather, hijacked by narrow interests... Turkey has never lived through such a disappointing year in its recent history, in peace time. Yet, it ends with the worst perspective for peace. 

Many have uttered meaningful words to be recorded in history about peace. John Lennon, once upon a time, was quoted to have said, “Peace is not something you wish for. It’s something you make, something you do, something you are and something you give away.” Albert Einstein was more down to earth, for not only was he an artist but also a scientist: “Peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice, of law, of order --in short, of government.” Martin Luther King was perhaps more articulate: “True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” At the end of 2015, there is no peace in Turkey, hence no justice.

2015 will never come back. It will never bring back so many lost souls. It will never be remembered even with tiny glitters of light, of success, of victory. It will be remembered as a total failure.

First, it will be remembered as the year when a peaceful reconciliation process has been deliberately buried down under the ashes of a volcano that has erupted by sudden outburst of domestic political concerns to maintain the sustainability of an order so undeservedly imposed upon the people of Turkey. People of Turkey, composed of Turks, Kurds and many other ethnicities, as well as people of several confessions and religious sects, have been relentlessly confined into the matrix of a square ideological world view. Eventually, the dialogue process to bring an end to the so-called “Kurdish issue” was sabotaged.

Secondly, political forces in the country, who had the opportunity to bring a new hope for the future generations by fulfilling the expectations of a very sensitive and responsible electorate, failed to grasp the merit of democracy and surrendered the country back into the hands of dark forces. People of Turkey will probably find it quite hard to forgive those who have been unable to show determination to stand against the ebb of democracy in the country.

Thirdly, a failing foreign policy conduct has reached its culmination with total isolation from the international community by not being able to identify clear and present danger to national security, regional stability and the entire humanity. Foreign policy is a discipline where you cannot correct your mistakes easily once they are made. If, on the other hand, one fails to acknowledge the mistakes and continues to go along the same line of errors with a reckless obstinacy, then the result is bound to be catastrophic. Foreign policy of Turkey has steadily developed into such a catastrophe in 2015.

As we get closer to the end of 2015, there seems to be a very bleak outlook for the future. On the one hand, the country is polarized, territorially fragmented and combat against terrorism has reached beyond the mountainous countryside into deep urban residential areas. Today, Turkey’s armed forces are trying to reassure security and stability in those urban areas. Quite ironic, is it not? If the armed forces are trying to secure stability not along the frontiers but within the country, then there is something wrong. Is this still a combat against terrorism or is it a fight against separatists who aim at your territorial integrity and national unity?

On the other hand, the country is at odds with one of the most important neighbors, namely the Russian Federation, a country with which Turkey used to have extensive economic, commercial, business and people-to-people relationships until a month ago. A careless implementation of what could be referred to as mere Aristotelian logic, namely “urged, warned and shot down,” has transpired into a neo-Ottoman tragedy disrupting all of the above mentioned favorable relationships as if they were of no value. 2016, therefore, promises to be a year of lower economic performance, less tourism revenues and a cooler winter, if not coldest of all. Was this a predicament that could have been avoided? Yes. If only there could have been a better communication between the people and the political parties of the opposition.

Is there hope? Well, hope never disappears. It should not disappear in a country whose basic, fundamental constitutional foundation is built on the pillars of secularism, parliamentary democracy and a pluralistic society. 2016 will witness attacks on these pillars. Democratic forces of the country! Let us unite and let us stand against the tide of non-peace. If we do not, our younger generations will never forgive us. The younger generations of those who are being victimized by disproportionate use of power in southeastern part of this beautiful country will never come to terms with the unity of this country under the same flag. The future of Turkey belongs to all of us.