No to war with Syria

No to war with Syria

Syria recently downed an F-4 Turkish reconnaissance plane that had entered its air space. But the fact is even if there had been a border violation the country should have first issued a warning then fired at the wings to force the plane down. Syria accepted its fault and apologized. It has joined the search and rescue operation with Turkey. They say it was a mistake. When relations between Turkey and Syria are so tense is it possible to believe the incident was a mistake? However, in any case, we will not go to war with Syria using this unpleasant pretext. I don’t even think that such madness has crossed anyone’s mind.

Who benefitted from straining Turkey’s relations with Syria to this extent? Bashar al-Assad is keeping his post. Moreover, Syria once again has become a base for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). We were close buddies with Syria two years ago, but now we are two enemies intensely hating each other.

Turkey had been drawn to World War I without actually noticing it. Two German ships crossing the Dardanelles were renamed with the Turkish names Yavuz and Midilli. These ships, carrying Turkish flags, bombarded Russian fortresses north of the Black Sea. Russia reacted by stating that the Ottoman Empire had declared war against it. All of these developments were “the beginning of the end.” Of course, we will not act so foolishly today. After all, we have been loyal to the “peace at home, peace in the world” principle all through the republican era.

Saygun and Forensic Medicine
The Forensic Medicine Department (ATK) is expected to make a decision about retired Gen. Ergin Saygun on Monday. The report is of crucial importance for Saygun.

The court arrested Saygun while he was receiving treatment at Gülhane Military Medical Academy (GATA) in Haydarpaşa based on the decision of the Forensic Medicine Department dated Feb. 1, 2012. However, the ATK report dated Feb. 1 said that in order for Saygun to be arrested, “his diet, his treatment and his polyclinic checks should be provided in prison conditions.” The Silivri Hospital, which is the closest hospital to Silivri Prison, cannot meet Saygun’s needs. Because of this he was transferred to Istanbul’s Mehmet Akif Ersoy Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Research and Education Hospital. He received treatment for a full month there. A few weeks ago, he was discharged from Mehmet Akif Ersoy Hospital and send to Silivri Prison.

Diet food is extremely important for Saygun who has a very limited diet because of diabetes, high blood pressure, renal insufficiency and several other factors such as his need for anticoagulants. He has to have a 1,600 calorie diet of six to eight meals a day with limited protein and controlled potassium intake. Of course, these are not possible under prison conditions.

He also needs to use a nebulizer to ease his breathing difficulty. This also is not possible under prison conditions.

To make a long story short, Saygun’s condition had improved a tiny bit while staying at Mehmet Akif Ersoy Hospital, but his health has now deteriorated back again in Silivri Prison. Upon the appeal of his lawyers the court is asking the Forensic Medicine Department again: “Because it has been reported that Ergin Saygun is risking death, a report is demanded on the subject of whether his stay under [the current] prison conditions constitute an ultimate danger to his life.” At this point, the whole responsibility belongs to ATK which will answer this question and the Istanbul 10th Criminal Court which will decide depending on that answer.

Nazlı Ilıcak is a columnist for daily Sabah in which this piece was published on June 25. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.