Should Turkey have just one voice in foreign policy?
Why are we suddenly supposed to be united as soon as the subject is foreign policy?
Are we going to give in unconditionally to steps taken by whoever rules the country? Are we going to salute whatever decisions they make? If we criticize them, are we going to be declared “children of Moscow”?
If so, why did we once upon a time struggle against the government’s stance in many previous foreign policy cases?
Why did we criticize the Imia/Kardak crisis in 1996 over two deserted islands in the Aegean. When we disapproved of the “extreme heroism” on display, why did we question making such pandemonium over two rocks in the sea?
Why did we, once upon a time, describe the Customs Union agreement with the EU as a “submission”?
Thus spoke the ministry…
The Justice Ministry has issued a statement refuting claims that Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, the imprisoned journalists from daily Cumhuriyet, are being held in jail in isolation.
Its answer amounts to this: Dündar and Gül have spoken with their lawyers for a certain number of hours, with parliamentary deputies for a certain number of hours, and with friends and family for a certain number of hours. So there is no isolation.
Hey, Justice Ministry! If you hold any arrested person in a cell alone, where they cannot see any other human being - however much you let them see their lawyers, family and friends - that amounts to isolation.
Dündar and Gül have been under arrest for 15 days, by the way.
‘Dancing with the bear’ is not a Russian proverb
I recently wrote that if you dance with a bear, the dance ends not when you decide to end it, but when the bear decides to give up.
This is not a Russian proverb or saying. Those who speak Russian tell me that there is no such proverb in the Russian language.
In English there is a saying, “When you dance with the bear, you can’t stop until the bear wants to stop.” It is highly likely that this saying originates from the United States.
But wait a minute. Is there not a bear theme in Russian proverbs? Of course there is.
“Two bears can’t live in one lair” is one example. “Bears are bad neighbors” is another.
There is also an Ethiopian proverb, not about bears but worth remembering nevertheless: “Don’t catch a leopard by the tail. But if you do, don’t let it go.”
I am like the Dalai Lama
The Tibetan spiritual leader in exile, the Dalai Lama has said that there has to be dialogue, even with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). “One has to listen, to understand, to have respect for the other person, regardless. There is no other way,” he said.
Can you see how far his good-will reaches?
Some people have said there was a “Dalai Lama-style” goodwill and naivety in my recent piece about accepting the presidential system in Turkey.
They ask me: “What will a person who is a one-man ruler even in the parliamentary system be able to do in the presidential system? Have you ever thought of this, Dalai Lama?”
Although this criticizes me, it is a good, witty question.