Standing ovation for Erdoğan

Standing ovation for Erdoğan

During the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Istanbul, I twice gave a standing ovation to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s opening speech as the host of the event. 

“We should be uniting, not dividing,” he said. “We should strengthen alliances, not disputes; fondness not animosity. Out of the conflicts, the disputes, the hostility only the Muslims suffer, only Islam countries suffer. We should increase friends and decrease enemies.”

I cannot agree more. There were 56 Muslim countries in the hall, most of them represented by their presidents. Among them was the foreign minister of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s Egypt, Sameh Shoukry. El-Sisi had sent him to hand over the term presidency to Turkey. It is a sign of moderation of our relations with the el-Sisi administration. 

Likewise, our relations with Israel, severed since the Mavi Marmara flotilla massacre in 2010, are being normalized.

These are examples that we are not only paying lip service in terms of having our foreign policy practices move in a reasonable direction. That actually means that we never needed to fight the great powers of the world; there were other options. 

It means that we need not be surrounded by enemies. The world might not have been against us. So, the most effective response or the best defense happens to be policies to prevent hostility.

Therefore, conflict and political and social polarization were not the only direction. It was possible to reduce the number of enemies and increase the number of friends.

So, it was up to us to adopt unifying and conciliatory policies instead of divisive and clashing ones. So, this was the formula to avoid needless troubles in foreign policy.

Well, then, why should we not expect the same logic to be valid in our domestic policy? 

Since we are praising international reconciliation among countries with different national interests and targets and as we are glorifying the benefits of alliances and coalitions, as long as we recommend that fraternity should be adopted, then domestically, we can advise, as a form of coalition to the sons and daughters of the same nation, reconciliation, solidarity, fraternity, unity and togetherness.

Then, we can write everywhere that social and political polarization, hate and continuous bickering are bad and that they have inflicted enormous harm on this country and this nation. 

He also said: “Those people who have lost hope in justice will inevitably become open to the abuse of terror organizations. This is because justice is the alpha and omega of everything.”

I would give a standing ovation to this as well. Terror cannot be defeated by the method of killing. It can be defeated by preventing terror organizations from recruiting people. Achieving this is closely associated with eliminating the injustices they are making tools of. 

The Constitutional Court was the target recently because it ruled that the right to a just trial for a terrorist was violated. The high court was criticized, attacked and accused of protecting the terrorist and that the high court had become an anti-regime center, constituting a threat to the nation and the state. It was siding with the terrorist and was treasonous, they claimed.

If the president had sided with the constitutional court in those attacks, wouldn’t he have sided with justice?

Wouldn’t it have been regarded as strong support in the fight against terror and a harsh blow to the abuse of terror organizations?