Message from Ankara arrives in Stockholm

Message from Ankara arrives in Stockholm

It was Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, during an evening at the residence of Turkey’s ambassador in Stockholm. Ambassador Kaya Türkmen was speaking. Right beside him was Nobel Prize for Chemistry laureate Professor Aziz Sancar.  

Türkmen was explaining to his guests what a great source of pride and huge morale boost Sancar winning the award had become for all of Turkey. He also told a memory of his. 

During President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s trip to Japan in October 2015, a decision was reached to form a Turkish-Japanese University. One of the Japanese hosts said, “Hopefully, there will be several Nobel Prize-winning scientists from this university.”

During the talks next day, the news came that Sancar had won the Nobel Prize.   

After the ambassador finished his speech, he presented a gift sent by Erdoğan. 

 A short while later, at an open buffet banquet, Türkmen whispered in Sancar’s ear, “Can we please proceed to the room upstairs? There is an issue I want to speak to you about.”

They went upstairs together with the heads of three science institutions who had come from Turkey for the event. 

The ambassador told Sancar in the room upstairs, “There is a special message from the president for you. If it is possible, he is inviting you to Turkey.”

Sancar told him he would be visiting Turkey in May for a meeting and would be honored to meet the president then. However, when the ambassador asked, “Can you go to Ankara directly from here?” Sancar replied, “It could be so.”

Right then, Ankara was called and the meeting was arranged. 

Sancar is coming to Turkey on Dec. 13. He will be received by the president on Dec. 14. 

Erdoğan’s invitation to our Nobel Prize laureate scientist, of course, became the talk of the reception at the ambassador’s residence from that moment on. 

This was Ankara’s message. 

However, Sancar had a message for Ankara also. He said it during his short speech in the Stockholm residence’s hall. 

He told the ambassador, “Please convey this request of mine to officials in Ankara. Pay especially very much attention to the education of girls. I have learned how important this is in the United States.”

How will history record these events? 

Are we going to apologize to the Syrian people in the future as we did to the Algerian people because of our intervention, or will they be thanking us? 

Will our downing of the Russian plane be damned in the future as a historic mistake, like the bombing of Sevastopol in 1914 which caused us to enter World War I, or will it be remembered as a move that changed the history of the Middle East toward peace? 

Will imprisoned journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül be remembered as spies in the future, or as freedom heroes like Namık Kemal and Nazım Hikmet? 

Will the Gezi Park incidents be remembered as a coup attempt to topple the elected government or the first resistance movement against an authoritarian regime? 

I have written down my predictions, put them in an envelope and left it for my grandchildren.  

Most probably I will prove correct for all of them. 

The strongest platform for presidential system debate  

Journalist and publisher Hakkı Devrim, whose views I value very much, called me the other day. He told me, “I have chosen to tell this to you because you are the one I know well at daily Hürriyet. This newspaper, Hürriyet, is a very good newspaper. I’m so glad it exists. “     

I totally agree with him. 

I went through the facts and here they are: 

Hürriyet has five staff members who are invited onto the Presidential and Prime Ministry’s planes, and to the presidential palace: Verda Özer, Fatih Çekirge, Akif Beki, İsmet Berkan and Vahap Munyar.

They are conveying the stories from the planes and the government wing pretty well.

Hürriyet columnists Ahmet Hakan, Çekirge, Berkan and Beki are writing about the positive sides of the presidential system pretty well. 

Other columnists of the same paper Taha Akyol, Mehmet Y. Yılmaz, Kanat Atkaya and I are writing pieces in favor of the parliamentary system. 

In short, Hürriyet is truly a newspaper with the broadest political spectrum of the center. I am sure it will continue to be the biggest reference in this era.