No white bread left, would you care for rice?

No white bread left, would you care for rice?

What did he say to this nation? “Do not eat white bread; it is risky…” Do not eat white bread, eat brown bread… The prime minister recommended this, but I don’t remember him saying “Do not eat rice.”

I am curious since the prime minister does not oppose it, do the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) members eat rice? I will explain scene by scene what it is all about. Let me tell the story I have read the other day in international papers.

FIRST SCENE: China last week announced that it has cancelled the 1.2 million tons of rice it was to import from Thailand. The reason for this was corruption claims regarding this contract. Actually the claims were concerning the Thailand side but there is this fact that the whole world knows: In a commercial act, if there is one that receives bribes then there is another one who gives it.

SECOND SCENE: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke to those supporting him in Berlin: “A government which has tripled Turkey’s gross national product in 10 years, can such a government be corrupt? Can a government which has built 17,000 kilometers of highways in 10 years be corrupt? Can a government about to build an airport of $42 billion in Istanbul and a bridge of $2.5 billion be involved in corruption?”

The hall is shaken with applause after each question. While the hall is shaken, it is also logic, wisdom, comprehension and morals that are being shaken. Because any person who is slightly involved in economy, logic and ethics has one answer to this demagogy: “What on earth are you comparing?”

THIRD SCENE: Let’s go out of that hall to eat rice. With the logic of the prime minister, “When there is growth, then there will be no corruption.” Right?

Did you take a look at China’s average growth rate in the past 10 years? Twice that of Turkey. Did you take a look at the monetary dimension of the airport and the fast train project in Shanghai? I cannot say how many times that of Turkey’s projects.

I do not want to put the prime minister of Turkey in an untruthful position. But I will say this: China is 80th in the world corruption league of 178 countries. Many top level administrators have been tried of corruption. They have been taken to court even in that country that does not have democracy. Many of them were sentenced.

So, what is it? There is no relevance between corruption and growth, development and building airports.

If you are saying, “Look, when we said do not eat white bread, we did not mean go and eat ruined bread.”

If you say, “All the bread we are eating is pure, white and legal,” then do not obstruct justice; do not close the lid of the shoe box…

Ballot box is not a washing machine

What do they say now? “Not need for courts; there is the jury of people.” In other words, “We will hold elections; receive our votes and be whitewashed.” As if the local elections are a referendum…

Look, you may fool a portion of the people with telekinesis nonsense. You may have your thesis accepted by some. But you should know that in no democracy in the world, the ballot box takes the place of justice.

Ertuğrul Özkök is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this abridged piece was published on Feb. 7. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.