You’ve confessed what the ‘Turkish issue’ is

You’ve confessed what the ‘Turkish issue’ is

We already understood and knew the real problem of those who have come down with the psycho-political anxiety that is called the “Turkish issue.”

In the past, I wrote this in this column about “separatist Turks”:

“They [today, you can read this as ‘the ones who have an issue’] reject the model of cohabitation where Kurds are accepted as Kurds and, consequently, equal with those who thrive in their Turkish identities. In short, they do not what Kurds to come to the fore as their equals. They have no tolerance for this. They haven’t come close to accepting that the republic this time needs a partnership paradigm,” (You have to live together with the Kurd, July 12, 2010).

Main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) İzmir deputy Birgül Ayman Güler has indeed served her country well. She has so aptly confessed and so aptly, clearly and distinctly named the root reason for the “Turkish issue.” Nobody had been able to do that before… Let’s make a record of Güler’s words:

“The Turkish nation cannot be considered as an equal, as an equivalent to Kurdish ethnicity,” she said. “There is no Kurdish issue in Turkey. In Turkey, you have made the issue a Turkish issue. From now on, we are on the defense; from now on, we are on the attack for the right to self-defense.”

I feel good for having been proven right about what I had written two and a half years ago by one of the chief spokespersons of the anxiety surrounding the Turkish issue.

One with a “Turkish issue” has revealed that their main problem was “to be equal with the Kurds.” She has no concern for “political correctness” or whatnot. She is directly against equality; she wants to be regarded as “superior” and remain so.

This outdated, “dominant nation” mentality of the 19th century has no room to flourish against an ideological charge equipped with the classic values of today’s democracy, human rights, equality, pluralism, participation and inclusiveness.

This outdated superiority claim expressed in Güler’s statements does not have any moral base. Hence, it is not very difficult to cope with the “Turkish issue” on an ideological level. It is fairly easy, since there has been a confession that, at the root of the issue, there lies the nonsense of “the fear of being made equals.”
We should be thanking Birgül Ayman Güler for her “grand service.”

To be “equal” with, at the end of the day, people who have been oppressed for generations by a state that has been armed with the “dominant nation” ideology does not mean being oppressed. It needs to be explained; they need to be persuaded, the partners in Birgül Ayman Güler’s mentality, that they are not being oppressed, that they are not being unjustly treated and that they are not losing anything. To that end, let me quote a section from M. Şükrü Hanioğlu’s column from Jan. 13 from daily Sabah, titled, “Directing the majority toward identity politics is an invitation to catastrophe:”

“It is not possible to generate ‘victimhood’ to legalize defensive ‘Turkish identity politics’ based on the losses of members of the military and security forces, and civilian losses that devastate everybody. Above all, there has been no authority trying to suppress this identity. Moreover, it is impossible to explain why the gaining of the incontestable rights of some citizens obligates the Turks to adopt identity politics with a defensive character.”
Hanioğlu had actually given one of the answers to Güler days before.

Kadri Gürsel is a columnist for daily Milliyet in which this piece was published on Jan 28. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.