A Feb. 28 trial was a necessity
A knock at the door was expected, but it was not certain when it would come. But finally, the era of being accountable has begun.
This case was necessary. If we were going to try those involved in the Sept. 12 coup, then we cannot disregard Feb. 28. This was a necessary step. However, what comes after this is more important.
After this, this case has to proceed without becoming like the Ergenekon or Balyoz (Sledgehammer) cases, branching out endlessly, turning into an endless story. I have reiterated this many times before, but here I go again.
Cases like this one are symbolic. They are not to be used for taking revenge; they should not be. They are important to demonstrate the general stance of a country. They are used to send a message for the future. If the scope of the case expands and civilians become implicated in it, then nothing can be achieved.
Justice must be much more careful this time. If Turkey is crossing a bridge, then our justice system is also crossing a bridge. Every step taken is being carefully monitored.
Turkey will not intervene without the UN
The situation in Syria is clearer for now. (I use the phrase “for now” often these days, because there is a new development every moment, and the situation changes suddenly.)
The prime minister’s recent statements, preparations at the Foreign Ministry, and echoes coming from the Washington-Moscow-Beijing triangle indicate that it is out of the question for Turkey to act alone in a military operation against Syria, and that it will wait for a U.N. resolution.
The atmosphere of recent days, when an imminent military operation was anticipated, has dispersed now. That is, of course, unless an unexpected giant clash or major massacre happens along the border.
This is the correct stance. However firmly Bashar al-Assad assures the world that a ceasefire is declared and that the tanks will be withdrawn from Syrian cities, and even though he takes steps in that direction, there is so much confusion and provocation going on in Syria that we cannot know who is doing what. Moreover, international powers (including the Arabs) do not want an immediate intervention. They need time. And the U.N. will provide that time.
Ankara will now focus on diplomacy. It will decide whether or not to intervene based on an intervention resolution from the U.N. Security Council (which would be very difficult to get). In short, military options are suspended. We will hear an abundance of statements, but swords will not be drawn.
Big picture brighter
The China visit was one of the prime minister’s most important, trips but somehow it became one of the worst in terms of communication. This was not because of the distance. Aboard the plane, there were the editors-in-chief of papers and top managers of television stations, as well as reporters. Also, there were 300 businessmen. But still it would not be incorrect to say that we were not able to follow the trip from here. I think the mistake was in the planning. So many TV crews were taken there to accomplish nothing.
The impressions I drew from media stories and the prime minister’s statements are that Beijing only listened to the Turkish delegation on the topic of Syria. There is no significant change of stance. China does not want bloodshed either, but just like Russia, does not want Turkey to interfere alone or with the U.S.
Apart from that, the Turkish-Chinese bridge has stronger legs now.
Turkey should not restrain itself into this region. Therefore opening up to China is very important. As columnist Sami Kohen said, the more Turkey, which holds a position as a regional power, gets closer to China, which holds a position as a superpower, the more profitable the relationship will be.
From that point of view, even though it seemed like a quiet trip, the recent visit to China will help Ankara gain a lot in the medium and long term.