All I wish from God is health

All I wish from God is health

You have to experience it to understand it. I no longer care about anything, probably due to this reason. Health is all there is to it. Every night I go to bed, I say, “Thank goodness, I made it through this day,” and when I wake up in the morning, I set out hoping my day will pass in good health. 

We are leaving 2011 behind and entering 2012. 

I would like to tell you the fortunes for the coming 12 months. But first, I wish from God a healthy 2012 for you all. 

Don’t go into debt

The greatest peril for 2012 is the possibility that the financial storms brewing outside could turn into a hurricane and break in through our door. We are all doomed in that case. 

The crisis in Europe has reached such a point that no one can truly foresee exactly what is going to happen. The tremor is going to bring us all down, unless EU states manage to raise the required sum. 
Where this whole business is headed is only going to come to light toward the end of January. Italy is scheduled to repay some 150 billion euros of debt in February. If Italy fails to repay its debt, then it is high time to buckle up and start praying. 
There is no way Turkey could withstand even the side effects of such a tremor that would shake the whole of Europe. 

Experts have only a single piece of advice: Don’t go into debt, especially with foreign currency, and hold onto your savings.

Everyone’s gaze will turn toward the prime minister in 2012. The state of his health will come under scrutiny, as observers attempt to analyze the tone of his voice and the speed of his pace. 

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is going through his third and last term since he entered Parliament. He will either go to the Presidential Palace in 2014, or withdraw from politics, at least for a while. His nomination for the presidential race is what everyone expects to see. 

Of course, the state of his health is going to figure into his decision on this matter to a significant degree. No economic problems appear on the horizon, unless an accident comes from the outside. Political and economic stability will persist, but all hell will break loose otherwise. Such a development is also going to affect the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to a large degree, and political balance will have to be re-calibrated. 

The CHP to go through rough times

The Republican People’s Party (CHP) is still beset by restlessness. 
A leadership struggle will come to the fore in the CHP during 2012, unless Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu manages to pull things together. A new candidate or an opposition strong enough to topple Kılıçdaroğlu is entirely missing from the view, however. As the main opposition, they are picking on themselves, instead of the government. 

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), terrorism and the Kurdish problem is where I expect the grandest developments next year. 

There are two scenarios:

Putting an end to armed conflict, restarting previous talks and the government’s earlier Kurdish initiative constitute one scenario based on my optimistic estimations. Neither the PKK nor the Turkish state has any special plans to alter their stances. It seems even further unlikely that Erdoğan would adopt a policy that could be interpreted in public as a weakness prior to the 2014 presidential elections. 

I see it as more likely that armed conflict will intensify and the PKK will engage in a mortal combat for survival. The latest blows struck against the organization and internal strife within the PKK are expected to escalate armed conflict. The war between the state and the organization will enter its last phase, and under these circumstances, even more blood is going to be spilled. 

Foreign policy and Turkey’s role

Two issues will dominate in foreign policy: Cyprus and debates about the alleged “Armenian genocide.”
We should not expect a fix to the Cyprus problem. Neither we nor the Greek Cypriots are ready to take courageous strides forward to reach a solution. 

I doubt it would be possible to go beyond mere clamoring and fussing around with respect to Armenian genocide allegations. The Armenians are moving along quite successfully with regard to this matter. The Senate will follow in the footsteps of the French Parliament to approve the draft bill, and other countries will also lend their support for this matter until 2015.

Strained relations with Iran do not seem likely to ease up. A three-way partition of Iraq has become likelier, while Iran’s zone of influence has only widened following the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq. 

Turkey will also redefine its role in the region. It will be positioned less as a role model or a leader, and more as a “friend sharing its own experiences.” The turmoil in Syria, however, is going to be the one issue close to home to cause the greatest headache for Ankara. I doubt if Bashar al-Assad could easily abandon power.