Come on Cemil Çiçek, now is the time

Come on Cemil Çiçek, now is the time

What do you say? Will it happen? 

Until only a short time ago, those who believed that the political elite of this country would be able to write a new constitution were few. Those who said, “It wouldn’t suit them; they would prefer to continue with the Sept. 12 constitution,” were in the majority. 

Cemil Çiçek, the speaker of Parliament, has been regarding this issue as his word of honor. Maybe he really wants to write history. Whatever his reasons are, he is certainly doing the correct thing. This country needs a brand new constitution. A constitution that will be able to overcome the biggest difficulties with the Kurdish issue. A constitution that will absolutely secure all freedoms. A constitution that will enable us to lead a democratic and secular life. 

Cemil Çiçek has done the right thing. Among representatives of the private sector, he has received the most support from Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu. The first stage has been completed successfully, and now a more difficult phase, the content writing phase has started. 

Of course, the “presidency” debate will hyper-activate the process, but it will not obstruct the writing of the constitution. 

The title of this piece comes from football: Come on president, come on president. Now is the right time… 

The changes in Paris and Athens are no good for us 

The recent elections in France and Greece should be a lesson for all of us. The economic crisis has caused the people to take revenge on the politicians. The reason Sarkozy lost with a margin of 3 percent is the anger of voters at becoming poor, nothing else. The situation is no different in Greece.

 All of the politicians in office were badly beaten. 

What’s more, the confusion in both countries is likely to continue for a long time. They may be due for new elections and new fluctuations. How will these changes affect Turkey? Let’s take a look. 

The only positive side of the change in France is that Hollande was elected, a leader who does not have an anti-Turkey obsession like Sarkozy’s. But don’t count on that. Hollande is not against Turkey’s full membership in the EU in principle. He does not question Turkey’s European-ness like Sarkozy does.

However, he does place the condition of the acceptance of the “Armenian Genocide” on Turkey’s membership, and this stance is not one that can be overcome easily. In short, this change in Paris will not make a significant difference to Turkey’s relations with the EU. Hollande’s presidency is likely to end and not continue at the end of his 5-year term.

The situation is more complicated in Athens. The beating the politicians got was as bad as the one our leaders took in our 2002 elections. In Greece, a coalition period has started and the economic chaos looks as though will not be solved easily. Also, there is talk of holding early elections next June. In other words, there is an impasse. This situation bothers me. 

I fear that the rising militarist and extreme-right parties in Greece will turn toward Turkey after a while.

I wonder, to overcome the frustration they are immersed in, whether they will begin focusing on Turkey? Will they make Turkey their “joint enemy”? This is possible and there is such a risk. However, the Greeks have so many problems nowadays that it looks as if they will not turn toward us.

The TFF is harming us 

It is not possible to understand what the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) wants to do. It says its aim is to protect Turkish football from UEFA sanctions due to the match-fixing incident. It is as though we were under attack by foreigners, and TFF is trying to stop this course of events in the international arena. It has gone even further and called those who criticize this approach “factional.” It is like the TFF is playing the role of a lion, trying to save its country. They do not seem to be aware of this fact:

With this stance, they aren’t doing anyone any favors; they are upsetting the applecart.

Take a look at the international reaction. You will see clearly where the situation is going. With this stance of theirs the TFF is handing over the entire future of Turkish football to the UEFA, certainly not saving it from its grasp. You will see where the decisions made in Geneva take us. If the TFF is thinking, “Let’s not issue any punishments, let the UEFA do it,” then we will have a harder time. It won’t take long; the situation will be clear in a few weeks. The TFF will harm us a great deal, I think.