Erdoğan retreated, look at the party’s situation
Since the prime minister retreated into his home, there seems to have been a sense of aimlessness among the Justice and Development Party (AK Parti). Maybe it is because we are so used to Erdoğan controlling everything.
Whatever the reason, society’s perception is important. They used to say the AK Parti had reached a state where it could stand alone and, even if its leader changed, it would be able to generate new policies by itself. Look at it now: The prime minister has been absent for two weeks and except for the amendments in sports law – the so-called “match-fixing law” – no significant decisions have been made during this time.
My impression is the AK Parti has not reached a level of maturity where it can generate policies by itself and turn its wheels without Erdoğan. It does not have a decision-making mechanism where it melts differing views in one pot and goes for a final target.
Because of this, debates on who will ascend to the “presidential mansion” in 2014 and replace the prime minister have started now. This is why his health is regarded as extremely important and is under scrutiny.
This situation is not unique to the AK Parti. All of our political parties rely on their leaders. They are the final decision makers. As a matter of fact, it was the same this time also. One word from the prime minister was enough to collect the party.
One last note on this is the fog covering the prime minister’s health has finally lifted. We have learned from his doctor “there is nothing to worry about.” As I have said many times before, the prime minister’s health concerns the whole country, both in terms of its economy and politics. This transparency was necessary for everybody.
Do not miss Zeugma Museum
I was in the southeastern province of Gaziantep last weekend, where I attended the Abant Platform meetings and learned a lot about what was being experienced in the Arab world. I shared some of it with you at the beginning of the week. But, to tell the truth, what affected me the most was a visit to the Zeugma Museum.
It was opened three months ago and is breaking visitor records, having already attracted around 50,000 people. With all its exhibits, it has taken first place in the world of mosaic museums.
It is an exciting and unbelievable journey to observe those colors, those pictures made up of millions of tiny stones and, more importantly, you are able to see examples of craftsmanship from 1,800 years ago. There are numerous pieces, each more breathtaking than the other.
When you enter the museum, you watch an 8-minute 3D film with a very simple narrative. You think you understand what you are about to see, but then you get carried away. The interior of the museum affected me as much as the art craft itself.
Everything has been designed by our people. You can see several components of other museums adapted here, like the illumination of the pieces and the transformation of the building into a museum.
Indeed, most importantly, the restoration works are so pleasing you want to hug all who worked on achieving the end result, including the municipality and Culture Ministry, even if at times you get angry the excavations started 13 years late as, despite being discovered in 1974, the first excavations did not start until1987. Zeugma is now above water. Surely, there are as many pieces underwater as those excavated.
This museum alone is reason enough to visit Gaziantep. Do not postpone. Definitely go and see it.