Investigation of military coups is not anti-Atatürk

Investigation of military coups is not anti-Atatürk

I am listening to those around me and I am astonished. The dialogues start and proceed as such:

- “What is happening to us? Where are we going?”

- “What is bothering you?”

- “Look at this; they are now taking Sept. 12 and Feb. 28 to court. The commanders will be interrogated.”

- “Why does this worry you? Isn’t that normal?”

- “How can that be normal? Their entire aim is to wipe away Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and convert the whole country into a religious republic.”

This dialogue is becoming immensely tiresome. You enter a meaningless debate as if Kemalism means coups and as if investigations and the trying of coups is some kind of anti-Atatürk activity.

Yes, the Justice and Development Party (Ak Parti) government wants to see a conservative Turkey. It is indeed troublesome to make this society that is already conservative more conservative. But is it is a completely different matter to form a religious republic. A major portion of us cannot differentiate between the two. We can’t see that it is too late if the Ak Parti government, which has been in power with a landslide majority for nine years, ever had the intention of converting Turkey into an Islamic republic.

It is extremely normal that coup leaders are held accountable. Regardless of how many years have passed, every society who believes in democracy addresses its past. More precisely, they have to; especially if that past is filled with coups d’état. Then it is inevitable to go back and make an account of things.

This should not be perceived as a wish to make life miserable for people by jailing them. On the contrary, this accountability and possible trials bring “deterrence” right alongside. It will make those who assume they can stage a coup in the future think twice.

I would like to ask you, if we lived under the influence of the military for years and if our democracy was not able to progress further, isn’t it one of the reasons that the May 27 coup and the other interventions were never questioned?

Today, we have passed into a very different stage. Today, extremely important steps are now taken on the road to democracy.

It is exactly because of this that we need to come to terms with the past.

If we do not want to have road accidents once again, like other countries that have experienced coups, we need to make an account of things.

If, one day, a government comes to power with the intention of forming an Islamic Republic, then, at that time we will protect and look after our secular-democratic system by taking to the streets ourselves, not by bringing the military out of its barracks.

Zero problem’ versus problems everywhere
It was Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s favorite project. However, leaving aside the “zero problems,” the number of those who are cross with us in our neighborhood is increasing every day. Every side in our region is full of issues. Maybe for the first time, it is not us who are responsible for this situation. International circumstances and road accidents occurring in bilateral relations brought us to this point. While we were trying to build a nice building, the walls collapsed. Now, we will make new projects and start the construction again. But the situation today is not at all brilliant. Everybody has started fighting with us.

The most typical and the most astonishing example is the common view at the beginning of the week of Israel’s Jerusalem Post and Iran’s Kayhan about Turkey: “Ankara is no longer a reliable capital, and it is starting to become a serious threat to regional stability.”

It’s quite a tough task to be able to unite two arch enemies like Iran and Israel under the same view, right?