President Gül’s early retirement
President Gül said, “I will not be in politics under these conditions.” According to pro-government commentators, this was a disappointment for those expecting a rivalry between Gül and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. I am curious if there was anyone naive enough to expect such rivalry.
It was crystal-clear from the beginning that Erdoğan will be the sole decision-maker on who will be the president. In fact, he decided that he will be the president, and Gül is not the person he wants to see at the head of the government and the party.
He wants a mediocre politician who won’t mind having his/her personality crushed by Erdoğan. Probably he also decided who that politician should be. It is not that difficult to find one; there are so many of them.
But no one should expect that Erdoğan will just get rid of Gül. He will create a position to make the former president happy. Gül should prepare himself for making the most of that position dreaming that one day he will save the country and the party. Early retirement is not that bad.
The aim is to avoid going
Erdoğan gave the instruction to change the electoral system. Either one parliamentarian will be elected from each electoral district or electoral districts will be narrowed down so as only five parliamentarians are elected. He added a carrot to his proposal: the election threshold will either be lowered or totally abolished.
I have read in the news that with this change, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will be able to have 50 to 70 more parliamentarians than today. It is easy to guess why he wants this.
He saw without it that he cannot reach the majority he needs to change the Constitution. He will change the electoral system, then he will change the Constitution and start ruling from Çankaya’s presidential palace equipped with authorities that will even make U.S. presidents jealous.
We know that dictators that come via elections never go via elections. It is clear that Erdoğan likes this quite a lot and in order to avoid going via elections one day, he will keep changing the electoral system.
The calculations of Reza Zarrab
Reza Zarrab gave a statement to daily Sabah which published it as a series.
From his deliberations, we learn that if we live in a somehow economically balanced situation, we owe it to him.
Zarrab says, “I have exported 200 tons of gold and made Turkey 25 billion liras.” And then goes on to say, “I have closed 15 percent of Turkey’s foreign exchange deficit.”
Reading this, I could better understand how generously he has been distributing money to ministers.
Actually Mr. Zarrab does not know how to make calculations.
If we assume a gram of gold is 80 liras, 200 tons of gold makes 200 million grams. If we are to buy it from a jewelry store, the money we’ll have to pay would be approximately 16 billion liras. Mr. Zarrab says he made 25 billion liras by exporting 200 tons of gold. By the way, no one asked, “Where did you find all this gold? How much did you pay for it and how much did you sell it for?”
The colleagues at Sabah don’t know how to calculate either, from the reporter who conducted the interview, the editor that read the interview and put it on the page, to all the news editors that used the story on the front page and finally the editor-in-chief. Either they have never gone to a jewelry shop or either they make so much money they don’t even know how much they pay for the gold they buy.