This is indeed a very reasonable suspicion

This is indeed a very reasonable suspicion

Actress Deniz Tunca was stopped by police while she was driving in Istanbul’s Ortaköy neighborhood. She was tested for alcohol; nothing was found. Upon this, one of the police officers asked, “You are very cheerful; did you take any drugs?” Then she was tested for drugs. Her license was confiscated for five years on the grounds that she had taken drugs, while a fine of 3,474 Turkish Liras was also imposed.

“They told me that I had used a substance I have never used in my life,” Tunca explained. Upon this, Tunca went to court to demand a blood test. The result of the blood test showed that she had not used any drugs. The court ruled that Tunca was right and decided to cancel the fine.

This is an incident that could happen to anyone in our country; actually it is not even interesting. What draws my attention is that the police were suspicious of Tunca’s cheerfulness.

That police officer probably thought this: “If a person in this country can be this cheerful despite all these incidents, then she or he is either drunk or high. Since she is not drunk, she must have used drugs.”

It is “reasonable suspicion,” in other words. Can a person in this country be cheerful out of the blue?

Whirl dervish, whirl

In the op/ed page of the International New York Times, a caricature of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was published. Erdoğan was drawn as a Mevlevi dervish in the cartoon, with long skirts and the long conical hat of the dervishes.

On the right side of the caricature, Obama is drawn as if he was on top of an U.S. war plane and he is watching Erdoğan with bewilderment. On the left side, there are two masked ISIL militants, one bearded, the other armed, and they have the same bewildered expression on their faces.

Dervish Erdoğan is whirling by zigzagging between the two sides. Obviously, the confusion in the minds of the Erdoğan-Davutoğlu duo can clearly be seen even from the other side of the ocean.

Just an hour after saying, “There is no difference between the PYD and PKK; weapons should not be handed to them,” he chose not to oppose the U.S. delivery of weapons to the PYD. And after saying: “The PYD and PKK are the same. There is no difference between ISIL and the PKK,” he allowed armed Peshmerga to pass through Turkey…  

Apparently their heads are so confused that they cannot generate policies; they are only sailing wherever the wind takes them.

A square peg in a round hole

Erdoğan recently spoke about the “security package” that is currently being debated at a parliamentary commission. But I don’t know why he did so. The package belongs to the government, there is a prime minister, there is a government spokesman, but somehow the “neutral” president steps out and is defending the government’s bill.

President Erdoğan said there must be a balance between security and freedom, and cited an example: “A murderer has a knife in his hand; a doctor has a scalpel. The scalpel in the hand of the doctor saves lives but the knife in the hand of a murderer risks lives and kills. Are we siding with the scalpel or the knife? If we cannot distinguish clearly and differentiate well, then we will pay its price just as in the case of the knives in the hands of ISIL; or, as in the loss of our 42 citizens in recent incidents, like the knives in [attackers’] hands.”

The president has an interesting way of rationalization. First, he associates the knife in the hand of a murderer with the scalpel of a doctor. Then he asks who you support. Well, nobody is stupid; of course everybody will side with the scalpel in the hands of a doctor. Then, what happens? “Since you support the scalpel, do not oppose the security package.”

What is the association between the two? Nobody is saying release the murderers. Homicide is not legal, is it? 

What's more, we could use the same rationalization to say the opposite: If you support the scalpel of the doctor, then do not let concerns about security violate freedoms.

So just what is going on at the moment?