Anger in politics
Unfortunately, there was a deadly clash in the southeastern district of Suruç.
The armed clash broke out when a delegation led by İbrahim Halil Yıldız, an MP from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), was visiting local shopkeepers in the Suruç neighborhood.
Four were killed, including Yıldız’s brother and nine were injured in the armed clash in Suruç on June 14, days before the upcoming elections.
I extend condolences and wish fortitude to the families of those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to those wounded in this clash.
The Şanlıurfa Chief Prosecutor Office has announced three public prosecutors were assigned to probe whether there was any terror dimension in this deadly clash.
I hope this bloodshed will not repeat again.
Let’s go back to Sep. 30, 1918. It was just one month before the signing of Armstice of Mudros in 1918, marking the defeat of the six-century old Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I.
The state was falling apart. Grand Vizier Talat Pasha addressed the members of the Party Union and Progress (İttihat ve Terakki Partisi) in a parliamentary meeting. He was in deep sorrow.
Fethi Okyar, an Istanbul MP who was famous for his high political moral standards, climbed the podium and made a speech: “A series of key mistakes, which were made by some actors intentionally or unintentionally, has dragged our people into today’s unfortunate conditions.”
He wanted the party to end its political life, as he thought any negotiation by this party with the victorious states of the war would lead to further disastrous outcomes.
Okyar was therefore accused of treason to the party by some of the most partisan party figures.
His response to such accusers was of great importance: “Still partisanship? Are you serious?”
Talat Pasha agreed with him.
The language of anger
During the War of Independence, one of the key domestic strategies of Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) and his friends was not to allow any “unionist” (ittihatçı) shadow over the Defense of Rights Movement, a patriotic league formed in Anatolia and in Thrace in 1918 after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI. The rise of this shadow would have delivered a blow to any efforts to maintain a national union or to negotiate with Europe’s peace bidders.
However, the “revolutionist language” in the one-party period adopted an angry voice.
Both the government and the opposition parties of those times had dramatically angry discourses to each other, fueling disastrous social clashes.
Such evil discourses and actions continued in the 1970s, after the end of the one-party period.
Polarization is risky
Polarization and mutual anger pose big risks.
We all need to agree to act together against violence and terror.
We immediately need to stop angry language for the sake of calm language.