Empty words

Empty words

I watched Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım’s parliamentary group speech on TV. He felt the need to silence the crowd, who were cheering and chanting slogans from the boxes every now and then. He said, “Allow me to explain myself and then you are free to cheer as much as you wish.” He had done this a couple of more times in his previous speeches. 

Can you see how enthusiasm and empty words and slogans create an environment that has no tolerance for listening to explanations and how it blocks explanations? 

Only after the prime minister was able to silence the party audience was he able to deliver his speech including figures and projects. However, while he was talking, the enthusiasm level dropped.

The angry and hateful speeches, the calls for political wars in all political parties, create such a huge enthusiasm that the enchanted supporters become almost ecstatic. Epic words, hostility and polarization all feed each other. For this reason, not only does our political life lose quality while our issues become deeper, but extreme sentiments and confrontational behavior become dominant.  

As a matter of fact, the first rule of rational action is to be able to see and evaluate the results of the steps you take. 

The issues we have been dragged into in foreign policy are more than adequate to see where heroism and empty words take us. Problems in our relations with the West are increasing; attempts to recover relations with Russia are in vain. Assuming that enthusiasm, heroism and challenging everyone were “the policies of a great state” was by itself logically wrong. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not do that.

We have been dragged into such isolation in the Middle East that recently we have started to remember the rule of “increasing your friends, decreasing your foes.” 

Historian Şükrü Hanioğlu wrote recently that during the second constitutionalist period, the Islamist and nationalist movements had a high intellectual level. When compared to that, the state seen in today’s Islamists and nationalists was an “intellectual shallowness of gigantic dimensions.” 

Well, the agenda ahead of Turkey is not education reform, but to build a military barracks on Gezi Park. It is a new political confrontation agenda that will elevate the mutual heroism discourse and tensions. 

A very simple and symbolic example could be that former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had conducted a very warm meeting with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron in London five months ago. He had thanked (Jan. 18) the U.K. for its support for Turkey regarding the EU. 

True, the U.K. and Cameron had always supported Turkey. 

But now, by saying that Turkey will not become an EU member until the year 3,000, Cameron is trying to calm down the opponents of the EU. The reason for this is our failure on matters such as democracy, law and freedoms, as well as the rising extreme right in the West using this to campaign against Turkey. 

The same West, until four or five year ago, was praising the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) governments to the skies, was showing Turkey to the Islamic world as an example of democracy and law.
The government was talking the EU language then and was rapidly processing EU harmonization laws. Today, on the other hand, it is processing “flattening the justice system” laws. 

Of course, the West should support our fight against terror; of course, Western tourists should visit our country. But we should see that the solution does not lie in heroism and accompanying empty words, but in moderation and rational policies.