Our ability to tackle problems

Our ability to tackle problems

Turkey is facing many problems regarding terrorism, its economy and its foreign policy. Under all these main chapters, there are a series of several issues. 

When Fitch downgraded Turkey’s rating, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek quoted Greek philosopher Epictetus in a tweet and said via Twitter: “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters – Epictetus.”

I have never read Epictetus and did not know about this quote, but from now on, I will never forget it. 
We really do have issues, but it is more important whether or not we are able to solve them. This applies to personal problems as well as the country’s problems. 

Do we develop rational, solution-oriented concepts, behaviors and planning when facing such problems? Or do we make the problem even more difficult with sentimental reactions? 

Even in a very monetary and numeric field like the economy, we are constantly emphasizing the “confidence” factor. This mentality issue is what matters the most. 

Because Şimşek knows this very well, he did not accuse Moody’s and Fitch, but he had warned us. 

Since 2002, during the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), a total of $600 billion has come into Turkey, which is a very good figure. The institutions were functioning very well - the ones that were formed with the 2001 reforms. The AKP government was implementing the reforms, and the EU process in particular was advancing rapidly. The management of the economy was also trusted. 

International rating agencies were upgrading Turkey’s points declaring it “an investable country.” 
As certain government spokesmen have frequently resorted to in the past years, if there was a global conspiracy against Turkey and that these institutions were attacking Turkey together with terror, then why did they provide that support at the time? 

Moreover, our own institution; The Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), has said the other day that the economic confidence index had dropped in Turkey.  

Showing economic problems as “the attack of the enemy” is populist propaganda but that would generate more distrust to the rationality of our economy management. Şimşek is staying away from this mistake.
It is not possible to regard the negative attitude of Greece about its refusal to extradite criminals involved in the July 15, 2016 coup attempt as even slightly correct. They are not even extraditing the armed activists of terror organizations, which are also considered as terror organizations by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The refusal of extradition is a shameful for Greece. 

In terms of the same conditions, it is a shame on Germany too.  

Let us look at the other side of the medallion from a “rational” point of view. Are we not playing into the hands of Athens and Berlin by supporting the death penalty chants of crowds and by publicizing torture photographs? 

Weren’t these excuses used in Athens’ refusal decision? 

I have no doubt that U.S. President Donald Trump would want to extradite Fethullah Gülen, the self-exiled Islamic preacher residing in the U.S. Legally, he also has to be extradited. But we have been seeing for days how independent the US judiciary is acting. We should avoid providing them excuses with our own statements and acts. 

In order to have the upper hand legally, we should always remember that we should define the concept of “terror” according to the laws of these countries and according to ECHR practices. 

As a result, it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.