Advanced democratic state
Providing its citizens the right to live and ensuring their security against external as well as domestic hostile elements is not of course sufficient to make a modern state a state. A state ought to be a democratic one, a status that cannot be obtained for free. Is there a difference between a state nourishing democratic values and norms, consolidating individual rights and liberties, and achieving better standards of gender equality and being a democratic state?
First of all what is a democratic state? Is it the imminent stage before the nation state dissolved? Or, is it a democratic evolution of the nation state from a patriotic, semi- or fully totalitarian and often nationalistic state bordering on racism into a new state embracing all the differences of a society as riches, and melting together all of the colors of the nation, as if it were a beautiful piece of water marbling, with all colors visible yet functioning as pieces of an inseparable whole. Or is it in fact an undeclared form of federation or even confederation detrimental to the notion of the nation state? Would a democratic state consolidate the integrity of a nation, or would it speed up its disintegration with the venomous spread of micro-nationalism?
There appear to be some remarkable differences, then, between a country with advanced democratic norms and values and a country that is transforming into a democratic state; indeed, very much like the Democratic Republic of Germany in Cold War times. Having “democratic” in the name of a state does not mean much, if there is no democracy in the everyday life of that country.
Turkey’s absolute ruler and his clan may not wish to concede this point but it was the democratic advances of the secular Turkish Republic that made it possible for their party to come to power through elections. However if the secular republic is turned into some sort of a country ruled by a semi-God pharaoh, whatever economic, political and perhaps regional and global strategic advances it may have achieved, the end result will not be sustainable and unfortunately will be rather painful for everyone.
The foremost target that has to be attained for the wellbeing of the entire nation is the preservation of the right to disagree, or to put it in other words, the preservation of the distinct colors on the huge water-marbling of the nation. If in this country some people are becoming targets of one attack from one religious sect just because those people subscribe to a minority religious sect, if the doors of an ethnic, religious or political minority are marked, then having $10,000 or more in per-capita income, a lower unemployment rate than the most economically advanced countries, or the number of times each week the prime minister talks on the phone with the American president (while he holds a baseball bat) just become irrelevant.
In this “advanced democracy” fundamental democratic values have begun to vanish. Hatred and enmity are spreading. People have started talking about “us” and “them.” Why? Because the administration of the country sees political benefit in pursuing “tension politics,” as was has most recently been seen from the crazy statements of two leading ruling-party deputies and the prime minister’s utter silence on the issue. At a time when the era of semi-God pharaohs is over even in Egypt, Turkey should realize it is high time to take off this dirty shirt.