How many of us see it this way I have no idea but I tend to believe that there ought to be at least two different forms of apocalypse: One is concerning humanity and the other is a very individual one. Which is bigger? Of course the closer the apocalypse is, it gets bigger and the biggest ought to be the individual one…

Death is not an easy subject to write about, unlike birth, it is a natural phenomenon and as it is said in holy books that death is a natural consequence of life and all living beings “will taste it.” Still, there are timely and untimely deaths. Who decides whether a death was timely or untimely? Often people pray for “death to come by order.” Who knows what the order is? Could a two-year-old toddler come before a 90-year-old suffering from Alzheimer’s?

Could the people who gathered to celebrate the New Year in a nightclub in Istanbul, for example, be in an order to death? How could Islamist assailants know or decide whose turn has come for death? Unfortunately, the definite and absolute is the bare reality that the assassin – so far there is no official disclosure on whether the assailant was alone, or had how many culprits – mercilessly grabbed from life and brought the apocalypse of at least 39 people.

Was there sufficient intelligence? As has become the trend nowadays, did the United States inform Turkey about such an intelligence? The interior minister confirmed there was intelligence that there would be an attack in Turkey on New Year’s Eve. Where? That could not be established. Well, I’ve lost count of the many times I wrote about it but is it not about time to overhaul the intelligence network of this country? Is it not obvious to everyone that netting academics, intellectuals, journalists or anyone critical of the tenant of the extravagant palace may serve to save the head (political) of the intelligence chief, but since a long time the agency has become a total hopeless case.

Was it not a tragicomedy that a journalist, who dared to write a book – that was not published at the time – on the structure of Gülenists in state institutions, was deprived of his freedom for more than a year just five years ago is now back in prison on grounds he was making Gülenist propaganda? There are at least 144 journalists in prison. The chairs and deputies of this country’s third biggest party have been in prison since November while parliament has been in the process of granting super presidential powers to the presidential power. 

At one of the most prominent, and indeed symbolic, places in Istanbul, on New Year’s Eve, despite an intelligence said that a major attack from an Islamist gang was highly possible, 39 people became innocent preys of terrorism. Can we leave this heinous development behind with some lofty statements that the assailant (or assailants) would be brought to justice? Besides, if how many assailants carried the dastard attack could not be established, is it possible to understand how someone or a group of assailants could stage such a mass massacre and vanish in thin air? And our interior minister and top polices are still saying the assailants would be soon apprehended and brought to justice. Does it not appear as a very bad joke?

2017 should not have started with such a pain. But, if Turkey is to go through a referendum on giving President Erdoğa, the elected sultan, powers he has been demanding, can this country escape a surge in tension? Polarizing and dividing the country and consolidating his power base with such a dreadful act of political hypocrisy has been the style proved to be effective in Turkey.

Though we may want not to hear about it but it is unfortunately not fortune telling to say that Turkey is prone to far more and bigger acts of violence as the referendum date approaches. Not only the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) separatist gang, but poetical Islamists of all sorts, including Gülenists as well as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) may continue their campaign to turn Turkey into a fireplace. The more Turkey continues its war in Syria, the more it will become the target of terrorism.

On the other hand, if the constitutional amendment fails, Turkey will go to early elections this summer. Such a vote would be preceded with a merciless campaign against the Gülenists in the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). If the amendment is accepted in parliament, the referendum campaign will be very aggressive and after the vote irrespective of the result there will again be a fight within the AKP against the Gülenists and then a parliamentary election.

Both terrorist attacks that might produce indignation in the society and suicide attacks against prominent people and aimed at producing deficiency in governance cannot be ruled out for Turkey in 2017. On the other hand, depending on the policies to be pursued by the new U.S. administration, the plunge in the value of the Turkish Lira against the U.S. dollar may continue in 2017. An economic crisis might bring destabilization to Turkey.