Just another ‘ordinary’ day
Sunday was just like any other day in Turkey. The prime minister was somewhere else, advising some people about how they should behave in their bedrooms. The foreign minister was at a closed-door forum in Istanbul, “tranquilizing” his deep instinct to lecture. The interior minister, defense minister, the minister in charge of weeping, the special top commander and other commanders and the opposition leaders were at the funeral of some of the victims of the recent Afyon blast. Elsewhere, in 20 other Turkish towns, people were participating in the funerals of other victims. It was unfortunately the turn of the eastern town of Bitlis to send a casualty report to Ankara: A police minibus was ambushed by terrorists; eight policemen lost their lives, scores were wounded… And, of course the military announced that operations were continuing in some parts of the southeastern border area with Syria or Iraq and the number of terrorists killed in the latest sweep had reached 127.
On the newspaper pages a discussion over alleged military support from Turkey’s Islamists for Syria’s Islamists continues, between both the executives of the ruling Islamist party and the opposition parties and the penslingers on both sides. Was Turkey indeed sending ambulances with weapons and ammunition to Syria’s Islamic Brothers? Was Turkey providing military training to the Syrian rebels? What was the number of CIA and other intelligence service agents operating in Hatay, the gateway to the Syrian civil war?
In Istanbul, some 50 journalists were claimed to have been sacked from what used to be a staunchly pro-government newspaper, which has now come fully under the control of Fethullah Gülen’s Muslim brotherhood network. Some pundits claimed the war of domination that culminated in and became exposed to the public via the MİT interrogation controversy and the intestinal problems of the prime minister were not over at all. On the contrary, they claimed the brotherhood retreated briefly because it did not want to confront the government head on, but has not withdrawn from the fight.
Sunday was just one of those ordinary days: grief, greed, grinning and ambiguity.
Turkey has developed an extraordinary knack for official funeral services. No other country could challenge this country’s championship in that area. If not every day, every other day there is an official funeral service at one of the country’s many mosques. Is that why the number of mosques has long exceeded the number of schools in this country?
The five-year-olds were recruited last Monday; today the remainder of Turkish children will be recruited to schools to be educated in how to become good Muslims. Yet, this nation is not all Muslim. And not all Muslims subscribe the Sunni Hanefi sect. But what’s wrong with learning the philosophy and tenets of the Sunni Hanefi school of religion? After all, even if a boy or girl comes from a Catholic family, since s/he is and will be living in a predominantly and increasingly more Islamic Sunni society, what’s wrong with teaching him or her the tenets of Sunni Islam? Or, if the girl or boy is an Alevi, what’s wrong with teaching him or her the Sunni version of Muslim culture? In any event, the current Islamist team has the majority in Parliament, and consensus should not be interpreted as the majority succumbing to the minority. They have the majority of seats, and others should establish consensus with what the majority wants. Isn’t that democracy? Anyway, that’s what the leader of that majority wants us to believe. He of course has that right, doesn’t he?
It was a typical Turkish Sunday, wasn’t it?