The government sure needs credits
At a time when the government has decided to undertake a new Kurdish opening – this time not one hidden from the Turkish public but a semi-transparent one for a change – there is an absolute need to cultivate understanding, tolerance and goodwill in Turkish society. It is important to make everyone believe that this is not the time to use arms previously set aside or even a language of enmity, hatred and antilogy. These are not the times of lofty rhetoric or nationalist humdrum.
These cannot be the times of tension politics and yelling at all adversaries in premeditated aggression. Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s remark that his party “opened a credit” to the government’s latest Kurdish opening was one befitting the needs of the time. Unfortunately, the prime minister raising the back of his hand to the “credit” opened by the CHP and scorning the main opposition party, saying, “Who are the CHP to open a credit for us, they are in need of credit,” demonstrates the insincerity of the premier. A leader sincere in making such a serious opening like talking directly with a terrorist chieftain must be able to embrace the need to establish the widest possible national consensus behind the process. For the latest opening, if antagonism remains the jargon, if arrogance remains the style and if a grandiose complex remains the identity, the destination cannot be anywhere but absolute failure once again.
Even the diehard opponents of the prime minister, in full awareness of the existential importance of a resolution on the separatist terrorism and Kurdish problem issues for the Turkish state, have been declaring one after the other that they have opened “credit” to the government’s risky new endeavors for peace. Very much like what the AKP’s Deputy Chairman Hüseyin Çelik said the other day, the combined strength of the AKP and CHP is over 75 percent. Could there be a higher national consensus than 75 percent in a democracy? If the CHP is lending support to the AKP on an issue, the ruling party should not have the luxury of scorning such precious support.
After all, an AKP that has the support of almost one in every two Turks engaging in consensus-seeking behavior and aligning with the CHP to produce a 75 percent electoral support behind any government undertaking would be one befitting democracy, if not an advanced one. Majoritarianism and pluralism are two different concepts. Through majoritarianism norms of democracy, headed by freedom of expression and the culture of reconciliation, could be victimized most easily. However, only through pluralism can democracy flourish in a country, provided other institutions of democracy headed by supremacy of law exist as well.
His advisors must urge the premier that for success in the latest drive to end separatist terrorism and Kurdish issues, the government badly needs any credit that might be opened by any political group.