When the Turkish PM is sick

When the Turkish PM is sick

BELGİN AKALTAN - belgin.akaltan@hdn.com.tr
When the Turkish PM is sick

The bikini-clad woman at Taksim has a negative effect on the PM’s health. DHA photo

This is a true story of Turkey. Read it until the end.

There were rumors that the prime minister of Turkey was sick, that his health was too bad for him to fulfill his duties and make rational decisions. There was some kind of democracy at that time in Turkey; the media was free and journalists were not afraid or restrained to openly express their ideas, write their comments.

Thus the media was filled with comments on the PM’s health. There were many signs of his deteriorating health. He was a respected, loved politician for years; millions following and adoring him but his insistence to rule the country while he was sick made him lose almost all of his credibility.

When the media was focusing on his health problems, the PM himself was refusing all, saying he was in perfect health. During a press conference at Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport prior a trip to the United States, he said he wanted to congratulate a national holiday, the Victory Day of August 30 in advance (Aha, yes, Turkish readers over 30 just clicked) because he would be abroad on that day. Everybody was shocked. The date was September 29. Victory Day was a month ago.

Yes, I’m telling you about Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit in the year 1999. He was leading a coalition, the 57th government made up of DSP, MHP and ANAP. (Look them up; I don’t have space to explain them to you – actually this explanation has taken up more space.)

In the days, weeks and months to come Ecevit never accepted he was sick. He was hospitalized on and off, had good times but all in all not his sickness but his denial of his sickness caused countless miseries to this country.

Now, would you kindly laugh here? The reason: this is supposed to be a non-political, entertaining column. I can’t do it every week; so help me. Just pretend this is humorous, at least giggle. Thank you.
On April 2000 and on July 5, 2001, word went out that the prime minister died, causing fluctuations in the markets. It was the first days of 2002; just before another trip to the U.S., the PM looked younger and energetic. They said it was after a successful three months of treatment. (Just occurred – why are the bloody markets so ungrateful and slippery? Don’t they have feelings? Why do they stab a country in the back at all times? Besides, another thing has also occurred – Why on earth do Turkish prime ministers visit the US so often? Right, left, conservative, new, old, before, after, nationalist, ultranationalist, they all pass through THAT turnstile called the US. I would very much like to see/visit THAT part of the US.)

Now, please laugh here, again. Thank you, indeed.

After months of inconvenient incidents, Ecevit withdrew from active politics on May 22, 2004. He died on November 2006 after six months in a coma. What happened next? I’ll tell you at the end of the piece.

A tremendous article on the current psychology of our current prime minister was posted on an internet site the other day. This female writer, a former prime ministerial reporter, had written another equally tremendous piece about the “cannibalistic arrogance” of the PM and she lost her job next day. That’s why I am hesitant to directly quote her, give her name or cite the website.

She claimed that Erdoğan’s mood was increasingly darkening and withdrawn. He was a person who was not reading, was not using the internet and was fed by his wife and daughter about soap operas on TV. He also does not speak a foreign language and has developed a superiority complex that does not allow him to listen to experts with the confrontational attitude of “are you going to teach me? Me?”
She also pointed out that Erdoğan was isolated beyond imagination. His stance of making all decisions alone, rejecting the existence of different ideas and initiatives, his exclusionist, terrifying, arrogant and derogatory approaches have embittered everybody near him.

Contrary to general assumption, there is no advisor near Erdoğan that would advise him this way or that way. Erdoğan does not grant the power of advising to his advisors. That kind of an initiative is deemed disrespectful by him or overstepping the mark. Many advisors who have taken up the position trusting their wisdom and knowledge would make a contribution in a short time have turned into people carrying his bag, and in the long term were either distanced or they have quit. There is an “advisors’ dumpsite” surrounding Erdoğan, she claimed.

Here, laugh again; if you cannot laugh, then think of the Gezi Park resister who was asking for TOMA, the police water cannon, because he hadn’t showered for days…

Why am I telling you about the past sickness of a PM and an alleged current condition? Because of the aftermath of the first PM sickness. The 57th government called for early elections. A new political formation emerged. The political map of Turkey changed entirely. All the coalition parties lost the election and were out of parliament. Ecevit later called it political suicide. AKP came to power, the Justice and Development Party of Erdoğan’s. They have been in power for 10 years. So, maybe, a new political formation is at the corner and the political map of Turkey will change...

Now a final laugh, please. That shouldn’t be too hard for you. Shower, TOMA, alcohol, shoes, mosque, CHaP, bikini, women stepping out of the Kadıköy ferry...

Also, do not forget to add to your comments how funny this piece was…

I know; I know… This all sounds very much like the democracy in Turkey: artificial…