Monday, July 30, 2007

Not wise

Before even the new Turkish Parliament is installed, the Turkish army made a new threat.
In my opinion: not wise.
If now someone else than Gül will be candidate, then everybody will think: 'because of the army'.
Anyway lets see. In my opinion a strict neutral person must be president. I don't like the principle of 'the winner takes it all'.

Here the statement:

Top general: President must be secular -- Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt renewed Monday evening his call for the next president to be a committed secularist, reviving a debate with the Islamist-rooted ruling party over their candidate. “The views of the Turkish Armed Forces do not vary from day to day,” General Büyükanıt told reporters at a reception marking the Turkish Cypriot Armed Forces Day. “We are fully behind what we said on April 12,” he added, referring to a keynote address in which he said the next president must “adhere in earnest, and not just in words, to... the ideal of a secular, democratic state.” “We said what we said with conviction,” the top general told reporters when asked whether he stood behind his comments on April 12 insisting that the next president have genuine secular credentials.


Nihat said...

Is this sensational reporting or what?

Sensationalism is here. This wasn't a stand-alone redeclaration of stance, but was a commentary extracted from Buyukanit by journalists questioning him during an event unrelated with the presidential question. The line of questioning was about the relation of the April-27 e-memo and the election results. Stop and ask one of those journalists, if you know one; I anticipate him/her to concur with me on these three possible outcomes:

1) Redeclaration of stance (as it happened): Entirely predictable.

2) Saying "no comment": Surprising, refreshing.

3) Saying "we made a mistake; or, we were in the wrong": Unbelievable, miraculous.

So, it is sensational to present this under a headline: "the end of Turkey." It's no more nearer today, 10 days after the general election, than it was 10 days before the same.

Hans said...

Yes, I know 2 journalist.
Second, the question mark didn't appear in my heading. And in fact, I don't like question marks as headings at all.
But...I saw he, Mr President/general speaking.
That was enough to say: Turkey is a banana republic, under controle by the army. Neo fascism we call this.

Hans said...

Dear Nihat:

Besides all the comments, can you imagine that people of different countries in Europe are concerned made by the Turkish military?
There is also a proverb: 'Turks live by occupation'
And what about our sensitive 'Europeness', 'Dutchness', Frenchniness, Greeceness..))
He, we Europeans have a body soul
and mind as well. And we can think freely and act accordingly..!!!
The fact that these statements are made in Cyprus, show Turkish true intentions. Only, not that many countries support Turkey anymore, no friends left..((

Nihat said...

Hans, I don't think, there is any special meaning you can attach to these answers being given in Cyprus. Turkish true intentions, etc. It's a stretch, an exaggeration.

That said, I don't like our generals' talking politics. Like religion, the military too should stay out of political discourse. There seems to be an undisputed claim, repeated by many Turkish and foreign commentators alike, that there is a constitutional provision in Turkey making the military the ultimate guarantor of the Republic and its principles. I don't think that this is true. (I checked the constitution, couldn't find anything; but, I may have missed something. I am not saying it is definitely a false claim thus.) The thing is, if there was no such role codified in the constitution or other constitutionally-sanctioned laws, then political speech by the military could and should be first countered as unlawful. There would be no need to appeal to democratic principles; everybody understands unlawful, right?

I don't know, some of our laws may be objectionable (like 301). But I feel, there probably is a lot in there to remedy and remove many a headache, but they are not exercised.

Hans said...

Dear Nihat,
The statement made by B. is a blunt and a scary one.
I don't think that most Turkish people understand this message.
In fact, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India are doing better regarding economical issues than Turkey.
The EU must stop all the negotation chapters, IMF must refrain from developing funds by May 2008, and Worldbank must put a quota on export.
Ali Kubeli already showed Turkish desire to have an inbound Turkish economy, together with 'Turkish republics', altough this guy doesnt know that the EU is more friendly to Turks than this 'Turkish republics'.
Why? First hand experience...

Nihat said...

Hans, you're on a different wavelength. I'll respect your hurt Europeanness (as you put it), and not continue the debate any further. But, the fact remains, the statements ware made in April, and they were no less blunt then, than they are now. That's my point. If you're going to jump on every occasion, then your job (Turkey becoming truly European) is going to be very tough.

Nihat said...

Dear Hans,

I saw your remark at Idil's place (ignore me if you can). As I said at Emre's place, my bachelor days are over; and hopefully, you can breath easy from now on:))

Rest assured, I am not out to counter you here, or others there, for fun. I sometimes hate my condition, which I feel can be described as becoming more brainy and theoretical than practical and down-to-earth. Not being over there where the action and Turkish life is, is making me like this. And these blogs are the next best thing to being there. I am not sure if I said this before or above, but I appreciate your perspective and optimism (except when it is shattered as it did in this thread).


Hans said...

Dear Nihat,

As you 'experience' Turkey through some blogs, I do the same..))
I don't see you being critical as an attack, rather a mind opener.
I planned my article about cross cultural communication being finalized 4 weeks ago.
Now I am going to do it!
Regarding the statement: military have to refrain from maaking political statements.
But journalists have to do the same: don't ask all the time the military what 'they think'...

Nihat said...

Just as a follow-up (not to restart a polemic), here is the story of Büyükanıt's statement, as told by Yusuf Kanli of TDN who was present at the Cyprus event.

Hans said...

I read it..))
I realized that the reporters publised too quick this as a statement instead of an answer on a question. (But he had to be silent or not?)
In the end, Turkish media still are not doing their work...
Media training is a NECCESETY here....

Nihat said...

He would rather remain silent, and had tried apparently. No man is wholy iron though under such pressure. Trained diplomats and spokespersons may be an exception.

Hans said...

In the end, he communicated well, but the media not..(