Thursday, September 06, 2007
An open letter to the Turkish military
I consider Mustafa Akyol as a good friend. I don't always agree with his statements, especially regarding Intelligent Design. But for sure, he has the courage to speak openly and write in a witty way. Graduated as a Master in Political Science, he became a journalist. One of the few who commit himself to resourcefulness: "where there's a will, there's a way" person. When a journalist hits a brick wall while chasing down a story, he or she needs to have the kind of mind that can quickly come up with new avenues to try. That's Mustafa.
Below his last column, run in today's Turkish Daily News.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
By Mustafa AKYOL
We Turks have been through quite a political turmoil in the past five months, which escalated especially with your famous “secularism warning” that appeared on your official Web site on the night of Apr. 27. Since then, Turkey had a very tense and nervous election campaign, held a very popular election, and elected a new president. The widespread hope is that we have come out of the crisis, have passed the political bottleneck, and are heading toward a more normal period. I very much share that optimism, but I also think that we have to reflect on what just happened in our country, and draw some lessons.
Moreover, I think we can't do that unless we engage in a mutually respectful dialogue. That's why, as a concerned citizen, I wanted to share with you my humble views about the role of your institution in our country.
Don't be a player in politics.
First of all I should say that, like virtually all Turks, I am proud to have a strong military that supports our nation against potential threats. We live in a dangerous neighborhood, and it is a must to have a stalwart, well disciplined and brave Armed Forces like the one you command. There is no question about that. However there are some questions about your role in Turkey's internal politics. There is a widespread opinion in this country, and in the world, that you are a player in our nation's political matters, and that you take sides between different political views and parties. The prevalent rumor is that you especially don't like the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP), and our new president, Mr. Abdullah Gül.
Continue reading here.