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    Which is the keystone?

    Güven Sak, PhD09 June 2009 - Okunma Sayısı: 1175


    In the past, news about the Amazon region was seen in dailies. The news that always reflected the usual Western arrogance read "There is a new tribe in the Amazon which is no civilized at all and which does not know what goes on in the external world".  Have you ever wondered how such a life would be? But there is no need to wonder, we all have already been living such a life. Indeed, this is valid at least since 2006. What would an alien observer group evaluating the life on out blue planet would think when it visited Turkey after wondering around a little bit? They would need to carry out comprehensive studies on our social organization. Don't you think that we are gradually turning into a living form "who does not have time to service as the time is spent to win the elections to service"? We think we are. Rulers "do not have time to service as the time is spent to win the elections to service" and this phenomenon gets deeper and deeper. I guess election-based thinking is not necessarily beneficial. At least this is what applies for Turkey nowadays.

    We are going through a period where the world is reshaping. And this reshaping has not one but several dimensions each of which is a particular concern to us. In this period, it is not possible that the things going around in the external world do not affect us. What we will encounter tomorrow will be determined by the steps we take today. So, what are we doing today? We are waiting. Are we waiting as we expect some certain thing to happen? No, we don't.  As we don't know what to do, we are waiting doing nothing. We are aware that the problems will not wait for us. But we go on waiting anyway. Just like we did in 1990s and before 1980s. In short, it is a boring situation.

    There are a series of trends around us that shapes the life. The global crisis is the first among these trends. As you see, however, since the global crisis started to affect the Turkish economy, i.e. since August 2008, we preferred to pretend that such a crisis does not exist. We have not introduced the measures to tackle the crisis until recently. We did not start to attack against the crisis until it is too late.

    Then, where did the static attitude of Turkey last year toward the global crisis originate from? It is quite simple: The elections were on the way. We did not even have the chance to discuss the global economic crisis with enjoyment. We did not address the steps to be taken; we did not focus on the measures at all. We lost 2009 bad. We do not know how 2010 will be. And 2011 is a concern for the administration not because of the question "how the global economy will be shaped" but around the question "how can we win the elections?" That this "deep" "commitment to service" does not generate creative results considering the solution of problems gives clues about the handiness of the administration. See, Lula in Brazil performs better considering the efforts to the same end.

    President of the United States of America (USA) Obama gave a speech in Cairo last week. The second main trend that will shape our lives in the near future originates from the USA. Obama proved that he is persistent in terms of the issues he underlined during his visit to Turkey. What did he say? He said for the sake of the world civilization established over a millennium, Islamic geography must be made a world citizen. There is no news here. Honorable President of Turkey has repeated this several times since he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Organization of life here in the eastern part of the world must start to be in concordance with the norms of the age. In the context of this vision, Obama brought forward a change in style.  He announced everyone that the "We will come there and make you civilized" approach was left and "Let's come together and built a new world" approach is embraced. He went beyond this and officially and explicitly announced that the rule inferring a hundred percent harmony with the Israeli government, which applied during the term of the previous administration, no longer applied in his term. The first test whether or not the change in approach is limited to words will possibly be carried out in Palestine. Let's wait and see.

    Obama put forth the dream of a world of partnership. In Istanbul, apart from these, he emphasized the role Turkey can assume in integrating the Islam geography into the world and world economy. The country that will undertake this role must have no doubt that she is an indispensible part of the world civilization. Moreover, she should be aware that she should integrate into the norms that technical civilization is based on. On the other hand, we have been procrastinating in the European Union path since 2006. AKP (Justice and Development Party) has failed to show performance as is solely trying to remain in power. We have been skidding in the European Union process. We have no idea what to do.

    The European Parliament elections held last week proved that things will not be easy in the forthcoming period. It seems that the elections were won by the parties of leaders which did not be a great help for us, Merkel and Sarkozy. Under these circumstances, Turkey now needs more than the past a meaningful action plan. It appears that the global crisis will strengthen the parties on power in Europe that are market economy proponents. At a glance, this is not advantageous for Turkey. But, wait. We just need to reshape the European Union strategy of Turkey around this fact. What matters is to have a strategy.

    But, why does Turkey appear to not have a strategy? First reason can be exogenous. We are surrounded by a process still at the formation phase.  Just as the Communist Manifesto says, we are going through a period where "all that is solid melts into air". This is true. But we believe there is a second reason. In Arabic, the foundation stone of the buildings is named "hacer-ül-esas"; i.e. "the keystone". And so as to establish solid a strategy, the "keystone" must be located first. Economic measures that must be implemented, the EU process, Turkey-USA relations, Kurdish issue, Cyprus issue, etc. are all secondary. What do you think is the keystone that mast be located first so that other stones will fit right? In our consideration, it is the timing of the general elections. The rest is of no worth. This is how it seems here.

    We had a purpose to say the situation resembles 1990s and pre-1980s.


    This commentary was published in Referans daily on 09.06.2009