The 'homeland' of the region: It is tough to govern this country

İBRAHIM KARAGÜL,  Friday 09:30, 12 June 2015
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Turkey is not only Turkey! Its borders do not just encompass Anatolia. It no longer has a national border for pursuing its economy, political perspective, power and influence. The minds and hearts of the people are too great to fit in this land. Their needs, pursuit for prosperity and fields of interest have expanded at full speed.

Each step that Turkey will take, and each decision it will make, as well as its anger, sorrow and joy, will also overflow beyond the borders of Anatolia. Turkey is now a geographical area, a region and a global actor. It is a country which goes beyond ethnic and cultural identities and it cannot be confined to narrow spaces. It is an embracing, transporting, and globalized –within its own region- country.

Turkey is the 'homeland' of the region in which we live in

It exists in Palestine's struggle for the future, the sorrow and dreams of the Egyptian people, it has almost coalesced with Syria, and it exists in the hopes of all oppressed peoples in the chaotic region created around us. From Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo and Bosnia to Yemen and South Asia, each step that this country will take, each word that it will say and each voice raised from Anatolia will have a wide range of repercussions.

It is tough to govern such a country!

With its economy and the political position it adopts, its influence on intra-European political equations, and its prestige expanding from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast, Turkey is a country which outgrows its borders. It is one of the countries which became a world-wide star in the past decade overall. Turkey has become such a star that even those who despise it were pushed to accept this fact. An exemplary model and an example of a success story in the past decade.

It is tough to govern such a country. It is impossible to re-confine it back to the borders of Anatolia when the preferences, expectations, hopes and future plans of the people have risen in such a manner. It is no longer possible to convince, please and gratify this nation with old words, old understanding of services, the old political discourse and old goals. It is difficult to govern people with empty dreams in a country where questioning and criticism is unlimitedly free, where all services and political discourse is discussed all out.

Whoever comes to power following the June 7 general elections will be faced with these fundamental truths. Success or failure will be caused by these reasons. Whichever political party has such equipment, a license to govern and a common language which surpasses borders will succeed.

It is possible to evaluate which of the coalition options will succeed from today. We will see that the parties outside of the AK Party will have serious issues and these parties, which do not even have proper governance goals, will deteriorate before even a year. We will see then that the votes given based on anger and frustration may not be permanent and that such people will not be convinced through narrow pledges and rhetoric.

None of them can govern such a country

These points should be known; hence, the panic that the common language used following the elections was to protect stability. I am sure that the party leaders which ranted and raved on the night of the elections have deeply questioned issues. This is why we are seeing a softening of the tone with regards to the tough statements made back then.

They have to soften their tone. Turkey needs a new language –outside of the language of conflict-, a sense of compromise and a language of partnership. However, beyond the language, there is a need for a culture of service administration, and skills. I am almost certain that all political parties except for the AK Party will display serious weakness, if a coalition is formed amongst them, and this will be turned into a story of failure.

The cost of this for Turkey will be extremely high. It will take years to compensate the unsuccessful experiment of a year. There is a heritage which cannot be risked to coalition cunning. You probably are also guessing how some will loutishly spend this heritage.

It should be known that there are two concepts which are emphasized in the period following the election: stability and responsibility… This stems from anxiety and fear.

If AK Party says 'don't count me in', they will be shocked

President Tayyip Erdoğan's calls for responsibility and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's approach, which is directed towards not leaving Turkey without a government, all harbor this concern. Even if it cannot form a government by itself, the AK Party –which is the strongest political circle in Turkey- moves with a deep understanding of responsibility for the country.

If the AK Party says, “I am not joining a coalition, do whatever you'd like to do”, all of them will be in a fix. Not themselves, but others could draw a direction for them. It is at that point when we will witness a poor administration which will not even last for a year. It would be okay if we just witnessed it, but we will see great losses, regression, and efforts to imprison Turkey from within again. This is what I mean by saying it is difficult to govern the country now.

The discourse of political parties prior to the elections is a significant example of hopelessness. It consists of a narrow, partisan, and is shaped with personal calculations, while it lacks the ideology of a great Turkey and even falls short of understanding the current scope of the country. This is the greatest danger ahead of us. However, it will be seen that the policies geared to shrink the country will first be opposed by those who voted for those parties. Hopelessness, lack of solutions and sound administrative skills will first be judged by the bases of those parties.

You, too, will mobilize MİT trucks

The leader of main opposition Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu says, “I will send the Syrians back.” You can't. You cannot specify a stance by only attributing legitimacy to Assad in this region of chaos. You cannot play with the genes of this humongous economy. They will not allow you to make deep changes to Turkish foreign policy, you won't succeed. It does not seem possible for those without having the economic understanding of the third bridge project, let alone new investments or to complete the existing projects. Those who attack the government through the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) trucks will have to organize MİT campaigns, and will interfere with even more anger against those who expose these campaigns.

We are a country which builds military bases outside of Turkey. Within two years, the region will face a deep disintegration and conflict. Which of these parties have the capacity and thought to overcome this? The only thing they'll do is become withdrawn, move away from everything, and cut their ties with everyone. The same way they had done during the history of the Republic. But it is no longer possible to mount the country which does not fit into the previous borders to its old place. What will you do then?

There is a need for strong political administrations. Because there is a Turkey which goes beyond the secrets of Anatolia. It is difficult to sustain such a country with the old administration styles. Davutoğlu's statement, when he said, “A government without the AK Party will turn the country into Syria, Iraq”, is meaningful. He indicates the danger which is approaching. The chaos geography is being served into Turkey step by step. The next step of this is internal conflict, and a Middle-Eastern type chaos. The Turkey portion of regional conflict over identities will be carried out this way.

A new victory for the AK Party

The language highlighted by President Erdoğan following the elections must be paid attention to. I sense a deep responsibility and concern in his words. I read the anxiety for Turkey, which goes beyond the AK party, and its own existence. It is enough to take a look at countries around us which had been destroyed by economic crises and identity wars.

Yes, we need a unifying and all-encompassing language. We need production, renewal and strength more than conflict. Erdoğan and Davutoğlu pioneer this language for now. If the others are defeated by spite and anger and embark on a quest which will exclude the AK Party, an astounding failure awaits them, while an extraordinary victory awaits the AK Party. They also know that the AK Party would receive at least five more percent if there were elections today. This is why the business world pushes for a coalition to be formed between the AK Party and the CHP.

A party which is the backbone of Turkey has various options. If the coalition does not work out, early polls will bring victory for sure. A coalition without AK Party is a disaster; it means that those parties will vanish and there will be a great loss for Turkey, destruction and will not last for more than a year.

The concern is for this short period. They have a great and strong country before them, which their dreams cannot even reach. The failure to govern such a country will mean the bankruptcy of the parties and that country. This is what the deep concern in Erdoğan's words is about, and the concern in Davutoğlu's efforts.

That parenthesis will be closed

Whatever happens, nobody can turn this country into its old state, reduce it or confine it to its borders. Nobody can take these people away from the Syrian people, the feelings of the Egyptian people, the people's interest in the region, and its global challenge.

While history had started to normalize after a century, nobody will have the power to change the direction of this.

Turkey will continue to be a country in the region, shape its own region, and be a center country in the global power map. The hundred-year long war of independence will be completed and that parenthesis will be closed.

No longer do the parties shape the country, but the country's power shapes political movements, and gives it direction and position. This is the source of the power. Everyone who does not adjust themselves according to this power will lose.

Both Turkey and our people are standing up straight.

#İbrahim Karagül
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