Everyone leaves a legacy behind.
The trace you leave in people's hearts after you pass away from this world is your legacy. Every politician and every leader leaves a legacy for the nation. The leaders will either enter people's hearts or have a distance with this legacy. No power can remove or change the place of a leader who had entered people's hearts.
The most dramatic example of our political history is Adnan Menderes. After being overthrown with the May 27 Coup D'état, he had been discredited in the media, courts and politics for years. Afterwards, they executed him. However, nothing managed to change his special place in the nation's heart. Menderes had such a legacy that the nation took him off the execution chair and buried him in their hearts.
Evren's legacy to a child
Now, we are discussing the legacy of Kenan Evren. We are talking about the real legacy, other than the official expression and history, he left in our hearts. Everyone is reminiscing over their share of Evren's legacy and sharing it.
On the morning of September 12, 1980, I was on my way to the shop to buy bread. I was 11 years old, and of course, oblivious to the coup and recent incidents. On my way, military buses and soldiers with guns confronted me suddenly. They were angry at me and they sent me back home. I was so scared.
Because of the rumors, my family was also worried. They were going to search houses, and if they find any weapons, they were going to take the residents away. The things said about the place they take people were formidable. At night, family members made a decision; the Caucasian Dagger and the small antique handgun of our deceased father would be thrown into the swamp close to our house and thus be destroyed. The decision was carried out. These two items were the only heritage of our father and we lost them due to the fear of the military coup. I remember how I felt sorry for that dagger and small antique handgun for years. The only legacy left behind by Evren to a child, to me, was the fear of military and being deprived of memories of loved ones.
Now, lists of Evren's legacy are being published everywhere. The executed people, imprisoned people, lost people, tortured people… The more I watch the process of Sisi's coup in Egypt today, the better I understand about what Evren did to our country.
For years, he remained in power as a coupist general or President. The whole media was under his control. In order to make his coup legitimate, he even altered the history books. However, he couldn't change his place in the nation's mind and memory ever. Evren bludgeoned the crawling democracy, timid national willpower and naïve freedom of a country with tanks. This was his legacy.
Özal; the legacy that designates the future of politics
I wonder, what was the thing that made Özal look cute after Evren? Was it because he was such a darling, or was cheerful or his sweet way of talking with a pen in his hand? Maybe all of them.
I was 14 years old when Özal came to power. He had so many enemies and people that discredited him in the media that we were left so surprised; how come this darling man and the man columnists write about be the same person? The ones who speak of him with hatred are still columnists, editors or journalists today.
Özal surprised all of us; I guess that's what I liked the most. He used to talk about things that are unimaginable. He used to say internet, computer and step into new age…. He used to talk about the Great Wall of China, a country that expands till the Adriatic Sea, a vision. We couldn't comprehend any of that. He used to say, let's conduct the votes through electronic ballot boxes and change this primitive voting system; they used to say “he might cross connect the cables and direct the votes his way”.
He used to say, let's sell the shares of the bridge and make new bridges; Demirel used to hug the leg of the bridge and shout out, “I won't let the bridge be sold”. He used to say, let's resolve the Kurdish issue, and, Evren used to land his punch from above.
In summary, we couldn't understand Özal. We couldn't understand his broad horizon and foresight. The ones, who used to praise Evren, discredited Özal. However, throughout ten years what Özal did had changed the faith of the country. Özal taught us about democracy, national willpower, opening up to the world, thinking bigger and Sckriss pen.
In 1993, I was at his funeral in Istanbul. I was watching from the corner. The nation protested the funeral march, which was played due to this being an official government ceremony, and started shouting “Allahuekber”. His funeral was carried by people. I've never forgotten the banner I've seen there; “Civil, Religious, Democrat President”. This slogan was the legacy of Özal that designated the future of Turkish politics.
Özal's legacy had been dragged down by Demirel, Mesut Yılmaz, Tansu Çiller, Devlet Bahçeli and coalition governments. Only four years after Özal's death, the post-modern version of the military coup, which we thought would never happen again, had been actualized. The country suddenly returned to Evren's coup days. On February 28th, tanks bludgeoned our economic wealth, democracy, naïve freedom and timid national will, like Evren did.
In ten years after Özal's death the country was beat up. Then, we understood Özal's value. In 2002, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stepped up to the political scene. Like Özal, in a short time he became the single rulership with the party he established and suddenly the faith of the country changed. Erdoğan closed the 10-year parenthesis, which had been opened after Özal, and had taken over Özal's legacy.
Today, no matter how angry they are at him, or, no matter how much he is criticized or no matter how much his actions are being argued over; when you look justly, you can see that Erdoğan left us a completely different legacy, not only to us, but to the whole Islam world. Erdoğan taught us how to raise our heads, get rid of our loser and hung-up mood and once again look with the emperorship view. In the future, like Özal, we will understand Erdoğan better.
They will destroy the legacy
Now I'm looking at the people who are talking about coalition scenarios in the elections. These are the active journalists of the coalition periods which continued between Mesut Yılmaz, Tansu Çiller, Ecevit and Devlet Bahçeli and which ruined the country after Özal. They are the same people who discredited Özal, praised Evren, praised Çiller and caused the country to hit the rock bottom. They are now living with the coalition dreams.
Like Italy did, we need to make legal alterations that will remove the possibility of coalitions. It's not that I think AK Party will receive less votes. In this country, the possibility of coming to power with a coalition is stirring up all kinds of games, conspiracies and seditions. Believe me, this opposition, media and the capital that supports them will ruin this country's legacy of democracy in a short time with coalitions. Thus, precautions should be taken.