My country, my President - KEMAL ÖZTÜRK

My country, my President

There are some moments when you have high expectations of your country and the people who rule it. These are generally moments of crisis.

Now, I feel like we are in a that kind of moment.

The Khashoggi murder has become a crisis not just for Turkey but for the whole world. I have been getting a lot of questions from many journalists from across the globe.

But the most impressive one was a question I got in a live broadcast on Al Jazeera, from a Saudi journalist who was critical of the Saudi regime:

The issue foreign journalists are curious about

“The Saudis were silencing everyone with their money in the past. We fear that they could cover up this murder by signing trade agreements with Turkey. Then, all the dissidents who currently live in your country will be in danger.”

I replied by saying, “Even if we starve to death, Turkey can’t be silenced with money. Whoever this murder leads to, regardless of its consequences, we will not let it go.” This was an expectation of course. By that moment, Erdogan had not spoken about the issue yet.

Later, I read and listened to the same concern from many people.

I informed the presidential staff and state authorities about this issue.

Yesterday I knew that everyone who had some questions about this issue were listening to Erdogan very carefully. So was I. While everybody was expecting to learn something about the location of the body, I was expecting him to give a message to the world that this case can never be covered up.

Strong message from Erdoğan to the world: They will pay the price

And, Erdoğan in his speech, which was powerful, made without any hesitation and showed his competence in diplomacy and politics, said that Turkey could never be bought, and that he would not stop until he finds out whoever has given the order of this murder:

“This kind of an investigation of such a critical matter should be led by a truly impartial and just committee. The co-conspirators from other countries should also be included in the investigation. Turkey is following up on this matter and will make sure that international law is implemented…

“The conscience of mankind will only be satisfied once everyone, from the one who gave the order to those who implemented it, is held to account before the law…”

At that moment I was proudly thinking “This is my President, this is my country.” I am sure it wasn’t just me, but the oppressed and persecuted of the world as well as those who took refuge in our country were probably moved to tears.

Let’s add here what Erdogan didn’t say but what I read between the lines: “Those who conducted this murder have been caught red-handed. Now, this is the time to pay the price. Prince Salman, those who helped him, his co-conspirators in the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Egypt and the U.S. will pay the price too. Willingly or unwillingly…”

A state that makes those who murdered someone, who considered our lands to be a “safe haven” and took refuge in our country, is a reassuring state to be proud of. Also, the stance of our president who rules the state, the way he manages these issues, his determination and his approach to issues related to law and conscience is another thing to be proud of.

The Khashoggi investigation is being carried out by experts

Everyone from America to Europe, from the Arab world to the nations of Asia once again saw that Turkey is an old and powerful state and that the president ruling it is acting worthy of his country.

A second issue I am proud of in this case is the team who carried out the investigation of the Khashoggi murder and dealt with the communication issues. The intelligence, diplomatic, prosecution and communication teams showed a success that made our chests swell with pride. I never looked up their names and who they were. Because I realized that there is a state mind, rationality and expert minds involved in this matter; so to say, people who are competent and capable are carrying out this investigation.

While I was talking to Ankara I coincidentally learned some of these names. I said then, “If we leave the job to the experts, and use the state mind and act cautiously, we will be successful like this.” I am also proud of these people who were involved in this case.

AK party was defending freedom just like it did in its first years

The second part of the president’s speech particularly impressed me. It suddenly took me back to the first years of the Justice and Development (AK) Party.

At that time, we were putting up a harsh fight against tutelage centers and those who wanted to confine us into old political stereotypes.

Back then, we were resisting against judicial tutelage, power centers and oligarchic bureaucracy.

We were resisting against a single-party mentality, strict ideologies and attacks of the groups which were against freedoms.

As Erdoğan talked about amnesty and the national pledge, I went back to those days.

AK Party spent its first ten years fighting for the democratization of the country, emancipation of individuals and casting off the chains of people.

It struggled a lot for this cause and paid the price.

Now Erdoğan raised his voice against those from the oligarchic bureaucracy and their counterparts in politics who wanted to shackle us with one of these chains, the national pledge, to the people once again:

“For us, the most beautiful pledge is our national anthem, we do not and will not recognize any other pledge.”

I am proud of my country and my president

Furthermore, when I saw that he determinedly stressed his ethical stance against the amnesty issue once more, I said again that “this is my party and this my chairman”…

As you can see, Tuesday was a sublime day for me.

It is our duty to give applause to the true actions of AK Party, whose mistakes we also criticize from time to time in this column, and it is our duty to be proud of them and to help them with heart and soul.

As long as my president, my party and my country are like this, I will lay down my life for them.


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