Letter to my prospective president


By Ahmet Abidin Ozbek:

‘You must begin by assuming responsibility. And you alone are responsible for every moment of your life, for every one of your acts’. Antonie de Saint-Exupery

All the signs show us that your essential politics are still going in the wrong direction and towards disasters. Today the country is more divided more and politically polarized than it was before. Mr. Prospective President as, you know, this country has suffered under the Ottomans and the Turkish Republic because of all the constant discriminative, sectarian and violent political agendas. When your people came to power, you painted a very positive picture. You promised that you are the man people can trust, you are the man who is ready for radical reform, peace and humanity. Then, what happened is that you quickly forgot all the promises, and the millions of people who believed and voted for you.

Unfortunately, like many others, your politics have shifted. Once you got the full power in the state, then you took off the mask. All manner of dirty political games have been seen during your administration. I certainly believe that a president should be a more sophisticated person. He should be intelligent, educated and peaceful with himself and others. He or she should be humanist and treat all the people equally. But you have not done so as prime minister. If you believe you can be president of a modern democracy, you can’t discriminate against people. You should respect different ideologies, religions, ethnicities, political approaches, and also the working class.

Turkish PM Erdoğan

Turkish prime minister Erdoğan is expected to run for the presidency in elections in August

You always say you are a religious person. We know the Kemalists have already damaged the system, yet we can’t forget that the religious Sunni-ite politics are really no different. But you so insisted on your Sunni-sectarian agenda, which is against democracy, secularism and humanism. If you believe you can be the president of a modern democracy, you should treat all the different beliefs equally. But you have not. The Alevis, Christians or Jewish people do not feel safe because of the circumstances. You don’t have any compassion, but you have a mask. Your very harsh language and aggressive action can only cause more problems in the future.

Ironically, you don’t like democracy but you like to use it, like in Egypt, for example. The Muslim Brotherhood came to power after the fall of the corrupted President Mr. Mubarak, but the people of Egypt soon figured out they are even worse. If you keep helping terrorists in Syria, Egypt or other states, it is only a matter of time before you will trigger more serious problems inside Turkey – which have already started. The fundamentalist Sunnis will start to target Shias and Alevis and Christians. In the near future, if civil war were to erupt in Turkey, you would be to blame.You have already poisoned the future generations with Sunni dogmas, fundamentalist and anti-Semitic expressions. If the small kids and young people are growing up with hatred against modern democracy, you have already undermined everything. Tomorrow will be darker than today. Some of the things you have done in the last 10 years, even the capitalist vultures, Kemalists or fascists couldn’t do in 70 years. You open more mosques, and create more fundamentalist restrictions, not because of your beliefs but for your ultimate powers. How many operas, schools, theatres, bookstores, and libraries have you opened?

I agree that you have still voters and some people admire you. This position you have today is because of the people. You have no right to turn against the people. The people of Turkey asked you to investigate the assassination of Hrant Dink, the massacre of Christian people in Malatya, the discrimination and anti-Semitic policies against the Jews, the massacre of young Kurdish people in Roboski, the torture of young Kurdish prisoners, the murders of people at the Gezi Park protests and of coal miners at Soma, the huge corruption and money laundering by your government, the release of the criminals of Hezbollah and from the Ergenokon case.

You didn’t keep any guarantee for peace with the Kurdish people. They are looking for a very honorable and acceptable peace talks, not just table talks or secret meetings. Peace talks are serious business. If you are determined and honest about wanting a stable peace agreement you should follow some steps. First, you should release Mr. Ocalan and all the political prisoners. Second, stop the militarization of the country by reducing the army, intelligence, village or special forces and police. Third, don’t just involve the Turkish state and the PKK: all the different Kurdish and Turkish political organizations should join the peace talks. Indeed the peace process is bigger than secret talks between the messengers of Mr. Ocalan and Mr. Erdogan. This is very important because the Kurds who are not in the BDP/PKK or Turks not affiliated with AKP/Islamic or other right wing groups also live in the country and they also have important points to make. Fourth, you have to be honest about making constitutional changes to protect the minorities, and establish a federation or democratic regionalism, or other options. Fifth, if you want to continue the process, you should call upon another country to act as a negotiator. It is sad, but the recent developments tell us that you have already decided to step backwards, not forwards.

Your government has never prosecuted the criminals behind the dirty war waged since 1980 in Turkey’s Kurdistan. Time and again, your capital Ankara pays more and more money to the European Human Rights Court (EHRC) because of past crimes. But there are thousands of unsolved murders, and extrajudicial killing still are not investigated. The bunch of killers on the streets, in congress, in business or in the media have transferred their allegiance to your administration. The MHP is one of the most powerful fascist organizations in the statehood and behind many crimes since the 1970s. Did your party order its closure or arrest the criminals of that organization? I don’t think so. There are many more question, but you never answer properly anything. What happened to the wise men’s committee with its responsibility for peace talks? Was is real or only ghosts? Your administration hasn’t carried out any valuable investigation. Besides, Mr. Prospective President if you believe you are in a democratic country, why have you tried to control the justice system, military, police forces, media and financial institutions.

Even though you are guilty of many things, you are admiring the crimes, criminals and corruption. You say you are proud to be a Muslim believer, but whatever you do is the opposite of what you say. I just feel sorry for you because your very unstable mental state will not only hurt yourself, but also the people, country and others. Even though I am not a strong believer of any religion, I respect other people’s beliefs. If you are a devoted believer you should apply it in daily life. I am not sure whether or not you are conscious of this, but you are very aggressive. Your ego is too big and your anger like a fire ready to burn everything around you. The language you use is very vulgar, and provocative against  humanity. While you were talking about peace, all your steps were going in a wrong direction. Your attitude is totally wrong. You have made more division than any other premier in the history of Turkey. Today there is secular against religious, religious against secular, Kurds against Turks, Turks against Kurds, Sunni Turks against Christians and Jews, Alevis, military against the police forces and even – with the paranoiac “parallel state” scenarios – you have made Muslim turn against other Muslims. Overall, people are facing disasters in their daily lives. Workers’ unsafe conditions, low income and lack of education are still significant problems in your state. The corrupted and abusive political landscape also triggers a violent society and individuals. For example, the statistics show that Turkey is one of the unhappiest nations, with high rates of murder and suicide.

Your international politics have also failed. You trained and supported criminals, fundamentalists in Syria. Those people enjoy massacring Kurds, Alevis, Christians and secular Muslims. Turks are not welcome in Egypt because you supported criminal organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood. In your very “Sunni capitalistic” sectarian and dangerous politics, the rich get richer. You hate secularism, western culture and democracies, but love their money. What you say is hypocrisy, Mr. Erdogan. It is true that western countries, of course, are responsible for a lot of conflicts in the world today. But don’t tell me that the Muslim societies are very innocent and humanitarian. More crimes, violence, sectarianism, homicide and corruption exist in the Muslim societies than in the Western countries. So, my question is: why are you against Western people, Christianity, or culture? You reveal to the people that you are against art, science, humanism and secularism. You have a big list of hates. You hate the drinkers, painters, sculpters, Alevis, atheists, writers, non-believers or anyone has criticized you. So the democracy you are talking about is very absurd and it goes nowhere.

It is a very dangerous game, Mr. Prospective President. If you were to ask me for advice, you would have two choices. First, you should quit all your jobs in the state before it is too late for yourself and the country. People should remember you with good memories. You can apologize to the people of Turkey and enable an open, new and honest election system. Or, second, you can change yourself. If you are so insistent on staying in power, you should show the people you are truly honest, willing to reform and promote peace and equality. Otherwise, it will be too late.

In the end, presidents, kings or leaders, like all mortals, have frustration levels which, when exceeded, sometimes erupt into the use of expletives and/or inappropriate conduct. Your economic agenda is corrupted like your social and cultural policies. Helping only the rich, semi-capitalist and feudal class doesn’t mean that the economy is in good shape. Unfortunately, most states in the world focus on production, selling and buying but not on other essential issues. When we talk about a good economy in modern democracies this must also take into account: wellbeing, health insurance, housing for everyone, freedom of speech, happiness, equality, less crime and homicides, minority rights by constitution, good working conditions and union rights, free healthcare and education, gay and lesbian rights, women’s rights, more conservation of the natural and ecological system, and so on.

Mr. Prospective President, you only believe in rights for people in your circle. This means a certain percentage of the population has the right to live in better conditions, but the rest doesn’t. So, you have already created borders in the society. I believe this will create more problems in the future. Like the American writer Barbara Kingsolver said: “We’ve built ourselves an unsustainable house of cards and moved in. It’s just that a lot of the mistrusts and resentments and anxieties have gone underground. We’re still divided along community or tribal lines into teams.”


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