Orhan Erdenen, who has written very important books on Istanbul and succeeded in sustaining an association until now that he took over from Burhan Felek and whose family worked with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, has a fundamental criticism about the foundation of the Republic of Turkey: "This state was founded on randomness."
Orhan Erdenen has no qualms with the Republic, nor is he ideologically against the regime. His family roots are in the Ottoman Empire, and as a writer he learned about the foundational years of the Republic both by living through them and directly from his family.
It is therefore not without reason that he has harshly criticized the randomness in the state. Erdenen has carried out studies not only on Istanbul but also on public administration. He has particularly stressed that the Ottoman Empire had a social philosophy as a state. On the other hand, randomness is dominant in all institutions and organizations of the Republic of Turkey and this randomness often makes itself known with substantial problems.
Erdenen has repeated his claim each time a mining accident, intense traffic accident or social explosion faced by the state has occurred in the past 20 years. "Keep this information a secret; our nation will face similar problems in the following years and no measures will be taken."
In the last 20 years, remarkable developments have been achieved in our country in terms of state reforms and the private sector. When we evaluate our metropolises, Ankara, Istanbul, Kayseri and Gaziantep are no different than European cities. We have companies that have branded across the world such as Turkish Airlines. Additionally, Turkish construction companies have ranked second across the world and now there are Turkish companies with the capacity to carry out $4-billion projects with a single tender. And yet, an unsettledness and randomness attract attention.
I think the Dec. 17 coup attempt in the judicial system and the mining disaster in Soma should be evaluated together. Maybe, we face continuous economic and social interruptions in the development period as a consequence of fast development. When we examine the development adventure of Turkey, it is similar to Finland in the book of "Land of White Lilies" but our country has always had a deficit with regard to corporate setlines.
The public administration has deficits within itself despite many innovations.The earthquake in 1999 contributed to the prevention of illegal housing on a large scale. The rate of unlicensed construction has nearly decreased to zero after the wake of the earthquake through new laws and measures. There is especially little shanty and illegal construction.
The Soma disaster should be regarded in terms of examining the institutions and evaluated as a chance to reconstitute all institutions of the state and we need strict audits and reforms by assessing all risks in the public administration. I think the AK Party's approach of "let the people flourish so the state will flourish" will seriously evaluate this hard situation.
About the author
İhsan Aktaş is Chairman of the Board of GENAR Research Company. He is an academic at the Department of Communication at Istanbul Medipol University.