Turkey's vision of the future

Published 07.04.2017 22:07

The ongoing referendum process in Turkey has already exceeded national borders. During the last decades, Turkey's national issues have rapidly become European issues due to the natural course of globalization. Still, the rise of extreme Christian political parties brings forth the need for an "enemy" of Europe. In this respect, there is no better candidate for Europe's "other" than Turkey, the heir country of the Ottoman Empire, which itself had been in the center of the European world for seven centuries. Moreover, as the holding of elections in Europe and Turkey occur, European-Turkish tension reaches a peak, as it did in the recent diplomatic crisis between Holland and Turkey.

In this process, we need to pay close attention to the political attitude of Germany. Ruling a country that was Turkey's ally in World War I, the German government's involvement in Turkey's national politics has reached such an extreme level that Turkey and its president are being openly accused, while diplomatic customs are being ferociously violated.

Although the animosity of a foreign head of state against Turkey quite appeals to the ears of some Westernist intellectuals and politicians in the country, Turkish public opinion seems to be worried about a particular state's playing first chair against the Turkish government. For instance, the newspaper Der Spiegel publishes Turkish supplements in which disagreeable news about Turkey abounds.

Eleven days later, Turkey's referendum process comes to an end. Therefore, it is reasonable to discuss Turkey's vision of the future in light of the ongoing referendum process:

1. In general, Turkey has always aimed at resolving its issues through democratic processes. Apart from short-term interruptions by coups d'état and military tutelage, Turkey always adheres to democratic procedures in resolution of its issues.

2. As the ruling AK Party has come from the periphery to the center, democracy as the will of the people has always been the sole foundation of its political legitimacy.

3. Taking over the country from governments heavily pressured by military tutelage, AK Party governments have strengthened Turkey's democratic system. Occupy Gezi, the judicial and police operations realized by the Gülenist Terror Organization on Dec. 17 and 25 and the final attempted coup d'état on July 15 all aimed at forcing the government to deviate from democratic processes. Still, the AK Party government has continued to insist upon democracy.4. The politically rational electorate in Turkey, which continues to enlarge, seeks a stable economic milieu. They might be rightfully called "the economic electorate" due to their direct interest in purchasing, national and foreign investments, production and the stock market. Successfully managing economic stagnation during the electoral process, the AK Party government might strengthen the national economy through economic reforms.

5. As a rational politician, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has not made a serious error in internal politics. Regarding foreign policy, President Erdoğan might re-design foreign policies through new maneuvers. Rehabilitating Turkey's relations with Russia and Israel, improving its relations with the central government of Iraq and revitalizing relations with the U.S., which were weak during the Obama administration, seem to be preeminent on Turkey's political agenda.

6. As the second greatest producer in its region, Turkey's economy might answer the material needs of war-torn Iraq and Syria and of embargoed Iran. To succeed, Turkey must support regional peace and order by improving relations with its permanent neighbors.

7. While the world is being revolutionized through information technologies, Turkey has to establish a system relying on an economy of production, which is tightly integrated with the global economic system via advanced information technologies.

In short, Turkey has the potential to become an island of stability due to its growing economy, advancing system of democracy and leading relations with neighboring countries.

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