Turkish society demands equal and honest dialogue from European countries
German President Joachim Gauck's criticisms about the government during his visit to Turkey have resulted in broad repercussions on the agenda. President Abdullah Gül responded to Gauck's criticisms on matters that he had not mastered, kindly but firmly and implicitly indicating Germany's democratic problems.Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the information that Gauck shared with the media was different from the content of their private bilateral talks. A majority of Turkish popular opinion agrees with the reaction that was given to Gauck by Gül and Erdoğan.And they are not wrong either. Gauck found Erdoğan's offer of condolences, which shared the sorrow of Armenians about the 1915 incidents, inadequate. This raised some question marks in people's minds:
You are so maximalist concerning Turkey's confrontation with its past. You are even more demanding than the Armenians who expressed their gratitude to Erdoğan because of his courageous statements about the 1915 incidents. Taking all of these into consideration, then why did you excoriate the politics of your former chancellor Willy Brandt when he knelt down in front of the Holocaust Memorial in your own country? Or do you fail to see the Holocaust to be as critical a matter as the 1915 incidents?
Why don't you look back at your recent past instead of giving advice to Erdoğan who has maintained a successful Kurdish reconciliation initiative and who was appreciated by British and Spaniard leaders, who have struggled against similar problems previously?
Actually, are you in a position to criticize a government that has reached the highest level in its history in terms of initiating social reconciliations about minorities and disadvantageous sections? I suppose not. Remember the statements of Mehmet Kılıç who is a Turkishborn Member of Parliament for Germany's Green Party. Although he supported you, he did not vote for you in the presidential elections.Kılıç explained the reason for this and said: "When Joachim Gauck was nominated for the presidency one-and-a-half years ago, he delivered an influential speech. He said they would not alienate immigrants from society and expose them to clashes as well as accepting them as a part of German society.Just three months later, Thilo Sarrazin, a former central banker of Germany, said Turkish children were good for nothing just because of their genes. During an interview, Gauck spoke highly of these provocative words of Sarrazin and confirmed them. What is worse, he said it was a courageous act and these discussions were required." (Deutsche Welle) I do not even want to elaborate on the fact that you applauded Turkey's Gezi protests while harshly criticizing Germany's "Occupy Now" demonstrations. (Birgün)
It is possible to ask more questions about Gauck's political career and its feedback. As Turks, we are not indifferent to European politics. I wish you too had studied Turkey before you visited it, at least about the subjects that you criticized.
If only you had referred to various information resources and had not been an instrument of those who want to interfere in Turkey's domestic politics through you. I also wish you had not spoilt these important talks between Turkey and Germany.
I suppose your problem does not merely results from your knowledge on Turkey, which has been manipulated. It seems that you also have a problem with terminology.If this were not the case, you would not have praised Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), where you presented a speech, for its liberal atmosphere because no liberal journalists and authors are allowed to give lectures at this university. Even worse, Erdoğan, who is accused of authoritarianism, is not allowed to enter it. As far as I know, you describe yourself as a radical anti-communist, and you changed your stance in Turkey. ODTÜ is considered as a stronghold of orthodox leftism in Turkey. What do you think about checking the meanings of "liberal" and "authoritarian" in the dictionary once more?
The Turkish people want European countries to warn and observe each other with objective criteria. International solidarity is a factor that consolidates democracy. However, Turkish society is fed up with European prototypes, which give maximalist indoctrination with imperfect information and a bossy attitude, forgetting their own democratic problems. They righteously demand an equal and true dialogue that is free of orientalist prejudices. I think this is not an unrighteous aspiration.