By Bülent Keneş, Today's Zaman
Turkey last week experienced very critical and historical developments, the details and importance of which will be better understood in the future.
The presidential election was finally concluded following a long and tension-filled process rife with danger and uncertainties.
Turkey had its new government. The desired harmony was maintained at the top of the state. Despite provocations, the tension between politicians and the military was replaced by a partial ease.
All these developments that signal the normalization of Turkish political life and democracy also gave way to a more democratic constitution, an understanding of a more compassionate state and a more liberal secular regime.
Of course, it is not possible for a country that turned all this tension and conflict into a political culture to rid itself of all these deadly diseases overnight.
For this reason, it is not hard to predict that some relatively insignificant crises will erupt in the near future. But we should also accept that Turkey now has a historical opportunity to stop being the fight venue for a disruptive conflict fought over symbols and abstract notions.
We either take this opportunity to further the goals and interests of this country, or we remain adherent to the war of symbols and waste our precious time.
But it is time to take Turkish political culture to a brand new phase. There is no other way to do it than by getting rid of the superficial debates on abstract notions and symbols.
We have to accept that national unity, national integrity, homeland, flag, republic, secularism and democracy are the common values of everybody who lives in this country.
Nobody has the right to question the attachment of others to these values and transform them into a means of discrimination.
Our country just cannot stand it anymore. We now have to focus on imminent problems that we postponed because of these unfruitful discussions on abstract notions; these problems include unemployment, poverty, inequitable income distribution, environment, traffic, water, development, education, health and corruption.
In addition to the progress in democratization and the fields of fundamental rights, urgent steps have to be taken and comprehensive projects should be developed to address these issues.
It is good to see that the potential of this country is sufficient to overcome these problems.
It is also good to see that the new government is eager to make progress in all these fields and has already made its preparations to deal with the country's real problems.
The goal to increase the per capita income to $10,000 by 2013, new breakthroughs in the health sector and new efforts to resolve unemployment and corruption indicate that the new administration will exert its utmost effort to deal with these issues.
It would not be wrong to expect a government that prioritizes the EU bid in its foreign policy orientation to improve the standards of handicapped people, implement environment-friendly policies and development models, increase food standards, address child labor and deal with higher education problems.
Besides, the dynamic AK Party government, which will devote its energy to the resolution of actual problems, will not have to deal with huge resistance stemming from the head of the state and the bureaucracy.
We could expect a president who is in harmonious and a democrat to appoint bureaucrats sensitive to democracy, freedoms and liberties, and the public's demands.
Both the president and the bureaucrats he appoints will surely contribute to Turkey's quest to further its democracy and become a country of well-being. In sum, we could say Turkey has a bright future because it now has a chance to turn its face to reality, after a long interruption because of disruptive debates over abstract notions.
Last Mod: 03 Eylül 2007, 09:43