By Ekrem Dumanlı, Today's Zaman
Common sense does not play a role in the resolution of problems in Turkey. I wish it did! If people act with common sense, the most troublesome problems will be resolved. Obviously, society desperately needs leaders with common sense. None of the current problems in this country are new. Because a particular problem persists for a long time, different points of view emerge with time to address that issue. I am talking about previous attempts that completely failed or only partially succeeded. Therefore, it is possible to take a close look at the problems and remain calm when resolving the issues at hand.
For instance, the Democratic Society Party (DTP) deputies in Parliament may well be a golden opportunity to address one of the most serious problems in the country. In the past, former officers of this movement who had connections with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and based their politics on ethnic racism caused serious tensions in Parliament. Their insistence on using the Kurdish language to take the inauguration oath sparked reaction; it was an unnecessary move that cost many years. Kurdish citizens did not benefit from the symbolic tensions and rows and the attempts to instigate these tensions were simply a waste of time. It is true that there are still some who pay respect to the leader of the terrorist organization, Abdullah Öcalan. They may take some actions to halt the process; however, everybody should remain calm. In the aftermath of any incident that is staged to allegedly promote the interests of the Kurdish people, the question as to whether this move would create anything good for the Kurds should be asked. In such cases, everybody should be called on to resort to a common ground.
Unfortunately, those who take the first steps and those who respond to these steps are unable to act reasonably. Those who are familiar with the resentment and overreaction of the Turkish people base their plot on this psychology. The mild power struggle turns into a serious one within a very short time. However, mistakes should be avoided at crucial times, even when attempts are made in good faith. Remembering past tragedies is not enough -- it is also necessary to bring up positive interactions in connection with positive steps.
Turkey is competent enough to resolve its own problems. No doubt, it has an embedded culture which is open to participatory and pluralist democracy, and its social fabric is accustomed to a culture of sharing. There is only one thing left: to bring together the intellectuals in good faith and transform their proposals into a common goal. Interestingly enough, the ordinary people in this country are able to present more comprehensive and plausible solutions than those advanced by politicians and writers in this country. For this reason, issues that occupy the agendas of politicians and journalists are not that important to the public. The top of the state is busy with serious tension over the veiling issue; but the public does not care at all. There must be other reasons for the tension over symbols, since there is no row between the veiled and the unveiled. Obviously, there is a discussion on dominance going on. The same also applies to the Kurdish question and the so-called Alevi-Sunni distinction. Those who constantly instigate artificial rows that are not discussed by the public at all not only embarrass themselves but also undermine the country's betterment.
Turkey's greatest advantage is its people. The Turkish people should be heard from. From this perspective, it should be obvious that the decisions taken by high-level state officials should address the common sense and be consistent with the common conscience. Old people preferred to call it the collective mind -- this is absolutely true. The public holds a common way of thinking, a common of way sensing and a common way of hearing and analyzing. The presidential election should be looked at through this prism. The occupier of the presidential palace should come as the outcome of common sense; but he should also be confirmed by the conscience of the people. A lot of things before the July 22 elections can be explained as mind games. However, things that then wounded the public conscience overwhelmingly affected the outcome of the elections. From now on, everything in Turkey should be consistent with common sense as well as with the common conscience.
Common sense not enough; common conscience also needed
I am talking about previous attempts that completely failed or only partially succeeded.
By Ekrem Dumanlı, Today's Zaman