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He Is Not Our Father - A Message For Erdogan, And Those Who Oppose Him

Father doesn't always know best
Father doesn't always know best
Ismet Berkan
ISTANBUL - Dozens, maybe hundreds of articles saying more or less the same thing have been published by the Turkish media: "The Prime Minister doesn't understand the street..."
This sentence (and the sentiment) continues as such: If he ever could properly understand it, he would also realize that he is in the wrong and will stop acting as such!
A friend of mine identified this as the: syndrome of a teenager seeking the approval of his father. But what if your father does not understand you as you like to portray yourself to be, but rather as he perceives you? What then will you do with your father?
Of course, the actions of the politicians are important in democracies; those actions also determine the behavior pattern of those who govern. But it seems the situation is different with us.
Our faith in Erdogan’s word being law is so deep that we expect everything to be done by him.
However, there are plenty of examples that justify our expecting so. He is a leader who sees an unfinished statue while passing by, calls it a “freak” and has it demolished. He is also the one who determines the fate of a small Koran school behind the Piyale Pasha Mosque. There are bigger examples. He is the one who does not like the prices offered in state bids and cancels them. He is also the one who says ‘we will do this no matter what you say.
Such things do not, cannot happen in countries that call themselves states under the rule of law. The preferences of the Prime Minister affect the course of events to a degree; they cannot, however, be the sole factor.
Dozens of lessons can be learned from the events which started with the Gezi Park protests and turned into a situation that nobody knows how to resolve by the abrupt assault of the Istanbul police (probably after consulting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan) against a tiny protest group.
If the energy originating from that park would do any good, it should be this. It should save us from the destiny of being children trying to explain ourselves ‘correctly’ to the prime minister-father. Everything should have limits according to the rule of law; including the actions of a nation's leader.
But probably before anything else, we ourselves must see that we are not the prime minister’s children who must try to win his graces.
Because Erdogan continues to perceive us the way he knows and wants us to be.
Why the fury ?
Professor Nilüfer Göle had an article on this matter on the T24 internet site. I will take a quote from that since it answers the question in the title very well:
“The start of interventions into living spaces in the name of morals raised suspicions among the public, which is being rearranged within the scope of Islamic values; just like it happened with the warning to young people kissing at the Ankara subway. The law to regulate alcohol sales caused reactions especially because of the moralist jargon formed around it."
Erdogan’s personal brand of power, his habit of dictating his own vision made people lose power over their own lives, surroundings and cities: from the statue in Kars to the AKM project in Istanbul.
Public life transformed into an arena with a single gladiator.
His AKP party, its deputies and local governors got left out of the game; and simply became his audience. The calming words of the Istanbul Mayor on the Gezi Park got lost in the shuffle. All of the intermediary mechanisms: press, politics and civil society having retreated, and explains why all the anger is voiced towards Tayyip Erdogan himself
The people do not accept a singular morality, a singular point for good-beautiful-right; at least not the ones in the streets today. This is the struggle going on right now in Turkey.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Finally Time For Negotiations? Russia And Ukraine Have The Exact Same Answer

The war in Ukraine appears to have reached a stalemate, with neither side able to make significant progress on the battlefield. A number of Western experts and politicians are now pushing for negotiations. But the irreconcilable positions of both the Russian and Ukrainian sides make such negotiations tricky, if not impossible.

photo of : Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, presents a battle flag to a soldier as he kisses it

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presents a battle flag to a soldier at the Kyiv Fortress, October 1, 2023.

Ukraine Presidency/Ukrainian Pre/Planet Pix via ZUMA
Yuri Fedorov


The Russian-Ukrainian war appears to have reached a strategic impasse — a veritable stalemate. Neither side is in a position at this point to achieve a fundamental change on the ground in their favor. Inevitably, this has triggered no shortage of analysts and politicians saying it's time for negotiations.

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These conversations especially intensified after the results of the summer-autumn counteroffensive were analyzed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhny, with not very optimistic details.

Though there are advances of the Ukrainian army, it is mostly “stuck in minefields under attacks from Russian artillery and drones,” and there is a increasing prospect of trench warfare that “could drag on for years and exhaust the Ukrainian state.”

Zaluzhny concluded: “Russia should not be underestimated. It suffered heavy losses and used up a lot of ammunition, but it will have an advantage in weapons, equipment, missiles and ammunition for a long time," he said. "Our NATO partners are also dramatically increasing their production capacity, but this requires at least a year, and in some cases, such as aircraft and control systems, two years.”

For the Ukrainian army to truly succeed, it needs air superiority, highly effective electronic and counter-battery warfare, new technologies for mining and crossing minefields, and the ability to mobilize and train more reserves.

China and most countries of the so-called global South have expressed their support for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Meanwhile in the West, certain influential voices are pushing for negotiations, guided by a purely pragmatic principle that if military victory is impossible, it is necessary to move on to diplomacy.

The position of the allies is crucial: Ukraine’s ability to fight a long war of attrition and eventually change the situation at the front in its favor depends on the military, economic and political support of the West. And this support, at least on the scale necessary for victory, is not guaranteed.

Still, the question of negotiations is no less complicated, as the positions of Russia and Ukraine today are so irreconcilable that it is difficult to imagine productive negotiations.

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