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Anyone down there!

Friday 25 April 2008, by Yusuf Kanli

The voice is still echoing in our ears: “Is there anyone down there!” Those were the calls by rescue teams and volunteers trying to help the teams... They were trying to detect the location of people buried under the rubble of the collapsed buildings and rescue them...

It was the time of the 1999 great quake that devastated the industrial heartland, Marmara region, of the country, claimed the lives of over 15,000 of our people and in a way triggered the 2001 economic-fiscal quake that eventually led to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) rise to power.

“Is there anyone down there!”

The voice is still echoing in our ears. But, hold on! This time “rescue teams” are shouting and trying to save some people, but the quake has not yet taken place... Are they making some “preemptive” calls? But how do they know the timing of the “quake”? Is its coming so clear?

Indeed so... This time we are heading full speed to a “social quake” or a “state quake” the toll of which might be even heavier than the shaking ground... This time the roof may collapse on all of us... This time not only the industrial heartland of the country, but the entirety of Turkey and the entire population can be victimized... Worst, the collapse of the roof might trigger an even bigger and far serious calamity: A civil war!

But, the collapse of the roof on our heads can be prevented... If we stop removing the pillars supporting the roof and start reinforcing those that were eroded by some “political factors” we can indeed prevent the roof collapsing on our heads.

Thus, the call from Turkish civil society yesterday was a helping hand extended to all those who might have been trapped under the collapsed roof if some urgent moves of reconciliation are not taken to reinforce the supporting pillars...

“Is there anyone down there!”

That was the appeal of Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD) earlier this week. That was the joint appeal of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) and three other private sector organizations and the three strongest labor union confederations...

“Roof is collapsing, beware!” shouted the civilian initiative, calling on the ruling AKP and its opponents to wake up and see that the current polarization in the country can produce devastating consequences for the entire country.

A wise appeal

“Excluding the fundamental principles of the Republic... except the main pillars of the Republic – that are described in Article 2 of the Constitution as ‘The Republic of Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state governed by the rule of law; bearing in mind the concepts of public peace, national solidarity and justice; respecting human rights; loyal to the nationalism of Atatürk, and based on the fundamental tenets set forth in the Preamble’ – everyone must be prepared to discuss and compromise on everything. It is high time to realize this because tomorrow might be too late... For reconciliation, we appeal to all parties involved to take a step back from their current positions... That is a must for the best interest of this nation and the country.” This was more or less the summary of what TOBB Chairman Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu said yesterday on behalf of the seven leading private sector and labor confederations. That was what TÜSİAD said earlier this week.

Furthermore, immediately after he was released after an almost 48-hour police “detention” the 84-year-old elderly journalist-writer İlhan Selçuk appealed to the prime minister this week to calm down and opt for reconciliation rather than continuing his adamant “yelling is an oratory form” culture...

The prime minister ? So far he has insisted on not understanding the message... Still saying that he could not reconcile while “a section of the media” continues to criticize him and his government...He is still trying to evade the closure case demanded – the case is not yet opened – against his party through making some amendments to the Constitution and thus engaging in an attempt which at the very least could be described as premeditated murder of the notion of law...

However, Hisarcıklıoğlu was stressing yesterday: “We have seen this film in the 1980s. Polarization did not help anyone. The greatest threat is in the economy. Together with the world, we may plunge into a crisis. But, somehow we are unable to discuss these... If we end up in a crisis, we will all be losers. Everyone must take a step back from their current positions and help a reconciliation for the best interest of the nation and the country.

Will Erdoğan and his adversaries hear this wise appeal ?

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Source : Thursday, March 27, 2008 TDN

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