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Turkey: Basbuğ should not overstretch the issue

Friday 30 October 2009, by Mehmet Ali Birand


Extremely interesting winds are blowing through the public opinion.

When examining articles and speeches of writers who have supported the Turkish Armed Forces all their lives and believe that they are the best part in the struggle against the Islamic threat, you’ll notice that the winds are changing.

The general impression is mainly along the lines of “destroying the AKP and the Fetullah Gülen community,” officially entitled “the plan for the struggle with the Islamic threat” and finding out whether or not this is true and then if true punishment for those responsible. Writers who used to protect and watch out for the TSK nowadays say: “This is not the way to handle the Islamic threat. And it surely is not providing weapons in different places and organizing conspiracies.” The expectation of this group of people is that Başbuğ steps forward immediately and explains the truth and who is responsible.

Everybody wants immediate results

It is being stressed that this conspiracy, even if not explicitly stated, has been prepared by the AKP and aims to disable the TSK, imprisoning it in its quarters.

These people don’t believe that the TSK would do such damage as the said document puts forth but their eyes are turned to the General Staff waiting for an explanation from Başbuğ coming forth with the truth.

We too are waiting.

What should be avoided is a prolonged investigation, carrying it around and continuing with the issue for weeks or months. This society is stressed and wants to know what to expect. It desires punishment of responsible people, if there are any. It desires the truth, if there is a conspiracy. And that’s what we expect too. We expect Chief of General Staff Gen. Başbuğ to come forth in the days ahead of us and appeal to us.

Secular Republic is our distinctness

I won’t make cheap Republic propaganda. I’d like to tell you what I truly believe in. I have toured the world for many years now. I know how foreign people view our Turkey and how it looks from the outside.

It’s good to know this much:

Tukey’s most important card on hand is being a secular-democratic Muslim country.

Please take a look at other Muslim countries. Which country can carry out democracy? Which country can separate between religion and state?

Turkey shining through as a republic increases its value beyond belief. And that’s the most attracting side of Turkey in the Muslim world, being different from other Muslim countries. The state mechanism does not function according to Islamic but democratic rules.

Non-secular, non-democratic Turkey would not be attractive

The same is true for the Western world. Looking from the Western point of view, there is a difference between Turkey and other Muslim countries. When considering these points of view, claiming our Republic means claiming our future and the future of our children and grandchildren. But I don’t want to finish this article without underlining one other point.

When it comes to protecting and watching out for our secular-democracy it is us who must do it. Some groups in society left this duty to the military for years. They even played a provoking role from time to time.

This process is coming to end now. Better to say, it should. We are the ones to protect and watch out for our secular-democratic Republic that we are so proud of. The military should know its place and civil forces should take care of the rest.

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Source: HDN, le 29.10.09

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