A different perspective - ALI BAYRAMOĞLU

A different perspective

We live in a tough region.

We have deep-rooted problems with regard to societal accord.

The Kurdish problem and the polarization created by measures based on prohibitionist secularism are some of the never-changing issues in this country in this regard.

In any case our societal fabric is a patchwork. The Ottoman system of nations, where various communities lived alongside one another without mingling, continues in a new form.

In short, we have a “community-based political structure” and the fundamentals of our political understanding are formed on the basis of an unregulated contest between communities, and where each community seeks solidarity within itself whether it be religious, secular or an ethnic community.

This situation means that “benefit” comes before “principle” in all our quests and actions.

We have an inbuilt populist mindset since our political mechanism is based upon the distribution of resources.

We have a tradition of authoritarian states and the role played by the institution that is the military in the administration of the country is deep rooted…

Societies faced with such problems have difficulty is finding the path forward.

This is because their ability to change themselves and adapt to the norms of the age is limited.

Turkey remains a society facing such problems despite exerting strong effort for renewal due to the depth of the processes of political change it has witnessed and the placing under siege of politics by societal events from time to time…

We have spent all of our recent past on “trying to cope with our own problems and the placing of these problems in a mould that can be managed, while also attempting to keep pace with the dynamics of our age.”

It is not on unfounded grounds that some state institutions and actors, some currents, and some people fear the disintegration of the country. Perhaps this is a “nationalist” expression of the fight to hold on and confront the unceasing risks of separation present in society…

Are we going to continue living like this?

The Kurdish problem is one example…

Are we going to manage this situation in the manner of down-at-their-heels aristocrats who would wear their worn-out jackets by turning them inside out; by reversing our problems and bringing them into manageable proportions?

Here is another example in the collectivistic existence style…

Will our history always be about us attempting to hold on while remaining at odds in regard to adapting to our age and problems? Are we going to remain a society that is always filled with concern and buried in its own problems?

Or will someone emerge one day who will be able to open a door by crossing political boundaries and displaying success and strength that will allow us to leave behind these community-related diseases that exist from the level of state to society?

It is not easy.

A lot of time passes, years go by, and yet we, even our intellectuals, “fail to address the problems” but rather we “continue to engage in politics on the basis of problems.”…

It is like this with regard to the Syrian issue…

It is like this with regard to the Kurdish issue…

It is like this with regard to the debate on basic rights and freedoms…

It is like this when it comes to the paper on the constitution…

Haphazard, flaky and timid reactions on one hand… political careers, principles, the basing of what is right on support for or opposition to the political leadership, and the plentiful supply of media, civil and intellectual actors based on political affiliations, on the other hand… It all points toward repetition…

The boxes of welfare, services and self confidence can be ticked off but society needs to produce societal solidarity from within…

We are quite distant from that…

And whenever the state establishes dominance over politics or politics establishes dominance over society and society is trapped by the state or politics then that distance will increase a bit more each time.

Think about it in this way as well…

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