BuLENT – Causes and effects: worthless loneliness

Causes and effects: worthless lonelinessNo loneliness is precious if you arenand#39t a recluse who is voluntarily leading a secluded life. If you are not suffering from a serious psychiatric disorder such as Hubris Syndrome or sociopathy, you would not have reasons for attributing significant value to, or singing the praises of, loneliness.

However, Turkey is increasingly becoming lonely in the international arena in recent years due to the despotic attitude adopted by President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the ambitious and equally inconsistent and unfounded revisionist attitude in the foreign policy they are pursuing. Turkey is moving away from the world at a maddening speed like a stray meteor that has left its orbit and whose whereabouts can hardly be predicted.

ErdoIan and the AKP management are exhibiting an increasingly domineering and dictatorial profile with their boorish acts and statements that are intolerable to democrats, and it is a futile effort to create a reason for being proud of the inevitable loneliness into which Turkey has been dragged due to their misguided preferences and wrong policies. As you know, the process of distancing Turkey away from the West with which we are allied and share a wide range of democratic values started a few years ago.

In the early years of this process of deliberate self-isolation, Ibrahim KalIn, who is currently President ErdoIanand#39s foreign policy aisor, had defined this process as andquotprecious lonelinessandquot with inspiration from andquotsplendid isolation,andquot a phrase England, the most powerful imperial state of the time, had coined in late 19th century.Despite this inspiration, it is certainly absurd to be proud of Turkeyand#39s isolation and loneliness.

The andquotsplendid isolationandquot policy, implemented by Benjamin Disraeli and the marquess of Salisbury out of necessities, suggested that England should refrain from meddling in the internal affairs of other countries unnecessarily. When it implemented that policy, England wasnand#39t like Turkey, which resembles a ship whose anchor to the alliance relationship and to the civilized world has been severed and which is being pushed around by the storm, not knowing which ports to call on.

Sticking to the European Union membership criteria, apparently with a survival instinct, between 2002 and 2010 and, as such, making revolutionary democratization moves in Turkey, the AKP unfortunately embarked on a path to unprecedented unlawfulness, arbitrariness and despotism as it consolidated its power ErdoIan and the small gang-like team of his aides turned a blind eye to Turkeyand#39s democratic and intellectual legacy and severed their ties with reality and started running after lunatic ideals and ambitions that have no room in reality.As aptly noted in the reports of Michael Werz and Max Hoffman, experts from the Washington-based think tank The Center For American Progress, which is close to the Obama administration, issued on Thursday, Turkeyand#39s isolation increased as it abandoned democratic moves that were backed by the West and the US and started travelling in reverse.

It is extremely thought-provoking and alarming to see Werz and Hoffman, who were close friends of Turkey as far as I know, come to the point of saying, andquotThe United States should let the AKP enjoy what pro-government voices have called the countryand#39s and#39precious lonelinessand#39.andquotIn the report titled, andquotThe US-Turkey Partnership: One Step Forward, Three Steps Back,andquot Werz and Hoffman basically explain the inflection in Turkeyand#39s direction by referring to the wrong attitude adopted with regards to Gezi, Mosul and Kobani.

I agree with them, but I must note that the factors behind that inflection are not restricted to these. Unlike what Werz and Hoffman argue, the attitudes regarding Gezi, Mosul and Kobani were not decisive causes of future developments but are the effects of more profound, more morbid and more serious problems.

For instance, the Gezi Park protests and ErdoIanand#39s attitude against it may have been the beginning of a new and problematic process. But this does not change the fact that it was the outcome of the irresponsible, spoiled and arrogant approaches of ErdoIan and his aides.

Let me reiterate once again: Gezi was a breaking point, but it was never a cause. The Gezi Park protests constitute an inevitable explosion that was the result of ErdoIanand#39s twisted mentality, the cause.

Likewise, the occupation of the Turkish consulate in Mosul and the problems regarding the approach to the hostage crisis are nothing but an expression of the twisted mindset of ErdoIan and the people around him ErdoIan and the AKP — known to adopt tremendous tolerance for radical Islamist violence in numerous cases — dragged Turkey into a scandal in Mosul, but it was not the result of their lack of insight, but a manifestation of the affinity they feel toward the pack of murderers called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).These political Islamist politicians, who define ISIL as a pack of andquotrightfully enraged youthsandquot and refrain from condemning ISILand#39s brutal beheading shows, only reproachfully saying, andquotA Muslim should not do this to another Muslim,andquot would naturally not see ISIL as an enemy that would occupy the Turkish consulate and take our diplomats and their families hostages.

Here, a mental and emotional aberration rather than a lack of foresight was at work. The fact that after our diplomats were taken as hostages, Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoIlu carefully avoided using the word andquothostageandquot but made ridiculous remarks instead may be attributed to this emotional affinity.

This applies to the Kobani crisis as well. What we saw in this crisis was against the outcome of this mental kinship with ISIL and the emotional affinity which could not be concealed despite all those atrocities.

For this reason, I think the unreasonable and unfair attitude ErdoIan and the DavutoIlu administration adopted with regards to the Kobani crisis should be seen as an effect, not as a cause. It is hard to believe that it is a coincidence that ErdoIan started voicing the harshest criticisms against the Democratic Union Party (PYD), an offshoot of the terrorist Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK) in Syria, after the commencement of the settlement process with the PKK, mainly during the time it fought against ISIL in Kobani.

There are plenty of reasons for assuming that the attitude that sought to undermine the effectiveness of the international alliance that came to being in connection with the Kobani crisis was more because of their bias towards ISIL than because of their antagonism against the PYDKKeshmergaOf course, any effect may be the cause of future and important developments. However, a closer look at the development from the standpoint of causality reveals that the domineering despotic mentality and insatiable ambitions that haunt ErdoIan and the AKP are the real causes.

The problems of fundamental rights and freedoms we suffer at home as well as the failures in our regional policies and the isolation process are closely related to this mental aberration. Obviously, the confusing signals regarding ties with the European Union, transatlantic relations and the value-based and geopoliticalstrategic needs-centered relationship of alliances cannot be treated as independent from this mental deviation.

It is not only the AKP, which has walked miles away from its founding philosophy, but also Turkey that has a serious problem called ErdoIan. This ErdoIan problem has grown so much out of proportion that it can hardly be neglected in the national and international spheres.

Thus, we can say that our region, the EU, the US and NATO face a very serious ErdoIan problemAfter identifying this main problem that is bothering everyone who cares about Turkeyand#39s future and peace, it is possible to list the scandalous effects it caused in domestic, foreign and economic policies.The intertwined causes and effects or problems and diagnoses should not be confused with each other while analyzing Turkey where everything is in a mess.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman