The things you own end up owning you.

Understanding President Abdullah Gül: An Attempt Part I


Turkey is boiling nowadays, the waters are just to reach the last metal parts of the pot. Civil society organisations and various segments of the strongest interest groups are calling for restraint and even asking the parties to go one step back. It is kind of the Ottoman Army Chorus one step back- two step forward march style or what? During the Nevruz/Newroz Celebrations we again see scenes reminding the notorious 1992-93 era. Turkish army was just in Northern Iraq for a 10 day operation amidst the harsh weather conditions. The US asked Turkey to retreat inofficially,  and the Prime Minister whilst visiting Spain opened the Pandora’s box of “turban”.

Within the midst of this chaos, President Gül is travelling the world,  we do understand that he is pre-occupied with the image of the Kösk – The Presidential Palace. He and the first-lady are busy in decorating the rooms and giving another face. 3-4 months ago there were rumours that the first lady works in tandem with mode-designers to give a modern image to the turban and to make it more sympathetic for the old guard.

Gül is nevertheless a side of the latest judicial developments. His name is also in the document and he is a side of the dispute. Furthermore, his hardline politics of pushing forward his name to the Presidency and getting that seat also put his rising star of the ‘man of consensus’, ‘the smiling face of the AKP’ or the ‘European side of the AKP’ in to calamity. He is cross-challenged about the Saudi King’s presents to him, whether he gave them to the state or kept them, if yes what were they and so on, however he does not talk about these kinds of things.

His last meeting with Baykal should have been stiff, the legitimacy of the President is in question by Baykal. he is not attending any ceremonies, nor sending his members to the Kösk. He is also the memory of the Turkish kemalists, reminding GÜl’s stance at times like the Manti Diplomacy.

It must be hard for Gül, because I was sometime ago sure that he understood the integration to the neo-liberal order and representing the organic intellectual side of the hegemony. however, lately i am not sure about this, especially nowadays, his past and his relations with the AKP and his genetic code stops him to move one step forward and take the initiative. he was not an initiative taker, but a technocrat, and a good one. however, he lacked Özal’s innovation and independency, because he was never the first man, he was the technocratic leader, not the political one. and now, amidst the crisis of authority, his crisis of authority and legitimacy becomes embedded to the latter. unfortunately..


March 30, 2008 - Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics

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