Separatist sentiments have never been so pronounced in Europe since the 1930's. After the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, the latest country to suffer from this wave became Great Britain, following in the path of Belgium, Spain and Italy.
The fact that 55% of the Scots refused to separate from Britain seems to have put an end to the debate for now. However, 45% of Scots wanted to be an independent country - and this is not a small group that can be overlooked. Although the result was a relief for Britain, it also shows that independence requests will be raised once again in the not-very-far future.
Independence wishes are usually related to economic reasons. Part of the Scottish population believe that they are entitled to a bigger share of the oil that Britain produces in the North. Furthermore, London collects high taxes from Scotland. According to those in favor of a 'yes' vote, the taxes should be lower and should be controlled by Edinburgh.
Even though independence sentiment is based on economic reasons, it could cause more economic problems. For instance, Scotland taking over some of the national debt or switching to a new currency likely would have caused a fresh wave of economic problems.
Many companies active in Scotland would go back to London, which would mean that many people in Scotland could lose their jobs.
If Great Britain and Scotland become two different countries, it could take a long time to figure out a way to share the oil revenues, which would deprive Scotland of its current oil revenues for some time, let alone gaining Scotland the new revenue streams that it is expecting. The currency that Scotland is going to use and the process of international recognition were other problems that called for a solution.
All this makes it clear that in case of independence, Scotland would have faced lots of problems, which would impact not only Scotland but also London and created instability.
Great Britain should not pretend that there are no problems between the parties, nor should it overly comfortable over the referendum results. Scotland and Great Britain can easily solve their problems finding a middle ground. Needless to say, it is very significant that Scots decided to stay with Britain in this referendum. However, this doesn't change the fact that Britain should be more embracing towards the Scots, and more respectful towards their rights.
At least a representation system where the parties can consult each other to work out their problems can be created, which will help alleviate the tax burden on Scotland and give it greater shares out of oil revenues to it.
If these problems remain unsolved and the specter of separatism raises its head in Scotland in the not-too-distant future this could start a chain reaction in Europe, causing more secessions and more separation. Surely, such a movement will badly disrupt the stability of the continent and deepen the recession already haunting it.
The reasons why Scots should stay a part of the UK are much more than those that would justify separation and they are far more important than choosing to live together for pure economic reasons. The way to work out problems between opposing sides goes through love, compassion, mercy, unconditional help, sensitivity, selflessness, friendship, understanding and common sense.
Adnan Oktar's piece on MBC Times: