2013 has been a hectic year for Turkey. The unease caused by the Gezi Protests and PKK terror attacks, the Syrian war and the ISIS threat at the border has been troubling the country that sits in the middle of a very unstable region of the world. However, the new prime minister represented a fresh start. An amiable face, endorsed by almost all the different fractions and groups in Turkish society, Mr. Davutoğlu was welcomed with hope. Yet, in a geography as complex as Turkey resides, things can never be too easy.
As the new administration of Turkey faces the challenging task of facing the future, there are daunting tasks that need to be dealt with: The PKK threat in the Southeast of Anatolia, the massive influx of Syrian refugees, strained relations with neighbors over policy rifts, the effects of regional conflicts are only some of the problems that need urgent attention. However, there are also other underlying issues that don’t get the attention they deserve; yet their solution is imperative to the sound and healthy development of the country and for that reason, there can be no excuse for sweeping them under the rug.
So what are these issues that Turkey needs to tackle in 2015 to make up for past mistakes and face the future more confidently?
First of all, Turkey should be known for its mature, plural democracy and freedoms. It is highly essential that any opposition is welcomed and that civil liberties are supported to the utmost extent without any interference or pressure. Anything that could be interpreted as limiting the freedom of expression or other liberties or interference in people’s lifestyles should be strictly avoided and the laws must be reformed accordingly to prevent such attempts.
Another very important point that Turkey needs to focus on is positive moves ahead for women. Turkey should be famous for the freedom and respect the women are shown. Women should be the dominant voice in politics, business life, academics; in other words, everywhere. Laws should be tightened to eliminate any discrimination or mistreatment of women, and violence should be completely prevented both by laws and through comprehensive education and carefully planned practices.
Another very urgent matter is improving the aesthetic quality of everything produced. Turkish people should be encouraged to choose and strive to build beauty, perfection and quality in everything they do. This could be their houses, their choices of garments, the products manufactured in the factories they work for or the words they speak to their relatives and friends. Once this view of life finds its way into the minds and hearts of the nation, Turkey will see a quantum leap in arts and quality.
For that purpose, the country urgently needs a Ministry of Quality. This problem manifests itself in everywhere: in the willingness of people to settle with what is less than perfect, in the lackluster educational system, in the dull appearance of the streets, in the absence of grooming in daily life, and even in the way animals are treated. Turkey – regrettably – fell far behind in quality of life and sophistication compared to developed countries of the world.
Therefore, this new ministry should immediately get to work and start with the education system to furnish future generations not only with technical knowledge but also with a behavioral and philosophical richness that will help guide them in the future. These children should be good at positive sciences, human sciences, arts, sports and be perfectly well-mannered with a full knowledge of etiquette that they should apply in their lives. Once they grow up and start taking their places in the future of the country, the change will be tremendous.
Another important point the country needs to focus on is science. Despite its rich historical and cultural background and previous contributions to the science world, today Turkey once again has fallen behind in terms of scientific achievements and technology. Yet this can be easily solved. Frequent science conferences, with the attendance of world-famous names from the world of science, will help transform Turkey into a global center of new scientific ideas and scientific discussions.
Once Turkey deals with these issues, it will be able to face the future more confidently and in a much stronger position.
Adnan Oktar's piece on Arabian Gazette: