The recent elections in Turkey were the closest in the last 13 years as the incumbent AKP lost its parliamentary majority.
Was this an unexpected outcome? Many in Turkey would say it was. Almost everyone knew that the US-style presidential system that President Erdogan kept insisting on posed a big risk for our country, which already suffers from a severe threat of terrorism.
That’s why people thought that a coalition was the only way to prevent such a scenario from occurring.
Now almost everyone in their postelection analysis says that the message sent by the people should be listened to.
This message is people shouting out loudly and clearly that they don’t want a presidential system, which would inevitably lead to a federal government.
They also made it quite clear that their search for “more democracy” was still alive.
The current parliamentary system in Turkey gives an important independence message that people can get what they want through elections, but in comparing it to the levels of democracy in Europe, it becomes clear that Turkey still has a long way to go.
Thanks to recent steps toward greater democratization, our country has made important progress in line with the norms of the EU.
However, our country also has the important duty of modeling how a democratic Islamic society and a free Middle Eastern country should be.
Turkey is perfectly positioned to practice the highest levels of democracy, to truly champion liberties and art, and to achieve real love and peace.
This is why dirty, superstitious traditions found in radical understanding of Islam, along with the extremism, lovelessness, misogyny and bloodthirstiness we also see present in such a distorted understanding of the faith, should be the main targets of Turkey.
Regrettably, this radical state of mind and assorted horrible Middle Eastern traditions, the remnants of the Ba’athist period, can find support to an extent in Turkey.
These people can certainly get their voices across, and they are the biggest obstacles to Turkey’s membership of the EU.
This also explains why Europe seems unenthusiastic about Turkey joining. There is no doubt that recent Turkish legislation, made in compliance with EU standards, was an important step.
However, tolerating radicalism, the nightmare of Europe, causes severe concerns in the EU. This minority, which can be felt in Turkey, is enough to make Europe look askance at all the achievements made by Turkey.
Considering the situation of the Middle East, it is not that difficult to understand why Europe feels this way.
Joining the EU is an important goal for Turkey, because values cherished by Europe, such as democracy, freedom, women’s rights and arts and sciences, are those that an Islamic country should revere and cherish; they are, in point of fact, values commanded to be respected in the Koran.
For this reason, it is important Turkey become a country of liberties, where radicals cannot find a breeding ground for their extremist ideas. It is also important that the nation persist in its EU bid.
The latest election increased the number of female MPs and this is certainly good news for Turkey.
However, our real goal must be having a parliament where women form the majority and a country where women are completely free.
The best sign of a free and a democratic country is always how much it respects and values women. Countries where women are discriminated against cannot develop or solve their problems and troubles.
For this reason, Turkey, following the example of the unrivalled respect commanded to be shown to women in the Koran, should start championing women’s rights even more than Europe.
If Turkey wishes to be a role model for the Middle East, which is currently shedding veritable oceans of blood, and wishes to play a key role in peace processes, it has to change this mentality.
It should be kept in mind that religion is deeply embedded in the Middle East. However, what turned this place into a sea of blood is faulty understanding of religion.
Only the Koran can treat this illness. It is imperative that Turkey achieve this by using the language of the Koran.
Turkey must not drown in its own problems, and shouldn’t allow even the slightest suggestion of the extremist ideas or tendencies that have wreaked havoc in the Middle East.
Turkey, while working for peace in the Middle East, should accept countries as they are, not in the way Turkey thinks they should be, and make the right steps.
Adnan Oktar's piece on The Jakarta Post: