THE Turkish nation was once again at the ballot box on April 16 to vote for a constitutional change. The turnout was high and the country was tranquil on the election day, which says a lot about the nation’s viewpoint of democracy. The entire world was watching the election from the campaign period by holding their breaths. Many in the West were evaluating the referendum as if the country was approaching an autocratic system with President Erdogan. Yet, their concern is baseless.
Why President Erdogan is not a dictator
The Turkish nation has witnessed President Erdogan’s services since he came to power in 2002 and even before then while he was the mayor of Istanbul. He has been the means to construct many highways, bridges, subways in Turkey which better facilitated transportation in many parts of Turkey. Yet, his local opponents and many in the West are accusing of him to be the “one man”. Let us not forget that it is reasonable to have one wise man to be in charge to lead a country than twenty who would ruin it by being at odds with each other. The nation has tried President Erdogan on many occasions for years and they have seen that he has not done anything wrong, but devoted himself completely to his country and brought wealth and benefits instead. During his incumbency, along with constructing new ways of transportation, not only did he beautify the cities by furnishing most of the streets with flowers and trees, but also transformed them into modern metropolitans using state of the art technologies. It is important that he liberated Turkey from being dependent on the IMF by paying off all its debt and forming a stable economy even though there was intense pressure both from inside and abroad. Most importantly, it is an unignorable fact that AK Party’s policy while setting off gave the devout people in the country a breathing space. He also proved that he is consistent in his service as he has been exposed to many difficulties but always found a way to overcome them.
Why I said “yes”
I have made a thorough investigation on the altering articles of the constitution and evaluated them in depth and spoke with experts on constitution. Those saying “no” have their own just viewpoints but it is not hard to see that Turkey is going through a very difficult phase. It is recovering from a bloody coup attempt like it has never experienced before. The tanks were driving over the civilians in cold blood and we gave many martyrs and veterans. Moreover, the government is waging a tough war on terror against the PKK in the eastern and southeastern part of Turkey. Additionally, there are conflicts on the neighboring countries such as Syria in which Turkey was involved via a cross-border operation. The same goes for Iraq where the world sees almost daily bombings and military operations leaving many casualties. Not to mention that there is an on and off clash between Ukraine and Russia. Therefore, it is as clear as day that there needs to be a ‘stable Turkey’ in the region. While Turkey was amidst such pressure both inside and out, I decided to vote ‘yes’ in order to say ‘no’ to more turmoil. It’s not right to be a hardliner in such a difficult environment and people should seek for what is right for Turkey and the Turkish nation.
A federative system is our red-line
Recently, President Erdogan had come up with other types of presidential systems which I strongly declined. It was because they were all open to a federative system that would consist of small federal states which would eventually lead to the fragmentation of Turkey, may God forbid. The AKP first put forth an American model of a presidential system, then a Mexican model and many more. I declined each one of them because a federal system was our nation’s redline; then they came up with a system that guaranteed the unitary structure of our country called an executive presidency with more powers. MHP leader Devlet Bahceli’s being supportive of this new system is also crucial since he is a very honest political leader and very meticulous in protecting the unity of Turkey. He has never been supportive of any notion that may be a threat to Turkey’s integration and he has shown his determined stance against terrorist organization PKK.
What awaits Turkey after the referendum
I am optimistic about the future of Turkey and believe Turkey will continue to grow despite plots, pressures and enmities from around the world. Turkey will be a spiritual leader and a role model for the entire Islamic world. Under the leadership of Turkey Islamic countries will embrace an understanding of Islam that will give utmost worth to women and also to high-quality, science, aesthetics and beauty in all aspects of life. In Turkey, our people are practicing a peaceful Islam based on love, friendship and altruism devoid of violence and hate. I will continue to intellectually struggle against the model non-existent in the Qur’an.
I congratulate my nation that once again passed the test of democracy by being a role model to many of the nations in the world. There is no defeated side in this referendum; the entire nation is victorious no matter what they voted for, as Binali Yildirim stated during his post-election address: “We are all brothers and sisters in a single body.. Thank you Turkey, thank you my holy nation… The nation said the last word, and said ‘Yes’.”
By Harun Yahya