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    Ertugrul Ozkok: Ignoring the noise of populist delirium; Demirel and the Cankaya garden

    Hürriyet Haber
    13.10.2005 - 11:57 | Son Güncelleme:

    Who can forget the words of the ninth President of the Turkish Republic, Suleyman Demirel? There were some CHP Party members who were leading a protest campaign against the appropriation of land in the Golcuk area for the building of a Ford car factory. The government was accused of "Giving away state land as a gift to Ford." And what did Demirel say at that time? "If it's necessary, I'll even give them space in the gardens of the Cankaya Presidential Palace."

    Take a look at newspapers from those days. What incredible insults, what accusations, what foul language, what degradations.....
    And was it only the CHP? Many of those in the ranks of the government today were also present in the ranks of that protest movement. And Demirel, as befits a leader, stood straight up with courage and self-confidence in the face of the insults. As does Mesut Yilmaz, who is on trial now at the Turkish High Court.
    And now, 6 or 7 years have passed. During that time, one of the biggest natural disasters in our history occured. On August 17, 1999, the Golcuk area was destroyed by an earthquake. But out of the rubble, a factory was built. And now that facility works at full capacity as one of Ford's most successful factories in the world. Thousands of workers, families, spouses, children, and local merchants get by in daily life due to that factory.
    Where are those who accused the state of giving away land as a gift? Some of them have understood their mistake, and now go door to door trying to drum up foreign investment. And what about the social democrats who are part of the ruling administration? Same stone, same hamam. Years ago, they were against that factory, against American investment. Nowadays, they are againstn Israeli and Arab investment. Their negative spirit remains the same. The only thing that's different is the investor's ethnicity.
    And Demirel?
    He lives in his house on Guniz Street. Everywhere he goes he is still treated like the President. He still supports decision he sees as being in the interest of the country, and he still speaks his mind. He said "The October 3 accession talks must absolutely start."
    Politics is a job for those with courage. And when societies reach historical turning points, that courage becomes even more necessary. And courage and brave-heartedness are the features of risk-taking people. A long term investment is the one of real value. The biggest enemy of courage is "the moment right now."
    Why am I writing this right now?
    I read the article in yesterday's Radikal, which is carried in part in today's Hurriyet, by CHP's Istanbul MP, Zeynep Damla Gurel. So I guess there are people courageous enough to make investments in the future in the CHP. The CHP will put a lot of pressure on Gurel. But I want to say this to her:
    Continue on your road, do not feel pressured. Because history will be on your side. When I say history, I do not mean 50 years; 3 or 5 years should be enough to see I'm right.
    Take into consideration Demirel's words.
    Consider the factory in Golcuk, which now does one million dollars a year in export.
    Consider the last 3 to 5 years in Turkey.
    And then consider those who oppsed the factory, the European Union, and foreign investment....take these things, line them up, compare them, and then make your decision.
    And what is your choice: Today's cheap, populist, archaic delirium of noise?
    Or the feelings of gratitude from tomorrow's children and grandchildren?



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