GeriGündem Ertugrul Ozkok: Would a Turk elect a Kurd as president?
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Ertugrul Ozkok: Would a Turk elect a Kurd as president?

Yesterday, at 5:30 a.m. in the morning, I asked myself this question: "Is it more difficult for a Turk to elect a Kurd than it is for an American to elect a black American as president?"

For some segments of society and even for a majority of us, this question might seem pointless, even dangerous.

 

Yet this is the question I found myself asking in the early hours of the morning.

 

* * *

 

Those who find this question meaningless could be justified in their thinking, reasoning that:

 

Hasn’t Turkey ever had a Kurdish origin prime minister or president before now?

 

Yes, it is true, Turkey has.

 

But, none of them chaired their positions by openly declaring their "Kurdish identity".

 

Therefore, it might be better to rephrase the question in this way.

 

"Would a Turk elect to president an individual who openly says 'I am a Kurd'?"

 

This is the true test of democracy.

 

What would your sincere answer to this question be?

 

Can you comfortably answer "yes" to this question?

 

These days for many of us, I would assume it would be difficult to say "yes".

 

In other words, I repeat that a revolution like an "American Revolution" as covered in today’s Hurriyet daily headline news, is even less likely to become a reality in Turkey.

 

* * *

 

If this estimation is an expression of one of our country's facts then we also need to seek the answer to the following question.

 

Why we are like this?

 

Do we lack sufficient character to reach this level of democratic maturity?

 

I do not believe this is the case.

 

The democratic maturity of the Turkish nation is already at a level that could make many of the world's oldest democracies jealous.

 

If we cannot comfortably answer "yes" to this question, the reason is not only the mistakes made in name of the "Turks" over the past 25 years, but as importantly, those made in the name of  "Kurds".

 

The American public, who just 15-20 years ago were involved in displaying the most primitive examples of racism, can now elect a second generation black man as president.

 

That is because Americans do not have a terrorist organization like the PKK.

 

They brought to an end groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panthers.

 

Therefore the president has no cause to refer to his skin color, which is his ethnic identity, during his presidential victory speech, because it is not an issue.

 

This is why Republicans are being defeated in states known for their racist stance.

 

He does not make a show of his demand for change by covering them with black veils, headscarves or making being black the issue.

 

I asked this question to myself at five o'clock in the morning and began to think.

 

What is the cost to Turkey of basing politics on religion and ethnic identity?

 

Turkey will hold local elections next year.

 

What do the terrorist PKK and pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party say?

 

"Kurds should vote for Kurds."

 

More than this, they say, a Kurd should vote for Kurds supported by the PKK...

 

What emerges from this thinking?

 

"Turks should vote for Turks..."

 

What about the streets and regions choked full of uncollected garbage.

 

This is not important...

 

And change is once again left to the future...

 

This is why the U.S. is a nation of people who "have dreams" and can realize these dreams.

 

While our country is a nation of poor that awakes from their nightmares drenched in sweat, each and every night...

 

* * *

 

Of course, I also need to draw your attention the percentage of votes won by McCain.

 

47 percent...

 

This figure is not enough to become the "national will" in other countries.

 

And those elected with 52 percent of the nation’s support do not and cannot claim to be the sole "national will"...

 

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