Ertuğrul Özkök - English
Ertuğrul Özkök - English
Ertuğrul Özkök - EnglishYazarın Tüm Yazıları

God forbid if the gray wolf symbol of Turks appeared on stage during a similar ceremony like in the U.S.

It was with a sense of yearning that I watched the ceremony held for U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.

Haberin Devamı

Tiger Woods, one of the most successful golfers in history, delivers a speech.

He is also a U.S citizen, just like Obama, and both have their origins in Africa.

"My father was a U.S. army officer," he says.

He spent his childhood surrounded by U.S. army officers representing every state in the country, adding:

"I am honored to be part of a family that was a member the U.S. armed forces that defend our country."

He also says that they organize a yearly tournament for veterans and that he feels the same sense of honor when attends this tournament.

Haberin Devamı

* * *

Then I start to think. I wonder if in the history of U.S. army, if anyone was involved in any shady relations?


Yes of course there were, and what is more, they were numerous…


We still remember the trial of Colonel Oliver North.


Despite all the wrongdoings within the army, Woods still has a sense of honor and maintains his faith in the institution that his father was a member of.


Nobody in my family is a professional soldier.


But, it makes no difference.


I am just as proud of our army, as Woods is of his.


Are there members of the Turkish Armed Forces that could be accused of being involved in inappropriate activities?


Sure there are. The same types of people exist in the police force and in other professions...


It still makes no difference.


The mistakes of a few can never invalidate the bravery of members of the armed forces in the wars fought in the Balkans, the Dardanelles and the Turkish War of Independence.

Right or wrong, wars are fought when politicians are unable to solve issues through other means.

Perhaps this institution has made mistakes, and individuals within it make mistakes, but it remains one of the pillars of Turkish society, despite all its faults…

I look at the crowd cheering for Woods.

Haberin Devamı


Who are they? Mostly democrats.


In other words, the same people who were critical of the U.S. wars in Vietnam and Iraq.


Moreover, its soldiers are still fighting in Iraq.


And still, from the very outset, he says, "I am proud of our army."


I felt a deep sense of sadness as I watch this scene.


* * *


During the ceremony, "an American Bald Eagle" was brought onto the stage.


What is the symbolism of the American Bald Eagle?


It could be considered to have the same symbolism of the grey wolf*.


In other words, it could be seen as symbolic of the foundation of the United States.


And I wonder… What would happen, if during a similar ceremony in Turkey, somebody dared to bring a "grey wolf" onto the stage?

Haberin Devamı


That president or prime minister would probably face some very harsh criticism.


He might be accused of being a fascist or a racist...


Because this country has a graveyard full of an assortment of national symbols from its past.


* * *

A statue of Abraham Lincoln positioned as a backdrop on the stage.


With eyes full of pride, the seated Lincoln looks out over the crowd.


Each speaker reads quotes from Lincoln.


It is as if he is taking the presidential seat instead of Obama.


Who is Lincoln?


He is one of the founders of the United States of America.


But here, if you mention the founding father of Turkey "Mustafa Kemal Ataturk", there are many ready and waiting to shout "dictator".

Haberin Devamı


All his brave actions, including the Tripoli victory, the Dardanelles and the War of Independence wars have been forgotten.


Moreover, his leading role in the foundation of Turkish Republic has already been tossed aside.


I watch the ceremony.


The answer to the question of how a nation is born and thrives is up on that stage.


And the answer to the question of how to shatter a nation is in our region, the Middle East.


* A gray female wolf, Asena, is believed to have led captive Turks to freedom in the Turks' Ergenekon legend.




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