The Etiquette of Winning and Losing…

Dear friends,

The elections in Turkey have finally come to an end, with the People’s Alliance winning both the presidential office and the majority in the parliament. During the electoral campaign, the government went through some rough times, while the opposition reached its strongest potential by uniting. However, the result did not change. In fact, the opposition suffered its clearest defeat so far.

Throughout Turkish political history, no loser ever thought about resigning. Just as those who come to power think that things won’t work without them, those who lose are obsessed with the idea that there is no victory without them. Just like the victory speech of the victor, the farewell speech of the defeated may serve as a glimmer of hope for all citizens. It makes me sad to say that I have been heavily criticised by the blind fanatics of both the government and the opposition because I shared this opinion of mine on air last night. That’s alright, but I will not stop speaking what I know to be true. I do not intend to humour anyone just so I can be more lovable popular. I just know that we need an opposition that gathers its strength not only during election campaigns, but that is also capable of agreeing with the government over social-good efforts, and effectively performing its role as ‘opposition’ to oppose attempts that do not serve the public interest. Instead, we saw an opposition that has denigrated the good deeds done, and couldn’t quite criticise the wrongs because of the forced cooperation in which they had to work together with other parties in spite of different political principles.

Although the opposition has intensely focused on women’s and children’s rights, justice and equality, economy, arts, sports, culture, and development, their overall discourse was rather disorganised. Scholars and writers, who have conducted countless studies on these issues, including me, who have authored a dozen books to explore and discuss them in detail, have been far more consistent than the politicians ever have been. What they must have done was to generate sustainable and effective policies, not merely engage in partisan political discussions.

If the Government is determined to keep the same economic model, interest rates, inflation and exchange rates will have to inevitably rise. There is no other way. “The winner is always right,” they say. Yesterday, the majority showed us that they did not want to return to the parliamentary system. But as far as the economic model is concerned, clearly “fine-tuning” will not be enough. So, I figure that the Government will do more than just fine-tuning. However, I also guess that there won’t be a full return to the free market economy.

A politician needs to know the etiquette of losing if he or she ever aspires to be a “symbol of democracy”. Refusing to leave office after a total of 16 electoral defeats yet calling upon for change seems like an insincere response to me, to say the least.