The ne­ces­sity of main­tain­ing bor­ders

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY TAKIS THEODOROPOULOS

Since the failed coup in Turkey on July 15, I have been rather sur­prised by the si­lence of the coun­try’s in­tel­lec­tu­als, who up un­til re­cently had been very talk­a­tive. Whether they kept silent out of fear or dis­com­fort, we should re­spect it. Nev­er­the­less, Orhan Pa­muk’s si­lence, for in­stance, can­not go un­no­ticed. The point is not to carry out di­rect po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ven­tions, but to bare the es­sen­tial trans­for­ma­tions that Turk­ish so­ci­ety has gone through in the nearly 15 years that Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan’s Jus­tice and De­vel­op­ment Party (AKP) has been in power – changes that are ob­vi­ous even to non-Turk­ish ex­perts like my­self. The mere pres­ence (2002-17) of the same party in gov­ern­ment for so long makes you won­der about the na­ture of our neigh­bor­ing democ­racy. I read in yes­ter­day’s Cor­riere della Sera that prior to the at­tack on Is­tan­bul’s Reina night­club, Turkey’s di­rec­tor for re­li­gious af­fairs, who rep­re­sents the state, had ac­cused those pre­par­ing to cel­e­brate New Year’s Eve of be­ing “in­fi­dels.” Mean­while, au­thor Burhan Son­mez told the same pa­per that sim­i­lar com­plaints, re­gard­ing both Christ­mas and New Year’s Eve, were made by sev­eral lead­ing AKP of­fi­cials. While Turkey of­fi­cially con­demned the at­tack, on so­cial media and else­where on­line, many de- fended the as­sas­sin in the name of re­li­gion. In a state­ment claim­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for yet another mass mur­der, the slaugh­ter­ers’ group re­ferred to the “apos­tate Turk­ish gov­ern­ment.” These are the same peo­ple Er­do­gan helped in the past but was forced to drop when he started reach­ing an un­der­stand­ing with Rus­sia’s Vladimir Putin, aban­don­ing the US, which is help­ing the Kurds and which forced him to move away from his friend Bashar al-As­sad. There is some­thing wrong with the sul­tan of democ­racy. He now claims that Kur­dish ter­ror­ism is equal to Is­lamic ter­ror­ism. The re­sult of the equa­tion is weekly mas­sacres. How can so­cial co­he­sion be main­tained faced with weekly at­tacks on civil­ians from Di­yarbakir to Is­tan­bul? How much can you trust a leader who does not hide his au­to­cratic ten­den­cies, who has changed his coun­try’s al­lies on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions in the last decade and who un­der­mines his own mil­i­tary and se­cret ser­vice forces? Given that Greece and Europe have based their en­tire man­age­ment of the refugee-mi­grant cri­sis on Er­do­gan’s word, should we start wor­ry­ing? In­stead of look­ing for frigates in­vad­ing our islets, should we be look­ing out for dinghies flood­ing our cities with hu­man de­spair? Un­til the world be­comes par­adise, you need bor­ders, even those at sea.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.