A sad day for Turkey

I surprised myself by getting very, very happy yesterday night around seven, when a news site announced:” Izmir kazandi!” (Izmir has won!). Izmir, so the site said, had been elected to organize EXPO 2015, beating Milan. Somehow, I felt so happy for Turkey. Especially on this day, when in the afternoon such bad news emerged: the Constitutional Court has decided to hear the case filed by the public prosecutor to close down the AKP. I was amazed by it, as I still believe that justice has some value in this country. I mean, the complaint by the prosecutor provided no proof whatsoever of the AKP being the ‘focal point of anti-secular activities’, and last week an official advisor wrote a report in which he more or less said the same, and added that banning parties is not part of democracy. Nevertheless, the Constitutional Court decided to hear the case. It will hold the political system hostage for months, because that’s how long this process will take. The AKP will largely be focused on ways to get out of this scrape, instead of making progress with political and economic reforms that could really take Turkey into the future. My last spark of faith in the law tells me that in the end the judges will do what they have to do and not close down the AKP, which might make democracy stronger, but it might take a whole year.
As I was pondering all this with a big fat smile on my face about Izmir 2015, the news changed. I turned the TV on, and heard NTV announce: Izmir kazandi ama resmi henüz yok – Izmir has won but it’s not yet official. And then fifteen minutes later: Milano kazandi. It was a sad day for Turkey.

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