Dear Mr. President,
Your recent comments and some of the decisions you made and implementations of your power structure, urged me to compose and address this open letter to you.

YOUR EFFORTS FOR IMAGE DURING THE LAST TWO MONTHS OF THE YEAR

Bluntly, you complained; “We were not able to establish our intellectual power in 18 years”. Then you founded a new art foundation for "intellectual power" for this purpose, and İbrahim Kalın, who is your spokesperson, took place as a board member in this foundation. Your objective was announced as "Contributing to Turkey's culture and art economy with a training and production-oriented approach, powered by the universal understanding of art & culture, that is fed by values and building blocks of our ancient civilization.” It has become clear that neither a respectable image could be achieved in the world, nor even trust could be established within the country, as long as there are people around you who only seek political and material power. Then, with a second move, you imposed a glimpse of hope that the court decisions and the "state of law" will now be respected, with your outlook summarized as "Let justice be served, even if the price for it is Doomsday," as pronounced by you and Minister of Justice, Mr. Gül. Immediately after that, with a third attempt, again summarized as the "EU move", you enforced your "building a positive perception" effort. Your spokesperson Kalın went to Brussels and met with the EU officials. By sending warm messages to the EU and the USA, you declared to friends and foes around the globe that you see your future in line with the EU. Although a significant part of your voters, agitated by the heavy anti-EU and anti-Western debates you often made, found this approach somewhat strange, they did not push it too much since they were used to your recurrent political tides. Then it was time for your fourth move. In the last few days of the year, you said during the Presidential Culture and Art Awards ceremony, "The artist we expect will show his opposition not with the political polemics s/he scatters from his/her social media account, but with the art s/he blows us away with", and you also stated that you are expecting artists who do not “despise the nation”. Sorry, and again in December, contrary to your previous comments, you listened to the Presidential Symphony Orchestra with great respect and attention, and bragged about the importance you attach to music.

Again, in the same period, I hereby would like to thank you especially as an animal lover; you adopted a disabled dog, Leblebi (Chickpea), and you showed affection to this dog together with the First Lady. I want to assure you, that my thanks here have no cynical implications.

APPLICATIONS THAT DO NOT MATCH WITH YOUR GOALS!

Mr. President,
With your behaviors mentioned above, which you believe complement each other, I hope that one day you will really divert our country towards a state of law full of thinkers, artists and musicians and is also finally recognized by the West; I am eager to pronounce this hope of mine, however and to the contrary, all the contradictory practices that have been experienced in the political arena, make me seriously skeptical about this issue. The expressions you used while handing out awards to the artists, incite those hesitations.

Mr. President, if you are looking for "intellectual power", "respect by the West", "dialogue with the world of the artists", then I would like to bring to your attention the following facts:

If the court's decisions are not respected in the cases of Enis Berberoğlu, Osman Kavala and Selahattin Demirtaş; if a sectarian doctor is appointed as the head of GATA (the military hospital), who makes fun of respectable Republican people with his social media posts; if the bigoted women who dare to say that “they are preparing death lists and that they will turn some neighborhoods into blood arenas” on pro-government sharia favoring television channels run around freely; if those who initiate again the death row debates by "targeting people" at every opportunity are given dubious support; if violence against women takes the lives of innocent people every day, if all kinds of excuses and distorted comments are put forward in order not to sign the Istanbul Convention; if in addition, all kinds of violence is asserted by the police on women seeking their rights by demonstrating on the streets; while Hagia Sophia is being opened to worship again, if its imam clearly curses the founders of the Republic, and then shamelessly gives support to a would be miserable academician who proposes "Yılmaz Özdil's (famous opposition journalist and writer) corpse should not be permitted in the mosque for his funeral" as "righteous" and if this İmam is not dismissed from office despite these severe provocations of hatred; if some district or provincial governors, who consider placing flowers and wreaths at the monument of Atatürk, the founding father of this country, as a crime, can still be appointed; if the Atatürk Cultural Center and the Rumeli Hisarı Open-Air Theater, some of the very few spots where the country could still inhale artistic oxygen, were closed for reasons that satisfied nobody; if most of public and Anatolian high schools were forcibly and unreasonably converted into İmam-Hatip high schools (religious vocational high schools); if AKP parliamentary Cengiz Aydoğdu could make a blunt statement saying “Sharia (Islamic law) is our law”; if people who took part in the political structuring of the government were appointed as deans to the most enlightened and progressive universities in the country, despite great student and academic staff reactions; if the leaders of the two allying parties representing the government constantly humiliate the opposition party by spreading immoral statements about this historical party, if they can agitate the people with hatred without hesitation saying "The root of the CHP (Republican Party of the People) is unproductive and infertile"; if the institutions representing the view of the government in the country can engage in unimaginable campaigns against the newspapers carrying out their opposition duty, and if they can impose all kinds of punishment and pressure methods towards those publications; if the most valuable green areas and bays of the country can be offered to the holders of power so that new palaces would be built despite all the warnings of the local people and ecology associations; if lawsuit cases without content can be brought up and even concluded with convictions against legendary writers such as Necati Doğru and Emin Çölaşan with allegations of them being members of the FETO (Fethullah Gülenist Terrorist Organization); if the “Ataturk” Airport, one of the most popular airports in the world and essential part of the national wealth, is made obsolete and destroyed due to an allergy to its name and a new airport hugely expensive and pompous is being built by force; like a comedy that the world has never ever seen before, if it is okay to show bloody crimes like stabbings on TVs, whereas scenes containing alcohol consumption are blurred and disguised; if in your description of the artist, a "good artist" to be precise; means ignoring the fact that a thinking person can express critical opinions very different from the dominant forces in politics and if you define the opinions of Fikri Sağlar (Former Minister of Culture and Parliament member of CHP) who still dares to think differently from you in this country, not as pure criticism, but make his critical expressions (about the veil) a subject for litigation...

 

CONCLUSION: Mr. President, do I need to mention more examples? Please perceive this situation now. As long as all this is experienced in Turkey, there's no way, not even remotely close, that you can establish what you call your "intellectual power". It is impossible for you to establish a healthy dialogue with the artists. It is impossible for the West to reserve a place for our country in the EU by respecting you and your actions. And most important of all; there will be no peace, happiness or serenity for the people of this country.

Therefore, if you really want to achieve the hopeful goals you have set before you, I suggest you reconsider "what should and should not be done" on your new to-do list.
Because, peace is what our country desperately needs, the most…

Respectfully.

Post Date: 07.01.2021
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