A structural problem in Turkish politics: Ego

Perhaps more than any other country, it isn’t easy to understand Türkiye’s political spectrum. Since the country’s foundation, there has been an intra-clash of civilizations and physical clashes.

The physical clashes are easy to be analyzed. You know who is fighting for what. Thus, choosing a side is easy. Yet, ideological clashes are so complicated that you may witness a division in society between secular vs. conservatives; a group of secular plus conservatives vs another group of conservatives and secular; Turks vs. Kurds; pious Turks and Kurds vs. secular Turks and Kurds, and so on.

This article argues that such groupings happen because many Turkish political leaders mislead people for their egos. From another aspect, the ideology they are affiliated with is a way to accomplish their personal goals. Therefore, expectations of people from politics are just exploited for better posts, careers, and probably fiscal gains.

In this sense, there is one ideology that all candidates of decision-making adhere to, the ego.

The ego is hidden inside all ideologies. Typically, egos meltdown in worldviews since everyone becomes a part of the whole because they are all supposed to be equal, do not change their ideological stance according to conditions, have the same color as their companions/comrades, rarely step back, do not change their ideological routes, spend great effort, make sacrifices, have high devotion, finish their causal venture as how they started and so on.

While there are some individuals among Türkiye prominent figures, such as politicians, artists, journalists, bourgeoisie and academicians, who hold ideological values, the majority of them seem to adjust their character and actions based on their interests.

It is not rare to witness them praising politicians during one period, followed by meeting leaders of terrorist organizations. They may sometimes identify as leftist on one day and then lend their support to a religious party the next or even meet with leaders of marginal groups on yet another day. The inconsistency and instability in their behavior seem to become a consistent pattern over time. However, what remains unchanged is the stability of their contradictions.

We have such examples as that there are businesspeople who identify themselves as leftists. However, the same guys show their arrogance, particularly to the poor and uneducated people, whom the left-wing claim to struggle for.

Conservative communities

Such a dilemma can be seen in conservative communities as well. So many former members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and marginal religious parties sided with secular opposition parties to maintain their political life and help once-adversary factions to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Their attitudes show that they do not want to rule the country but prevent Erdoğan from heading again, a passionate plan reflecting how big their ego is, which they think was hurt by their former leader, who kicked them out of the governing party.

Among people who watch political contention from tribunes, young people suffer more than anyone else in understanding what is happening. This is because there are so many crossing roads to the future and they do not know which one to follow. As of the moment, while those accused of being backward have started to produce state-of-the-art technological products, those self-modernists have done nothing concrete and continuously criticize what conservatives have achieved as their egos break them to praise.

In other words, the modern ones claim to be progressive in their discourse but have nothing to offer society.

On the other hand, so-called non-modern people introduce new giant projects that boost Turkish people’s pride. A teenager is expected to choose a side in such circumstances.

Perhaps the best way to find the direction is to ignore the discourse which only aims to ramp up the egos of somebody and look at the concrete consequences of efforts. Is there an output or not? If not, ignore it. If there is, check whether it brings comfort to life.

Otherwise, what awaits ahead will be only bandwagoning ambitious people whose route goes to a destination, satisfying only their egos.

Source: Daily Sabah

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