English Turkey

On ruined relationships in politics

A website poses this question to its readers: “If you are in a relationship with someone who makes you feel bad on purpose, why do you stay?”

The worst response to the question was “Probably because of my fear that I won’t find another human being out of the 7 billion-plus on this planet better than that one.”


Even with such fear, you should not choose to stay in an unhealthy relationship. If you do, you bring one thing to the mind of those who are familiar with Attila İlhan’s famous poem, “Ben sana mecburum.”

There are several translations of these lyrics into English: “I’m bound to you,” “You are a must for me” and “I’m compelled to you.” The late Cem Karaca made an incredibly sad song out of it. The Turkish song is available online, but you don’t have to know Turkish for the gloom to hit you right away.

The song will be a good choice for the Russian ambassador in Ankara and Russian President Vladimir Putin when they reminisce about their relationship with Turkey.

Putin’s callous attitude toward the situation in Idlib, Syria, reflects that he is not going to feel bad at all, but he may be forced to think about the lost opportunities if and when Syria is replaced by three countries. Or when they start unpacking the returned S-400s, or when they have NATO flotillas lined up along their Black Sea coasts. When they are whining and moaning on this side of the fence, we might listen to Lily Allen’s “Smile” with a smirk on our faces.

Can Putin not read the writing on the wall? Can he not see the number of Syrian people migrating toward Turkey once again and understand its frightfully harmful effects on the country? Can he not understand the meaning of the words “women and children”?

The Syrian drama has been based on the differences in the definition of the word “terrorism.” Syrians who simply wanted a democratic change in their country were not terrorists. They were people going after their daily bread; they were accountants, teachers, artisans, university students and professors. Yes, some people (who with the foregone conclusion that the Baath regime and Bashar al-Assad with his minority Nusayris in the country would never allow the majority Sunnis to bring in a democratic system) resorted to terrorism, and yes, former U.S. President Barrack Obama equipped and armed them.

Al-Assad portrayed the entire opposition movement as if it were composed of those terrorists and bombed his own cities and towns, killing half a million people. Five million such individuals took refuge in Turkey with their children. The rest fell victim to the stories of Astana and Sochi, to vows by the Russian Federation and Iran which were once assumed to be honest, honorable and respectful.

We laughed at U.S. representative James Jeffrey when he suggested that the Sochi process was simply wasting power so it should be unplugged. He was, of course, simply trying to steer Turkey to acquiesce the U.S. plans to dismember Syria and create a PKK-run state to shield Israel from Iran. But we laughed at his suggestion that Russians and Iranians were stalling us off. Apparently right now the mullahs in Iran are happy to see more Sunnis being decimated in Syria, and Russians are content with the ostensibly winning Baath regime against those whom they still consider terrorists.

But these victories are only an appearance; no government has ever survived after bombing its own people. Besides, the Syrian Sunnis have reached a point where the prospect of peaceful coexistence with Bashar’s Alawite minority sect is impossible. Perhaps they now say a dismembered Syria would be a better solution for everyone concerned.

If Turkey reaches the end of its rope and resorts to arms to protect its own soldiers at the observation points around Idlib and to save the Syrian people there, Putin will start listening to some sad music about ruined relationships.

 Source: Daily Sabah

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About the author

Hakki Ocal

Hakki Ocal

Hakkı Öcal is a columnist at both Daily Sabah and Milliyet newspapers, which are based in Istanbul. He is also an advisor to the President of Ibn Haldun University.

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