The history of the world tells us that power struggles are always harsh, long and usually bloody, but here in this land they are harsher and longer. In some parts of the world, power struggles brought their own rules in time, becoming more human. In those places power struggles turned into some sort of game, but here in the beautiful land, it is unfortunately still not at that level.
Turkish diplomacy, besides the principle of “peace at home, peace in the world,” recently started implementing a “win-win” principle. Unfortunately, this principle was not applied to domestic politics.
A couple of years ago, it was impossible for people to believe that the “win-win” principle might work in international relations. Even in universities, political science students have been taught that the interests of the countries are most important and they contradict each other. But now, we know that this assumption is not always correct. Just the opposite, most of the time it has proven that it is false.
But in domestic politics we are still unable to understand this, as we can see from the discourse of recent discussions, especially on democratic autonomy and related subjects.
As far as I can see, this “democratic autonomy” suggests a very authoritarian social and political structure for the Kurds. This is what discussions are supposed to underline but only a few people are even talking about this aspect. The political sides of the problem are talking about “giving” and “taking,” and the threats are not missing either. “If you don’t give it, we know how to take it,” or “we will never ever give anything.”
This discourse of power hurts everyone and also prevents a solution. If the political sides did not consider the problem as just a “power struggle,” but were able to look at it from a humanitarian point of view, then the solution could be found easier.
It is also important to adopt an “egalitarian” point of view. The people who consider themselves the “sides” of the problem do not consider the other side their equals. They consider the others as people or groups which are inferior and need to be kept under control. This approach is the natural outcome of perceiving things as a power struggle. The same mentality also applies to the other problems in this country; religious minorities, the Alevi issue, the Roma population and individual rights and freedoms.
But the perception of the power struggle is not only limited to the “big issues” in daily life, within families the same struggle is going on, sometimes with violence.
The problems of women, including domestic violence, sexual abuse, exclusion from working and politics, are also very much related to the power struggle. A male-dominated culture by nature perceives things from a power-struggle point of view. If the women in this country are being murdered under the pretext of “honor killings,” under the pretext of salty food or wearing white trousers, the real reason behind it is the power game of men. They attack women simply to maintain or reinforce their power.
The headscarf issue is even a natural outcome of this power struggle. Instead of perceiving it as an individual preference of women, it is considered a tool in the power struggle over women’s bodies. Only a few people are aware of the fact that all kinds of pressure about how to be covered are violence against women.
If you look around carefully, you will discover that many other problems are related to this harsh power struggle and actually it is the main reason why we cannot find any solutions.
Well, there are many definitions of democracy. Some say it is the best administration model until a better one is invented, some argue it is the most difficult but still the best. Some say it is a model for living and it improves itself everyday. But for me it is definitely a collection of the methods based on a humanitarian outlook and human rights restricting the power struggle.
This year I am wishing everyone, but especially this country of ours, less power struggle and more democracy.