Κυριακή, 28 Απριλίου 2013

Γενοκτονία Αρμενίων: Η κατανόηση είναι συνυφασμένη με την συγνώμη


Άρθρο του Μάρκου Μπόλαρη γιά την Αρμενική Γενοκτονία 

Η εφαρμογή το 1915 ενός συστηματικού σχεδίου εξόντωσης, που είχε ως αποτέλεσμα το θάνατο περισσοτέρων από ένα εκατομμύριο Αρμενίων από την Οθωμανική Τουρκική Κυβέρνηση και την εκδίωξη των υπολοίπων από τις εστίες τους, έχει κατοχυρωθεί στη συνείδηση του δημοκρατικού κόσμου ως γενοκτονία. Εντούτοις 100 χρόνια σχεδόν μετά, τα εγκλήματα αυτά δεν έχουν αναγνωρισθεί από το Τουρκικό κράτος. Στην προσπάθεια μιας πολύπαθης μετάβασης σε σύγχρονους δημοκρατικούς θεσμούς η Τουρκία οφείλει σήμερα να διαχειρισθεί το ιστορικό της παρελθόν με την αναγνώριση της κατάφωρης παραβίασης εκ μέρους της των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων. Όπως ακριβώς οφείλει να κάνει και στην περίπτωση της συστηματικής εκδίωξης και αφανισμού των Ελλήνων του Πόντου. Η άρνηση της δεν μπορεί να χρησιμοποιεί ως άλλοθι την αναβίωση του οθωμανικού μεγαλοϊδεατισμού που αποκρύπτει το ένοχο παρελθόν για να προβάλλει μια φενακισμένη εκδοχή της ιστορίας. Καμιά μεταρρυθμιστική προσπάθεια δεν μπορεί να έχει αξιώσεις προοπτικής αν στηριχθεί στη λήθη και στην παραγνώριση του ένοχου παρελθόντος. Όπως υπογράμμισε ο φιλόσοφος της επιείκειας Vladimir Jankelevitch, η κατανόηση είναι συνυφασμένη με τη συγνώμη. Η Τουρκία αν επιθυμεί ειλικρινά να ενταχθεί στο σύστημα αξιών του σύγχρονου δημοκρατικού κόσμου, οφείλει να επιδείξει έμπρακτα την απόρριψη των πρακτικών εθνοκάθαρσης που υιοθέτησε συχνά στην ιστορική της διαδρομή. Η αναγνώριση και η συγνώμη θα συμβάλλουν στην ισχυροποίηση της ιστορικής μνήμης, όχι για να μνησικακούμε αλλά για να ενδυναμώσουμε τις προθέσεις συμφιλίωσης και κυρίως για να αποτρέψουμε στο μέλλον πράξεις που είναι το όνειδος του πολιτισμένου κόσμου.  

Άλλο Κράτος χρειαζόμαστε ... κι η κυβέρνηση απλώς, αστοχεί


MAΡΚΟΣ ΜΠΟΛΑΡΗΣ : Όσο στο δημόσιο διάλογο και στις νομοθετικές πρωτοβουλίες της κυβέρνησης θα επικρατεί μόνον η προκρούστεια λογική για το μεγάλο κράτος χωρίς να τίθενται ως κρίσιμες παράμετροι η διαφάνεια, η αποτελεσματικότητα, η ποιότητα,  ο σεβασμός στον πολίτη και το δημόσιο χρήμα ώστε να σχεδιάσουμε, να νομοθετήσουμε και να οργανώσουμε ένα Άλλο Κράτος,  με σύγχρονη δομή ηλεκτρονικής διακυβέρνησης,  αξιολόγησης για την ταχεία και διαφανή υπηρέτηση της ανάπτυξης στον ιδιωτικό τομέα και διάκονο του δημοσίου συμφέροντος, θα εισάγονται νομοσχέδια που απλά αστοχούν !

Παρασκευή, 26 Απριλίου 2013

Austrian Scholars Leave Albania Lost for Words

Viennese researchers upset traditionally minded Albanians by pouring cold water on the theory that the Albanian language has its roots in Ancient Illyria.
25 MAR 11. 
Besar Likmeta
 Tirana and Vienna
Matzinger and Schumacher
Joachim Matzinger and Stefan Schumacher | Photo by : Besar Likmeta
Deep in the bowels of Vienna University, two Austrian academics are poring over the ancient texts of a far-away people in the Balkans. 

Like a couple of detectives searching for clues, Stefan Schumacher and Joachim Matzinger are out to reconstruct the origins of Albanian - a language whose history and development has received remarkably little attention outside the world of Albanian scholars.

“The way that languages change can be traced,” Schumacher declares, with certainty.  

Although the two men are simply studying 17th and 18th-century Albanian texts in order to compile a lexicon of verbs, their innocent-sounding work has stirred hot debate among Albanian linguists. 

The root of the controversy is their hypothesis that Albanian does not originate from the language of the Ancient Illyrians, the people or peoples who inhabited the Balkans in the Greek and Roman era. 

According to Classical writers, the Illyrians were a collection of tribes who lived in much of today’s Western Balkans, roughly corresponding to part of former Yugoslavia and modern Albania. 

Although Albanian and Illyrian have little or nothing in common, judging from the handful of Illyrian words that archeologists have retrieved, the Albanian link has long been cherished by Albanian nationalists. 

The theory is still taught to all Albanians, from primary school through to university.     

It is popular because it suggests that Albanians descend from an ancient people who populated the Balkans long before the Slavs and whose territory was unfairly stolen by these later incomers.
“You’ll find the doctrine about the Illyrian origin of Albanians everywhere,” Matzinger muses, “from popular to scientific literature and schoolbooks. “There is no discussion about this, it’s a fact. They say, ‘We are Illyrians’ and that’s that,” he adds.

What’s in a name? 

The names of many Albanians bear witness to the historic drive to prove the Illyrian link.
 
 Pandeli Pani | Photo by : Idem Institute
Not Pandei Pani. When he was born in Tirana in 1966, midway through the long dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, his father told the local registry office that he wished to name him after his grandfather.  
Pani recalls his father’s hard-fought battle not to have to give his son an Illyrian name. 
Staff at the civil registry office apparently said that naming the future linguistics professor after his grandfather was not a good idea, as he was dead. They suggested an approved Illyrian name instead. 

“But the Illyrians aren’t alive either,” Pani recalls his father as quipping.

Many members of Pani’s generation born in the Sixties did not have such stubborn fathers. Their parents subscribed to the government policy of naming children after names drawn from ancient tombs. 

In the eyes of the world, they aimed to cement the linkage between modern Albania and its supposedly ancient past. 

“While I was named after my grandfather, keeping up a family tradition, other parents gave their children Illyrian names that I doubt they knew the meaning of,” says Pani, who today teaches at Jena university in Germany. 

“But I doubt many parents today would want to name their children ‘Bledar’ or ‘Agron,’ when the first means ‘dead’ and the second ‘arcadian,” he adds. 

Pani says that despite the Hoxha regime’s efforts to burn the doctrine of the Albanians’ Illyrian origins into the nation’s consciousness, the theory has become increasingly anachronistic.

“The political pressure in which Albania’s scientific community worked after the communist took over, made it difficult to deal with flaws with the doctrine of the Illyrian origin,” he said.
But while the Illyrian theory no longer commands universal support, it hasn’t lost all its supporters in Albanian academia. 
Take Mimoza Kore, linguistics professor at the University of Tirana. 
Mimoza Kore | Photo by : Photo by : Albaneological Institute
Speaking during a conference in November organised by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, where Pani presented Schumacher’s and Matzinger’s findings, she defended the linkage of Albanian and Illyrian, saying it was not based only on linguistic theory.

“Scholars base this hypothesis also on archeology,” Kore said. Renowned scholars who did not “subscribe blindly to the ideology of the [Hoxha] regime” still supported the idea, she insisted.

One of the key problems in working out the linguistic descendants of the Illyrians is a chronic shortage of sources. 

The Illyrians appears to have been unlettered, so information on their language and culture is highly fragmentary and mostly derived from external sources, Greek or Roman.
Matzinger points put that when the few surviving fragments of Illyrian and Albanian are compared, they have almost nothing in common. 

“The two are opposites and cannot fit together,” he says. “Albanian is not as the same as Illyrian from a linguistic point of view.”

Schumacher and Matzinger believe Albanian came into existence separately from Illyrian, orginating from the Indo-European family tree during the second millennium BC, somewhere in the northern Balkans. 
The language’s broad shape resembles Greek. It appears to have developed lineally until the 15th century, when the first extant text comes to light. 

“One thing we know for sure is that a language which, with some justification, we can call Albanian has been around for at least 3,000 years,” Schumacher says. “Even though it was not written down for millennia, Albanian existed as a separate entity,” he added. 

Bastard tongues:

Linguists say different languages spoken in the same geographical area often reveal similarities, despite a lack of evidence of a common origin. 
This phenomenon of linguistic “areas” is also evident in the Balkans, where such different languages as Albanian, Greek, Bulgarian and Romanian all share words and structures.

First written words in Albanian

The first written record of Albanian is a baptismal formula written in 1462 by the Archbishop of Durres, Pal Engjelli. The first book in Albanian, a missal, was written in 1554 by Gjon Buzuku, a Catholic priest from the Shkodra region.
Pjeter Budi, Archbishop of Sape, also translated and adapted several Italian texts to Albanian in the same period.
Schumacher and Matzinger are concentrating their scholarship mostly on the work of Pjeter Bogdani, Archbishop of Prizren, who wrote half-a-century later. He is considered the most interesting Albanian early writer and the “father” of Albanian prose.
Bogdani’s most famous work, The Story of Adam and Eve, his account of the first part of the Bible, is written in both Albanian and Italian. Matzinger says that when Bogdani published the book he was under some pressure from the Inquisition. As the Inquisition did not know Albanian, and were not sure what he wrote, they forced him to make an Italian translation, which is published in the left column of the book.
“That is most useful because it means that no sentence in the book [in Albanian] is incomprehensible,” Matzinger says.
Although numerous texts by Bogdani, Budi and some others survive, the variety of authors, mainly Catholic clerics, is small.  “It would be interesting if we had a bigger variety of authors, though we’re grateful enough for what we do have,” Schumacher says.Accoding to Schumacher, from the Middle Ages onwards, languages throughout the Balkans tended to become more similar to one another, suggesting a high level of linguistic “exchange” between populations in the region.  

“A lot of people used a number of languages every day, and this is one way in which languages influence each other,” Schumacher says. “The difficult thing is that this runs counter to nationalist theories,” he adds. 

Drawing on genetic terminology, linguists term this process of language exchange language “bastardization”.  

Following the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, the phenomenon of language bastardization has taken a new twist, moving in the opposite direction, as each newly formed state acts to shore up its own unique linguistic identity. 

Before the common state collapsed, four of the six constituent republics, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro, shared a common language known as Serbo-Croat.

But since declaring independence in 1991, Croatia has consciously highlighted the distinct character of its language, now called “Croatian”.

Bosnian Muslims have made similar efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, promoting official use of a codified “Bosniak” language.

Montenegro, which remained in a loose state union with Serbia until 2006, then appeared content not to have its own separate language. But after independence, a new constitution adopted on October 2007 named the official language as Montenegrin. 

Similar calls to foster a separate national language have been heard in Kosovo, drawing on the northern Albanian “Gegh” dialect, though none of these initiatives has received official encouragement. 

Out of language, an identity: 

The study of Balkan languages came of age in the later 19th century as the Ottoman Empire began disintegrating and as intellectuals tasked with creating new nations out of its rubble turned to language to help forge national identities.
Cover of Adam and Eve, from Pjeter Bogdani | Photo by : Stefan Schumacher
According Schumacher, each country in the Balkans forged its own national myth, just as Germany or the US had done earlier, with a view to creating foundations for a shared identity. 

“In the late 19th century, language was the only element that everyone could identify with,” says Schumacher.  

He described the use of linguistics in national mythology as understandable, considering the context and the time when these countries gained independence.

“It’s not easy to create an identity for Albanians if you just say that they descend from mountains tribes about whom the historians of antiquity wrote nothing,” he notes.

The friction between ideological myth and reality, when it comes to forging national identity, and laying claim to territory, is not unique to Albania. 

Schumacher points out that Romanian history books teach that Romanians descend from the Roman legionnaires who guarded the Roman province of Dacia – a questionable theory to which few non-Romanians lend much credence, but which shores up Romania’s claim to Transylvania, a land to which Hungarians historically also lay claim.  

“The Romanian language developed somewhere south of the Danube, but Romanians don’t want to admit that because the Hungarians can claim that they have been there before,” notes Schumacher.

“None of them is older or younger,” says Schumacher. “Languages are like a bacterium that splits up in two and than splits up in two again and when you have 32 bacteria in the end, they are all the same,” he added. 

The two Austrian linguists say that within European academia, Albanian is one of the most neglected languages, which provides an opportunity to conduct pioneering work.  

Although the extant texts have been known for a long time, “they hardly ever been looked at properly”, Schumacher says. “They were mostly read by scholars of Albanian in order to find, whatever they wanted to find,” he adds. 


This article was produced as part of a journalistic exchange programme between BIRN and Austrian daily Der Standard.

Επί ποδός γιατροί και νοσηλευτές λόγω Χρυσής Αυγής


ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΙΜΟΔΟΣΙΑ «ΜΟΝΟ ΓΙΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΕΣ»

Την άμεση παρέμβαση του υπουργείου Υγείας ζητά η Ομοσπονδία Νοσοκομειακών Γιατρών Ελλάδας (ΟΕΝΓΕ), «για την προστασία της ιερής πράξης της αιμοδοσίας από τον επιχειρούμενο διασυρμό», όπως αναφέρει, με αφορμή πρόθεση της Χρυσής Αυγής για τη διενέργεια πανελλαδικής εθελοντικής αιμοδοσίας, «μόνο για Έλληνες».

Oι Χρυσαυγίτες καί άλλοι ανθρωποειδείς Ναζί γορίλλες 
θα πρέπει κανονικά να προσφέρουν όχι μόνον το αίμα τους
 αλλά καί το κρανιακό τους περιεχόμενο 
(εκεί που σε άλλα όντα υπάρχει μυαλό) 
γιά την επιστημονική έρευνα της ψυχοπνευματικής ανωμαλίας.
«Ως γιατροί θεωρούμε αποκρουστικό να εντάσσεται η εθελοντική αιμοδοσία στη λογική της διάκρισης, του ρατσιστικού διαχωρισμού και της εκστρατείας μίσους της «Χρυσής Αυγής», αναφέρει η ΟΕΝΓΕ και καλεί τις δημόσιες υπηρεσίες αιμοδοσίας , να τηρήσουν τις οδηγίες του Εθνικού Κέντρου Αιμοδοσίας και να αρνηθούν ρητά κάθε αιμοληψία ή συνεργασία που οδηγεί στη σπίλωση της εθελοντικής αιμοδοσίας, μετατρέποντάς την από πράξη αλληλεγγύης σε μέσον προβολής της μισαλλοδοξίας.
«Το αίμα δεν έχει εθνική ή φυλετική σύνθεση», αναφέρει η ΟΕΝΓΕ, προσθέτοντας ότι «οι φιάλες που συλλέγονται κατά τη διάρκεια της εθελοντικής αιμοδοσίας χορηγούνται με αποκλειστικά ιατρικά κριτήρια σε όσους έχουν ανάγκη μετάγγισης αίματος»
Και καταλήγει: «Παραπλανά χυδαία την κοινή γνώμη όποιος προπαγανδίζει ή αφήνει να εννοηθεί ότι υπάρχει δυνατότητα διακρίσεων στο αίμα που συλλέγεται σε οποιαδήποτε αιμοδοσία. Το απεχθέστερο όμως είναι ότι χύνει ρατσιστικό δηλητήριο».
Εντονη όμως ήταν και η αντίδραση της Πανελλήνιας Ομοσπονδίας Εργαζομένων στα Δημόσια Νοσοκομεία (ΠΟΕΔΗΝ), η οποία καλεί τα Σωματεία να είναι σε ετοιμότητα και να πάρουν πρωτοβουλίες ώστε να τηρηθούν με αυστηρότητα όλες οι προϋποθέσεις που ορίζονται για την διεξαγωγή της Αιμοδοσίας και να μην επιτρέψουν την μετατροπή της από την Χρυσή Αυγή σε «φιέστα εθνικής και φυλετικής καθαρότητας».

Σχόλιο Mάρκου Μπόλαρη στα περί προσχώρησης, όδευσης και συμπόρευσης

Η απίστευτη ελαφρότητα του 

ανευθύνως, ανυπογράφως και 

διαδικτυακώς διασπείρειν τα 

υπαγορευθέντα ! Σημείο των 

καιρών ! Έασον αυτοίς χαίρειν...


Γιατί οι Ισπανοί μαζεύουν φράουλες και οι... Ελληνάρες όχι;

του Σπύρου Ριζόπουλου 
Τα όσα θλιβερά και απαράδεκτα συνέβησαν στη Μανωλάδα είναι η κορυφή του παγόβουνου μιας πραγματικότητας όπως διαμορφώθηκε... τα τελευταία είκοσι χρόνια στην Ελλάδα. 
Τα μεταναστευτικά ρεύματα τόσο από τα Βαλκάνια και τις χώρες της Ανατολικής Ευρώπη σε πρώτη φάση όσο και από την Ασία στη συνέχεια, έκανε την ελληνική περιφέρεια να γεμίσει από «φραπεδόμαγκες» και «ωχαδερφάκηδες».

Διάβαζα προσφάτως πως στην Ισπανία μέχρι και το 2009 δίνονταν κάπου 20.000 άδειες το χρόνο σε μετανάστες για να εργαστούν νόμιμα στο μάζεμα της φράουλας. Από το 2009 και μετά, αφότου ξέσπασε η κρίση δηλαδή, οι άδειες αυτές δεν ξεπερνάνε πλέον τις 4000. Αυτό προφανώς σημαίνει πως χιλιάδες Ισπανοί επέστρεψαν στις αγροτικές δουλειές. Σημαίνει πως όταν ο Ισπανός άνεργος δεν βρίσκει άλλη διέξοδο θα πάει να μαζέψει φράουλες.

Εδώ. ποια χωράφια και ποιες φράουλες; «Παλιά, πολύ παλιά» απαντούν όσοι επιλέγουν να κάθονται αραχτοί και να «μαζεύουν ήλιο». Δεν είναι μόνο το χαμηλό μεροκάματο. Πιστεύω πως πολλοί παραγωγοί θα έδιναν καλύτερο μεροκάματο σε Έλληνες εργάτες. Είναι κυρίως η «εύκολη ζωή» που έγινε βίωμα στον Έλληνα. Οι αγροτικές δουλειές είναι δύσκολες και πολύωρες. Σιγά μη πάει το «παιδί» να μαζεύει φράουλες από το πρωί μέχρι το βράδυ.

Θα το συζητούσε βέβαια να πάει υπό κάποιες προϋποθέσεις. Να δουλεύει ας πούμε για κάνα τετράωρο, να παίρνει και κάνα πενηντάρικο, να έχει και βοηθό έναν πακιστανό. Από την άλλη, θα πάει στο χωράφι με τάπερ; Δεν θα έπρεπε να έχει κοντά ένα «Απολλώνιο» για τη «λιγούρα»; Δεν θα έπρεπε να υπάρχει και ένα καφέ ώστε στο διάλλειμα της μιας ώρας (μέσα στο τετράωρο) να πεταχτεί να πιει ένα παγωμένο «φρεντοτσίνο»;

Ακούω όσους λένε πως η αγροτική παραγωγή μπορεί να γίνει συγκριτικό πλεονέκτημα για την εθνική οικονομία. Επί της αρχής αυτό είναι σωστό. Αλλά αγροτική παραγωγή που θα δουλεύουν οι «άλλοι», αγροτική παραγωγή με τεμπελιά και ραχάτι δεν οδηγεί πουθενά. Είναι το απόλυτο παράδοξο σε μια χώρα με χιλιάδες ανέργους, ειδικά μεταξύ των νέων, να μην υπάρχει κανένα ενδιαφέρον για μια έστω εποχιακή απασχόληση πότε με τις φράουλες, πότε με τα ροδάκινα, πότε με τα πορτοκάλια.

Η νοοτροπία της «φραπεδούπολης», του καναπέ και του χαβαλέ δεν είναι η νοοτροπία που μπορεί να μας βοηθήσει να πιάσουμε το νήμα από την αρχή. Καλές οι θεωρίες περί νέων αναπτυξιακών προτύπων αλλά να συνειδητοποιήσουμε κάποια στιγμή και σε ποια κοινωνία απευθύνονται.

Καλή διασκέδαση απόψε στην ….παραλιακή!

Tα υποβρύχια καί η άσκηση ποινικής δίωξης σε βάρος του Άκη Τσοχατζόπουλου


Προτάσεις της προανακριτικής Επιτροπής Βουλής για τα υποβρύχια για άσκηση ποινικής δίωξης σε βάρος του πρώην Υπουργού Άκη Τσοχατζόπουλου

  Πρόεδρος ειδικής Κοινοβουλευτικής επιτροπής Μάρκος Μπόλαρης
Α 
Πρόταση για άσκηση ποινικής δίωξης σε βάρος του πρώην Υπουργού Αθανάσιου – Απόστολου Τσοχατζόπουλου.

Α.1 Για το αδίκημα της παθητικής δωροδοκίας του άρθρου 235 Π.Κ. με τις επιβαρυντικές περιπτώσεις του Ν. 1680/1950:

Την άσκηση ποινικής δίωξης σε βάρος του πρώην Υπουργού, Αθανασίου – Αποστόλου Τζοχατζόπουλου, για το έγκλημα της παθητικής δωροδοκίας, σε βαθμό κακουργήματος, το οποίο διέπραξε κατά το χρονικό διάστημα από 1/11/1999 μέχρι 27-9-2007 κατά το όποιο έλαβε το συνολικό ποσό τουλάχιστον των 7.777.373 δολαρίων Η.Π.Α.( ή όποιο μεγαλύτερο τυχόν προκύψει κατά την τακτική ανάκριση με το άνοιγμα και την διερεύνηση όλων των λογαριασμών της Torcaso και των λοιπών συνδεομένων φυσικών και νομικών προσώπων) λαμβάνοντας για τον εαυτό του παράνομα περιουσιακά ωφελήματα.

Α.2 Για τα αδικήματα νομιμοποίησης εσόδων από παράνομη δραστηριότητα:
Την άσκηση ποινικής δίωξης σε βάρος του Αθανασίου – Αποστόλου Τζοχατζόπουλου, για φυσική αυτουργία σε μια πράξη και ηθική αυτουργία σε όλες τις λοιπές επιμέρους πράξεις που συγκροτούν την κατ εξακολούθηση παραβίαση της νομοθεσίας για την νομιμοποίηση εσόδων από εγκληματική δραστηριότητα, κατά την χρονική περίοδο από 17-11-1999 μέχρι 16-4-2010.

Β Η Επιτροπή εκτός από την υποβολή της πρότασης για άσκηση ποινικής δίωξης ζητάει από τον κ. Πρόεδρο της Βουλής, την διαβίβαση του πορίσματος, προς τον Υπουργό Οικονομικών, κατά νόμο εκπρόσωπο του Ελληνικού Δημοσίου, προκειμένου να δοθεί εντολή στο Νομικό Συμβούλιο του Κράτους για :

Β.1.
Να παρασταθεί το ελληνικό δημόσιο ως πολιτική αγωγή στις ποινικές δίκες που θα διεξαχθούν στην Ελλάδα και την Γερμανία σε βάρος των ενεχομένων στην εκτεταμένη επιχείρηση δωροδοκίας καθώς και σε βάρος της εταιρείας Ferrostaal.
Β.2.
Να ασκήσει σύμφωνα με τις κείμενες διατάξεις αγωγές προς ικανοποίηση των πάσης φύσεως αξιώσεων του Ελληνικού Δημοσίου προς αποζημίωση σε βάρος κάθε ενεχομένου προσώπου στην Ελλάδα και στην Γερμανία και ιδίως κατά της εταιρείας Ferrostaal δράστη εκτεταμένης δωροδοκίας στην Ελλάδα.
Β.3. 
Να ασκηθεί αυτοτελώς αγωγή σε βάρος του πρώην Υπουργού προς επιδίκαση αποζημίωσης και χρηματικής ικανοποίησης υπέρ του Ελληνικού Δημοσίου.
Β.4. 
Να ληφθεί κάθε ενδεικνυόμενο ασφαλιστικό μέτρο (ενδεικτικά συντηρητική κατάσχεση ακινήτων και κινητών περιουσιακών στοιχείων (τραπεζικών λογαριασμών μετοχών, άυλων τιτλων θυρίδων κ.λ.π που θα βρεθούν στην κατοχή των υπόπτων) καθώς και σε εγγραφή προσημειώσεων υποθήκης επί ακινήτων κ.λ.π. προκειμένου να διασφαλιστούν τα οικονομικά συμφέροντα και οι νόμιμες αξιώσεις του Δημοσίου.
Β. 5. 
Να γίνει από τις αρμόδιες φορολογικές αρχές, καταλογισμός προστίμων για τυχόν φορολογικές παραβάσεις.

Γ. Η Επιτροπή ζητάει από τον κ. Πρόεδρο της Βουλής, την διαβίβαση του πορίσματος, των πρακτικών και των εγγράφων καθώς και του αποδεικτικού υλικού που συγκεντρώθηκε προς την λειτουργούσα Επιτροπή Εξοπλισμών, για διευκόλυνση των εργασιών της επειδή προέκυψαν αναφορές στις συμβάσεις Α.Ω. και στην εκτέλεση τους, τις οποίες αυτή ερευνά.

Israeli-Turkish Reconciliation Not a Done Deal


Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan greets members of parliament from his ruling party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, April 16, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Umit Bektas)
By: Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse Posted on April 23.


Exactly one month after that surprising phone call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan under the protective gaze of US President Barack Obama, the two sides have finally started talking. An Israeli delegation consisting of two persons arrived in Ankara to meet with senior Turkish officials [April 22] and bridge the differences between the two countries. These emissaries are National Security Adviser Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror and the Special Emissary for Turkish Affairs Yosef Ciechanover. They have no simple task ahead of them. The Turks are demanding over $1 million for each of the victims' families in reparations, while the sum that Israel is talking about is considerably less. But money will not be the obstacle along the road to rehabilitating Israeli-Turkish relations.

Our story is much more complex and convoluted than mere money might suggest. It encompasses geopolitical and strategic processes of much greater weight. It involves a tectonic shift of the continental plates, which began long ago and which stands in conflict with the strategic interests of at least some of the key players in the Middle East, chief among them Israel and the US. And, as always, there is a substantive debate between two distinctly different approaches. The bad news is that as of the writing of this piece, the rehabilitation of Israeli-Turkish relations seems much more distant and problematic than was previously thought. It’s like a military march, with full gear and stretchers open, but with no clear end point.
In Israel, before the Obama visit, two main attitudes toward Turkey competed for supremacy. The first approach, and also the more draconian, was championed by former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Moshe (“Bugi”) Ya’alon, before his appointment as minister of defense. This approach claims that reconciliation efforts are a waste of time and energy. Erdogan didn’t decide to sever his relationship with Israel because of the Marmara flotilla raid. He actually made his decision long before that. This claim can be proved rather easily by examining a series of harsh incidents that occurred between the Turkish prime minister and his Israeli colleagues.
Chief among these, of course, is the Davos incident, in which Erdogan stormed off a panel he was on with President Shimon Peres. Erdogan is an Islamist, say the proponents of this viewpoint. He is the Muslim Brotherhood, and his party is a sister party to Hamas. He wants to sever ties with Israel so that he can become the Sunni leader of the Middle East. He wants Turkey to be the major power in the Mediterranean Basin. He would effectively like to restore the past splendor of the Ottoman Empire.
Of course, his path to glory crosses Israel’s metaphorical corpse. By humiliating Israel he empowers himself and enhances his image, just like Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah once did. He becomes the guru of the masses. It wouldn’t help even if we were to apologize, claimed Liberman and Ya’alon. Erdogan would come to Gaza as a victor. He wouldn’t really renew his strategic relationship with us. He simply wants us to lift the closure order against Gaza. All that will come out of reconciliation is that we will end up paying an exorbitant price for defective goods, and that is if we get any goods at all.
The contrary approach — supported by former Defense Minister Ehud Barak, former Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor, former Minister without Portfolio Benny Begin and others — argues that there is still considerable room for maneuvering between Israel and Turkey. True, Erdogan changed the face of Turkey and brought it to Islam, but that does not mean that he has no strategic interests in the Middle East. If the relationship is managed properly, Israel could be a part of those interests, especially given what is going on in Syria and the blows that Erdogan has suffered in Libya and elsewhere. Proponents of this approach admit that Erdogan will never renew the close strategic alliance between Israel and Turkey, and the status of the Turkish military is a shadow of what it once was anyway.
Nevertheless, they say, there is still a lot that can be done with Turkey. The fact is that the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in Egypt too, and as it turns out dialogue between Israel and Egypt continues. Common interests maintain the bond between the military and the intelligence agencies of both countries. All that President Mohammed Morsi can do is “plug his nose” and talk with Israel. He has no choice, because he thinks it’s the right thing to do, and also because the Americans expect it of him. The way to American aid passes through Jerusalem too, and it works. According to this approach, the map of the Middle East is coming apart and the Americans are regrouping in the face of the events in Syria and Iran. Taken together, all of this creates an interesting new mapping out of interests, in which Turkey could derive considerable benefit from normalizing its relationship with Israel.
The first approach dominated throughout Netanyahu’s previous term. Israel stood firm in its insistence that it would not apologize or compensate the families of people killed on the Marmara. Things changed during Netanyahu’s second term. Ya’alon was appointed minister of defense, and discovered that “things that can be seen from here can’t be seen from there.” Once Obama threw all his weight behind the issue, Netanyahu picked up the phone and called Erdogan to apologize.
All that is left now is to find out who was ultimately right. The contacts established this week in Ankara will provide the answer. So far, the skies are overcast. The Turks are bringing a whole flock of goats into the room. They are demanding astronomical levels of compensation, both for themselves and the families of the victims, and they have vociferously denied numerous speculative reports in the media, including one claiming that they are supposed to allow Israel to station fighter jets in bases on Turkish territory in preparation for an assault on Iran.
Even the body language of Erdogan and other senior Turkish officials continues to be negative at best and hostile at worst, when it comes to anything relating to Israel. The real question is: What’s actually happening in chambers? Erdogan will continue attacking Israel on every occasion he gets. It is quite obvious that it is good for his ratings.
The question is whether he will realize that the current situation in the region requires a certain degree of Turkish-Israeli collaboration under an all-inclusive American umbrella, in order to cope with the difficult challenges nearby: the crisis in Syria, which could lead to that country’s partition or collapse, the Iran crisis, the situation in Egypt, the Arab Spring, etc. Israel has quite a bit to offer Turkey. The question is whether Turkey is interested in it.
What it all boils down to is that contacts between Israel and Turkey are much more important for the future of the region than the sum of their components. They are greater than any bilateral relationship between the two countries. They could prove that an Islamic state could have a real relationship with a Jewish state. They could establish the next important strategic axis. They could more or less balance and rein in the independent radicals, who threaten to set the whole region on fire. The decision as to what to do next is sitting on Erdogan’s desk. The man who changed the face of Turkey must now decide where he goes from here.

Ben Caspit is a contributing writer for Al-Monitor's Israel Pulse. He is also a senior columnist and political analyst for Israeli newspapers, and has a daily radio show and regular TV shows on politics and Israel.


Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/talking-reconciliation-in-ankara.html#ixzz2RaGrJkj7

In Turkey, Blame America for Syria


Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) attend a news 
conference after the Friends of Syria meeting in Istanbul, April 20, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Osman Orsal )
By: Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse Posted on April 25.
Throughout 2012, it was perplexing to watch many Turkish pundits rooting for a military intervention in Syria, given the 2003 Iraq war.


In early 2003, 71% of Turks thought the US could militarily threaten their country, according to a Pew Research Center survey. The majority of the Turks have been vehemently against the US intervention in Iraq. A decisive parliamentary vote rejected the US proposal to send its army to northern Iraq through Turkey under AKP leadership on March 1, 2003. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s 2001 book, Strategic Depth, argues that if the region is strong, other powers will not intervene and it is best to resolve conflicts through regional means. Therefore, one would predict, the Obama administration’s “leading from behind” policy would please the current Turkish government and public. Do Turks prefer a US and international intervention in Syria? Asli Aydintasbas recently wrote a piece complaining that the US is not yet ready to see the backs of the Assads.
Aydintasbas wrote that the US prefers to prolong the civil war, rather than toppling Bashar al-Assad right away, due to fears of post-Assad jihadist elements taking over. She further tweeted to her friends that she is almost at the point of saying the US refrains from a military intervention because there is no oil in Syria. Aydintasbas is not alone in this rhetoric about the lack of US involvement and interest in the Syrian case. Turkish mainstream media have been increasingly critical of the US for “turning a blind eye to the Syrian civil war.” Based on talks with several Turkish pundits over the last couple of weeks, this piece will try to clarify some facts that are deliberately omitted from these anti-American viewpoints.
1. The US has no magic buttons to press: Contrary to the overwhelming belief that the US is omnipotent in the world, particularly in the Middle East, and is able to switch dictators with liberal democrats as it pleases, the US knows well that it has no such power. True, the US has had its share of foreign interventions, military and clandestine, yet through each of them it has learned a bitter lesson. Also, in many instances when the US sought to intervene, based on humanitarian concerns in the region, it faced backlash. The latest blunder came from Secretary of State John Kerry about Erdogan’s Gaza trip. Many pundits argue this public US disapproval of the trip will generate an “I dare you” moment with the Turks. Unless a graceful excuse is found, public support behind Erdogan’s notorious visit will increase. So, it is fair to say there are no Obama wands that can be waved from Washington to topple Assad short of a military intervention.
2. The US has not reneged. What is shrewdly omitted in the Turkish pundits’ harsh US critique is that no US official promised military intervention in Syria since the start of war in 2011, and the promises that were made have been kept. The US has been consistent in its statements that it would not deploy ground troops. The frenzy in Turkish media has been to expect deeper US involvement after the November 2012 elections. Even though there were no signals from the US for a shift in policy, why was further US-involvement rhetoric kept alive?
3. Unfair criticism to mask others’ failures: All agree that the international community has failed to stop the atrocities of civil war in Syria. However, no credible plan has been brought up to suggest that a foreign military intervention would indeed save more lives than it would risk. This is a difficult statement to understand for many pundits who have never experienced war, particularly a civil war. Have not all initiatives, including Davutoglu’s very own, failed utterly to bring about a regional agreement on the Syrian civil war? Could you name any US president who has gone on a vacation with Bashar and his family? When the current AKP government was lifting visa restrictions and becoming “brothers” through booming trade relations with the cruel Syrian dictatorship of four decades, the US indeed had limited contacts and strict financial sanctions against Syria in place. There are several valid points of criticism against the Obama Administration’s policy specifics. Fred Hof provides a detailed up-to-date version, yet even the harshest critics agree the US should not put ground troops in Syria. Short of that, the US has been engaged in Syria through providing nonlethal aid, vetting and training the opposition. However unpleasant the results are, US actions and rhetoric have been consistent in the case of Syria.
4. Post-Assad transition concerns: It would be foolish of any country to belittle the difficulties that would fall upon the region if Syria drifts into further abyss. Turkish pundits’ newly found hatred toward the Syrian leadership is mind-boggling and to some extent undermines the design of successful, feasible policies. Despite several meetings, there is still no unified opposition against the regime. One cannot help but doubt Turkish intelligence on Syria when Davutoglu is quoted on CNNTurk saying there was no Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria before the civil war. Indeed, the Assad regime’s direct and indirect links with al-Qaeda and other terror networks (particularly to support Iraqi insurgency) has been well-documented for decades.  
In a country where there is sometimes a lack of self-criticism in government policies, it is always easier to criticize others, especially the US. As the Syrian civil war becomes prolonged, it is logical to expect more US-bashing for domestic consumption in Turkey. Yet, however disturbing self-assessment might be, Turks need to ask what their plans are for the post-Assad era: Is Turkey ready to wave the bogeyman Bashar goodbye without a legitimate alternative replacement? If the struggle to establish a “secular,” not jihadist government in Syria is a Western ideal, then how does the Turkish planning conceive the next Syrian government? Would that plan bring stability and peace to the bleeding Turkish-Syrian border along with Iran and Iraq — not even considering the other borders?
Although the Turkish government is mute on these questions and the press is extremely emotional on the policy failures in Syria, they must all know that stoking the fires of anti-Americanism will not save any Syrian lives or end the horrid civil war. 
Pinar Tremblay is a doctoral candidate in political science at University of California, Los Angeles, and an adjunct faculty member at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She has previously been published in the Hurriyet Daily News and Today's Zaman. Follow her on Twitter: @pinartremblay.


Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/turkey-syria-blame-us-lack-intervention.html#ixzz2RaF1dek9

Israel: The Politics Behind The Armenian Genocide


People in the Armenian Church in Jerusalem's Old City light candles during a special prayer on April 24, 2012, 
marking the anniversary of the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915. 
(photo by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun )


On Wednesday [April 24] the world will mark the 98th anniversary of the genocide carried out against the Armenians by the Ottoman Empire. As it does every year, this year, too, Israel will be silent. The Jewish state, which just two weeks ago [April 8] honored the 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, will abstain from marking the genocide in which 1 million to 1.5 million Armenians perished. President Shimon Peres, who spoke at the central memorial ceremony at Yad Vashem and pointed a finger at “those who forget and deny the Holocaust,” will continue, as he does every year, to ignore the cruel genocide carried out a quarter of a century before World War II.


Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/the-politics-behind-the-armenian-genocide.html#ixzz2RaCXXjKh

When Adolf Hitler was asked how the world would respond to his "Final Solution" plan — the extermination of the Jewish people in Europe — he replied, without compunction: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
Germany speaks today of the annihilation of the Jews, assumes responsibility for the Holocaust, memorializes the victims and compensates the survivors. Turkey not only refuses to recognize the Armenian genocide — its government conducts all-out wars against states that mention the event and punishes governments that grant it official recognition. Only a year and a half ago, Turkey recalled its ambassador from Paris to protest the French parliament’s approval of legislation that criminalizes the denial of the Armenian genocide (several weeks later, the law was repealed).
The 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such.”
The man who coined the term genocide and fought for adoption of the treaty was the Jewish-Polish jurist Raphael Lemkin, whose entire family was annihilated in the Holocaust. He himself managed to flee to the United States. Lemkin referred specifically to the Armenian annihilation as an act of genocide. This position was never adopted by Israeli governments. The official Israeli position was summed up in 2001 in an interview by then-Foreign Minister Shimon Peres with the Turkish Daily News: “The Armenians suffered a tragedy,” he said, “but not genocide.”
In advance of the Armenian memorial day someone should point out to the president a compilation of testimony provided by members of Nili (a Jewish spy ring that operated in Palestine during World War I in an effort to help the British army wrest it from the Turks) about what befell the Armenians. He might just change his mind.
This is the testimony of Eitan Belkind, a Nili man who infiltrated the Turkish military: 
“I was amazed to see the river colored red with the blood and bodies of decapitated children floating on the water. The sight was horrendous — and we are powerless to help.” Belkind later described how Circassian soldiers ordered the Armenians to gather thorns and thistles and form them into a large pyramid, tied some 5,000 people to each other hand to hand in a ring around the thorn pile and set it on fire. “The fire rose to the sky along with the screams of the wretched people charred to death in the bonfire,” he wrote. “I fled from the place because I could not watch that horrible scene. I urged my horse to gallop with all his might and after a wild two-hour ride I could still hear their miserable cries until their voices died out. Two days later I went back to the place and saw the charred bodies of thousands of human beings.” 
In a memorandum submitted to the British Ministry of Defense in 1916, Nili leader Aaron Aaronsohn wrote: “The massacre of the Armenians is a well-planned Turkish action and the Germans were partners in this shameful act.”
These harsh words were echoed at a seminar held on April 11 of this year on the subject of “The Nakba in Israel’s National Memory” (by The Walter Lebach Institute for Jewish-Arab Coexistence through Education and the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University). During the discussion, Professor Yair Auron of the Open University, who for years has been leading a determined struggle for recognition of the Armenian genocide, was sharply critical of the indifference of Israel’s political and academic elite to the tragedies of other nations. Later, in an interview with Al-Monitor, Auron contended that through their indifference, “they are defiling the memory of the Holocaust.”
And, in fact, other than a handful of right- and left-wing politicians, none of the leaders of mainstream Israeli politics showed up. For them, any attempt to hint that other peoples were also persecuted and massacred for racist reasons is considered “disrespect for the Holocaust” (they themselves, on the other hand, often use the term “Holocaust,” especially to scare the Israeli public with the Iranian threat). They do not define the Armenian genocide as a human-Jewish-ethical issue. Israeli universities make do with teaching the Jewish Holocaust and evince no interest in the disasters of other peoples. Nonetheless, at Auron’s instigation, the Open University has for several years been teaching a course on the Armenian genocide, which is much in demand by students.
The recognition of the Armenian genocide by Israeli decision-makers is a question of politics, of the relationship between Israel, Turkey and the United States. Who cares about relations with little Armenia (3 million citizens)? In fact, Israel even earned several million dollars recently, benefiting from the Turkish government’s decision to cancel a weapons deal with France in retaliation for the above-mentioned legislation against denial of the Armenian genocide. 
In 2007, the Knesset decided to remove from its daily agenda a proposal by Knesset Member Haim Oron of the Meretz Party to debate the Armenian genocide in the Education and Culture Committee. The decision resulted from orders by then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who feared that further discussion of the issue would lead to a diplomatic crisis between Israel and Turkey.
In a debate that took place in the Knesset five years later (June 12, 2012), over the objections of the diplomatic echelon, the government’s representative, then Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan, confessed that “this whole debate is taking place against the backdrop of relations between Israel and Turkey.” Nothing has changed.
At the low point of relations with Turkey, following the failed May 2010 Israeli takeover of the flotilla to Gaza which gave birth to the “Marmara Crisis,” some right-wing politicians suggested “punishing” the Turks by recognizing the Armenian genocide. And what would we have done now? Would Prime Minister Netanyahu have repealed the recognition of the Armenian genocide to complement his apology to Turkey over the Marmara? Hearing of that idea, Auron reacts with anger: “As a human being and as a Jew, I am deeply ashamed that an issue of such basic principle and ethics has been turned into a pawn.”
The office of President Peres did not respond to a query by Al-Monitor, asking whether he had changed his mind regarding the genocide of the Armenian people.
Akiva Eldar is a contributing writer for Al-Monitor’s Israel Pulse. He was formerly a senior columnist and editorial writer for Haaretz and also served as the Hebrew daily’s US bureau chief and diplomatic correspondent. His most recent book (with Idith Zertal), Lords of the Land, on the Jewish settlements, was on the best-seller list in Israel and has been translated into English, German and Arabic.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/the-politics-behind-the-armenian-genocide.html#ixzz2RaCQJaoO

Is Turkish Foreign Policy Paranoid?

By: Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse Posted on April 21.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (L) talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry (R) during a "Friends of Syria" group meeting hosted by Davutoglu at the Adile Sultan Palace in Istanbul, April 20, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Evan Vucci)


On April 18, a CNN Turk TV host asked Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu a question that could be summarized as, “Is Turkey left alone in Syria?”
Davutoglu responded by saying that Turkey is not isolated, but that this unfortunately was the image opposition parties and others were seeking to present of the country's leadership to the world. Davutoglu said Turkey is involved in so many important regional issues that it could not possibly be isolated.
Still, just two months ago he had said, “Turkey is the only actor that cares about how many more Syrians would be killed under Assad's violence.”
So why is there this deep suspicion about others’ intentions in Turkey? In international politics, we define paranoia as deep mistrust of all other actors without sufficient evidence. As a country grows stronger — wealthier, more influential — its rhetoric of paranoia is expected to decrease. Yet, the Turkish case is counterintuitive and deserves further analysis.  
Turkey has been on the path of becoming more prosperous and stronger in the last decade. Almost everyone agrees — without attempting to measure success or failure — that Turkish foreign policy activism has grown exponentially in the last decade. This visibility brings along with it more scrutiny about Turkey’s presence in different countries. Some of this commentary is positive, and well deserved. This newfound activism is lucrative on several fronts (helping, for example, Turkish private businesses at home and abroad).
Yet, has Turkish paranoia decreased when we study the rhetoric of the Turkish foreign policy elite?  This piece argues that the rhetoric that feeds paranoia has grown alongside Turkish power. There are four main indicators or pitfalls to explain this:

1) A steep learning curve: The ability, or lack thereof, to deal with critique. The swift growth of activism has brought a high volume of criticism to the rather sheltered and idealist Turkish foreign policy elite. By foreign policy elite, I mean diplomats, ministry employees, public diplomacy office personnel, anyone affiliated with the Turkish government, and pro-AKP media people. It takes practice for any individual or association to get used to the visibility factor and to tackle criticism shrewdly and smoothly. Most of the reactions to criticism are negative because those who have been critiqued are on the defensive. The increasing demands of social media and various communication channels require professionally trained personnel, who are lacking.

2) Belittling the critique and advice: Foreign policy is designed by a small group of elites, especially in times of crisis where urgent decisions are needed. It is universally elitist. Outsiders having access only to open source intelligence (OSCINT) can only provide limited analysis. Therefore, we, as scholars, cannot view the world as policymakers. However, as policymakers are sometimes lost in the details, sober scholarly minds may be able to provide valuable analysis and clues to the bigger picture. Therefore, the general attitude of dismissing any question, comment or advice with statements such as “they want to isolate Turkey” or “there is no good opposition challenge to our policies” is self-destructive for policymakers. It is crucial not to discard hard work just because the author’s name is alien to you.

3) ‘If it is not flattering, it must be the enemy’ mentality: It is no longer enough to pen pieces to compliment and defend government policies, both in the foreign and domestic political spheres.  But one needs to be the star cheerleader to be appreciated by the foreign policy elite. Even raising a small red flag and stating that there are some challenges (for example, bringing up serious charges about various groups who desire to declare a Turkish ambassador persona non grata or take the Turkish government to the International Criminal Court can be labeled as being “propaganda that desires to stop Turkey in country A”). The power of ideas and the pen is potent, yet is it ever possible to stop a country’s actions with an op-ed piece? There are unnamed enemies in the AK Party’s neo-Ottoman mentality: On the one hand, the government portrays a Turkey which is applauded on Ottoman lands; on the other, there are the rivals who oppose the Turkish presence, and if you dare to bring this up, you intentionally or unintentionally will be helping them. This Voldemort syndrome is counterproductive. The issue is that there will be those who benefit from Turkish presence in those countries and those who are against it. Raising flags about opposition should be taken seriously. However, a red flag is not necessarily cooperating with the “rival”; why shouldn’t it be viewed an opportunity to provide a rebuttal instead?

4) Ad hominem (personal) attacks: The last, yet truly the worst, is that unwarranted suspicion, paranoia. It generates so much angst that almost everyone who fails to praise government policies is seen as “tainted”; some are labeled wrongfully as “foreign agents,” “fifth columns” and “spies.” In a democracy, shouldn’t a variety of views be available in the media? Yavuz Baydar has analyzed this issue in depth. It is not fair to assign all blame for the internal media wars to the AK Party.  Similarly, almost any international publication, unless it specifically praises Turkish foreign policy, is seen as the enemy, and hence not credible. The idea is similar to the other “side” seeing various works as “pro-government” and not worth reading.
Perpetual paranoia is costly. It brings, first and foremost, individual pain and suffering. Many people who have lost their jobs or have been discredited do not even grapple with the why and how. Second, such paranoia is detrimental to healthy policymaking as it generates an introverted, even inbred, culture which cannot produce new ideas. Where there is evil outside and all outsiders are “evil” who want to destroy, limit, or undo Turkish power, you will not only never have any “naysayers” inside the group, but fresh ideas and opportunities will be scarce or absent as well. Third, as a consequence of the above, many more policies designed with such deep fears and suspicions of the unnamed enemy produce dangerous, unintended consequences.

Turkey is a growing, prosperous country which has several challenges in front of it. Challenges are the sine qua non for a state. Criticism is what you make of it. It will not benefit your rivals if you do not fall into these pitfalls. A majority of Turks are proud of the accomplishments of the AK Party and believe it has become more pleasant to declare your national identity as a Turk when abroad. This alone is a huge prize. Yet, a true patriot is not a hooligan if questions are asked and red flags are raised; the people deserve an explanation. The explanation, if adequately provided, will surely support the moral purpose of the Turkish state. Turkey has significant achievements, but many of them are clouded behind this paranoia. If unwarranted fears are shed, true accomplishments may shine. 

Pinar Tremblay is a doctoral candidate at University of California, Los Angeles, in political science and an adjunct faculty member at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She has previously been published in the Hurriyet Daily News and Today's Zaman. Follow her on Twitter: @pinartremblay.


Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/turkey-syria-paranoia-foreign-policy.html#ixzz2Ra8zOixp