deniz baykal'ın kasediyle ilgili ilginç tespitleri var.
sex tape opens bright future for turkey
opposition leader deniz baykal's resignation after a sex scandal removes the main impediment to democratic modernisation
o stephen kinzer
republican people's party leader, deniz baykal, has been a major stumbling block in turkey’s modernisation. photograph: sezayi erken/afp/getty images
a scandalous video showing the leader of turkey's main opposition party cavorting half-naked with his former secretary, now a member of parliament, has thrown turkish politics into what could be very positive disarray.
the opposition leader, deniz baykal, has done as much as anyone over the last decade to prevent his country's modernisation and keep it in the grip of the military-monopolised elite that has dominated national life since the country was founded in 1923. baykal resigned his leadership post when the sex tape became public this week.
this astonishing turn of events is even more important because it comes against the backdrop of a major push to reform the anti-democratic constitution that the military foisted on turkey during its three-year rule in the early 1980s. taken together, baykal's resignation and the referendum on constitutional reform, which is expected to be held in july, open bright new possibilities for turkey.
they also come as turkey is steadily strengthening its position as a regional power. syria's president, bashar al-assad, travelled to turkey last week to discuss prospects for a new approach to middle east crises. russia's president, dmitry medvedev, also turned up in ankara, and proclaimed that the two countries had reached the point of "strategic partnership". the turkish prime minister, recep tayyip erdogan, has joined with president luis lula da silva of brazil to shape a new compromise between iran and the west on nuclear issues; iranian officials welcomed it as "a good proposal for us" and said they were "optimistic we can reach an agreement".
in order to maximise its potential as a regional peacemaker, turkey needs to perfect its own democracy. one of its most glaring failures has been the lack of any reasonable opposition party. many secular turks distrust erdogan's religiously oriented justice and development party, and are eager to vote for a party that is committed to democracy and capitalism but has no ties to islamic politics. baykal could have turned his republican people's party into that kind of an alternative, but instead he allied it with the country's most corrupt and anti-democratic factions. millions of turks hope that a new leader will reshape it into a genuinely pro-democracy, pro-european social democratic party – something turkey has never had.
it is a shame that years of retrograde and reactionary policies were not enough to force baykal from power, and that it took the mysterious release of a compromising video to do so. a positive result has been reached in a highly negative way. nonetheless, baykal's departure from turkish politics is cause for jubilation.
by felicitous coincidence, this long-overdue resignation comes as turks prepare to go to the polls to vote on the most sweeping set of constitutional reforms ever placed before them. the reforms include democratising the way judges and prosecutors are appointed; forbidding judges to close political parties without the approval of a parliamentary commission; allowing the trial of military officers in civilian courts; and lifting the amnesty that perpetrators of the 1980 military coup granted themselves before leaving power. it is unlikely that those generals will actually be placed on trial, but lifting their immunity would be a powerful signal that no turk is above the law.
these reforms are widely popular, but because they represent a frontal attack on the old elite, it would be foolish to believe they will be approved and implemented without resistance. shadowy groups within turkish society, often referred to as "deep state", have a history of using violence to intensify the country's social and political divisions. violent factions within the kurdish nationalist movement may also wish to prevent the state from adopting reforms that would strengthen its legitimacy and moral authority.
over the next few months, turkey will face both the exhilarating prospect of deep political change and the possibility of upheaval and domestic conflict. the ideal outcome would be a peaceful campaign in the runup to the july referendum, a strong vote in favour of reforming the constitution, and the rebirth of the republican people's party as a progressive democratic force that offers secular turks a positive alternative to the religiously oriented party now in power.
the key to turkey's success has been its ability to reinvent itself as times change. it was founded as a dictatorship in an era when the dictatorial ideal was ascendant; moved to multi-party democracy after the second world war when the world demanded democracy; embraced capitalism in the 1980s as the idea of state-dominated economies faded; and decisively improved its human rights record in the last decade, as human rights became part of the global faith. now it has a chance to make another leap. success would both deepen turkey's democracy and decisively increase its ability to play a peacemaking role in the middle east and beyond.