Justice at home, justice in the world


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has added a new foreign policy perspective for Turkey besides Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s motto “peace at home, peace in the world,” as our country has become the leading voice for the world’s oppressed and underprivileged. President Erdoğan’s United Nations General Assembly address and his speech at the U.N. special session on refugees as well as the jubilant support he received from delegates clearly showed that Turkey is the rising hope for the oppressed, exploited and underprivileged masses in the world. Turkey speaks out against global injustices and acts on them, which is unique. While the international community has shied away from Somalia, Turkey has sent its own aid workers and NGOs to help the suffering masses of Somalia irrespective of the terrorist threat. Turkey has underlined the importance it attaches to the underprivileged masses by inaugurating its largest embassy in Somalia and not in Washington.

Turkey’s military forces have liberated the northern city of Jarablus along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and has brought peace and security to the people of the region, which include Arabs, Turkmens and Kurds. The city’s population, which was down to 3,500 under the DAESH mobs, has now swollen to 25,000 with Turkey providing municipal services to the city and restoring electricity and water services. While Assad kills his own people, Turkey has brought security and peace to his people. The Middle East, South East Asian, Northern and Black African masses look up to Erdoğan and Turkey as the ray of hope in a world of blood and tears. This is because Erdoğan promotes justice in the world as well as peace and security. All that is fine. Yet now that the international chapter is closed for the time being and the president is back in Turkey, it is time we also promoted justice at home.

We have to create a just system as we weed out the plotters and culprits of the failed bloody July 15 coup. It is true that the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) has infiltrated our state system and military ranks. It is true that the supporters of Gülen have infiltrated the educational system, have captured key places in the business world and have created a media empire for themselves. The authorities have to deal with all these elements, weed them out and restore order. Yet we have also observed that while the process of cleansing the state from FETÖ supporters is underway, some mistakes are being committed where innocent people are also becoming victims. President Erdoğan has pointed to these problems and has said more care has to be taken to prevent injustices. Now officials are working on setting up appeals committees to investigate any injustices and correct the mistakes.

It is a fact that the Gülenist militants have infiltrated all the vital sectors of our society, so it is also only normal to expect that these people also existed in political parties led by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). This means the political parties also have to identify the Gülenist people among their ranks and weed them out. Until now we have not seen this kind of spring cleaning in political parties before, which hurts the scales of justice as scores of civil servants lose their jobs and scores of Gülenist militants are sent to prison. We have to create a system where all citizens are equal and not a system where “some people are more equal than others.” Besides all this, we have to create a system in Turkey where citizens of all ethnic backgrounds, all religious and sectarian affiliations are treated equally and feel like first class citizens of the Turkish Republic. Unfortunately the Gülen militants have ruined our justice system. Over the years, the judges, prosecutors and court clerks affiliated to Gülen have bent the laws, issued arbitrary rulings, given verdicts that appease only Gülen supporters and have created a judicial disaster in Turkey. Unfortunately justice has been butchered in our country. Now the government is moving ahead to correct this mess.

This is the just system that President Erdoğan wants to achieve at home. So now we can put the “justice” element in our motto “peace and home, peace in the world” and turn it into “peace and justice at home, peace and justice in the world.”

*İLNUR ÇEVIK is a Turkish columnist. He writes for Daily Sabah Turkish newspaper.

(Published in Daily Sabah on Tuesday, Sept. 27 26, 2016)