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HomeHeadlineHypocrisy in Holiday Politics: The Stark Contrast Between Words and Actions

Hypocrisy in Holiday Politics: The Stark Contrast Between Words and Actions

Necip F. Bahadir

The holiday visits by politicians are witnessing strange scenes. I’m not referring to the Yeniden Refah Party’s Doğan Aydal lining up with the MHP delegation and saying, “If Mr. Devlet had married, his wife would have taken good care of him. They didn’t take care!” Every leader talks about ‘unity, solidarity, and brotherhood’ in their holiday messages.

During the holiday prayer, the imam talks about ending grudges and resentments during the holiday. Politicians nod in agreement with the imam.

And then what?

On the second day of the holiday, parties hold greeting programs. Delegations visit each other all day long. And in the repeated holiday programs, some parties are left out.

Need an example? There are plenty… For instance, Erdoğan calls Doğu Perinçek, leader of the Vatan Party, to celebrate the holiday. But he doesn’t call Ali Babacan, the leader of DEVA. The AKP also does not knock on the doors of parties like Saadet, Gelecek, and DEVA. If those parties visit, they wouldn’t open the door.

Are other parties different? Not really, but especially the ruling parties’ holiday attitudes are more noticeable. MHP does not celebrate with the İYİ Party. It goes without saying that İYİ Party is the closest to MHP in terms of cadre and mission. İYİ Party leader Musavat Dervişoğlu was once an MHP deputy.

We understood excluding DEM for political reasons, but why not celebrate with İYİ Party? Actually, ignoring DEM also makes no sense. The holiday is about human and Islamic sensitivity. Politics should have no name.

Doesn’t this situation seem strange to you? Can there be such a gap between words and actions? What happened to the words in the holiday messages? It was supposed to be the day of unity, solidarity, and brotherhood. A day to end resentments, grudges, and grievances. Our religion commands this too. The state of Turkish politics, distant from humanity and the spirit of Islam, is as strange as it is shameful. Oddly, it’s never questioned. People say, ‘He is a politician, whatever he does is acceptable.’

Society is also insensitive This scene disturbs me every holiday. I struggle to understand society’s insensitivity. It accepts this strange and shameful tableau. It does not object, and even if it does not applaud, it supports by staying silent. Since there is no objection from the public, similar scenes are repeatedly shown.

If the lack of principles were only in the greetings, it would be one thing… I have been thinking about this for years and can’t make sense of it. Every Friday, at the end of the sermon, the imam reads the verse, “God commands justice!” (Nahl/90). Probably, no one who occasionally goes to the mosque has not heard this command. The front rows of the mosque are also filled with AKP members. From Erdoğan to party managers to the lowest-level member, almost all know this verse by heart.

And the crucial question; so, what is the state of ‘justice’ commanded by God in the country? Literally a ‘disaster’… Even AKP members do not believe that Turkey is in a good place regarding justice. In public opinion polls, trust in the judiciary is at the lowest levels in the history of the Republic. In a country governed by those who listen to this verse every Friday, there is no ‘j’ of justice. This is the situation I mean when I say, “I think about it and can’t figure it out.”

Erdoğan and AKP managers also hear ‘God commands justice’ every Friday. I wonder what they think, or if they think at all? Talking about religion and faith does not end the matter. It’s easy to use Islam’s most sacred values for politics. What you do about the ‘justice’ commanded by God is important. If you trample justice underfoot, then does that Friday prayer mean anything, my friend? Does the Muslim identity mean anything? God commands justice, but we do the exact opposite, turning oppression into policy; what are you doing in the mosque on Friday with your demeanor saying this?

Oppression is experiencing its golden age Let’s say the leaders gave up on justice for the sake of power and their seats and leaned towards oppression, but doesn’t the congregation listening to that verse have something to say? Won’t they ask why you are not establishing the justice commanded by God? No, they will not ask, and they do not. The scene is clear. Today, the party that the majority of the Friday congregation votes for is none other than the AKP, which ‘nullifies justice’ and ‘lets oppression have its golden age.’

Why doesn’t the citizen feel uncomfortable with this tableau? Why doesn’t he remind the AKP of the justice commanded by God? Why does he support an unjust administration? Why does he hold leaders who do not obey God’s command for justice in high esteem? Is there an explanation? Can there be so much insensitivity? Why don’t principles, values, and sanctities become criteria in political choices? Is life only about what’s in the wallet? What about conscience? What else needs to happen to touch the conscience of the uncle in the mosque?

I am sorry to say that… The wallet has won over the conscience. Here lies the answer to why the two shores of Turkey do not come together. As the poet says; “Before consciences are impaired, O Muhammad, bring good and beauty to the sons of Adam…”

The conscience is impaired. Can good and beauty come to such a society? Hey, pilgrim! In the end, your wallet is also empty. What’s gone is your lost conscience. Aren’t you aware?

No, I am not hopeless, on the contrary, I am an incorrigible optimist. But what can I do, the general scene I watch from afar with lessons and sadness is just that. “Shiver and come to your senses!” This is the exact state. This is not a suitable article for the holiday. Which holiday? Is a holiday celebrated where there is oppression? Why would the holiday that doesn’t come to Gaza come to Turkey? Well, if the purpose is to eat meat, that’s different. Enjoy your meal. Be careful, don’t eat it with baklava, or your stomach might get upset.

Supposed holiday, supposed justice, here is my unlucky homeland…

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