To borrow from and slightly bend George Orwell’s statement in his satirical Animal Farm novel, “all years are equal, but some years are more equal than others”. This is why we have leap years on our world calendar. These years are certainly more equal than others. They are divisible by four.
From the mathematical point of view, we can also distinguish another set of year similarity. These are even years (divisible by two) and the others, which we don’t even dare call odd for social, cultural, religious and other reasons. How do people of faith and hope envisage an odd year? All the same, when I look at the year 2022 from the Turkey perspective, what do I sense? Even, as the year reads, it still carries all symptoms of spelling odd times for the country towards the 2023 presidential and parliamentary elections.Why?
One: With or without early elections, Turkey is going through what can safely be called an economic crisis, which cannot be devoid of the social or family/household dimension. While the government talks of 36.1% inflation, independent expert opinion says it could be as high as 83%.
What does that mean in the home? People must have 183 units of purchasing power to buy what they could purchase before the onset of the inflation with 100. They need almost twice as much take home to live the pre-inflation life level. How do they manage if the government is promising to increase salaries or wages by 40%? This has a lot of impact on tilting the vote in the direction of the opposition.
Two: The opposition in Turkey is now a power to reckon with in the present circumstances. The media is quoting Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Sabanci University in Istanbul, Berk Esen, as saying : “The opposition parties have engaged in strong coordination in their electoral alliance, which has survived, and that is no small feat. They have done a good job at promoting this idea of transitioning to a strengthened parliamentary system and have engaged in extensive talks to put together a proposal. They have also done a good job in touring the country challenging the government and trying to reach out to voters.”
The opposition looks to be well set for the challenge. A usually reliable survey institution, MetroPoll, ranks Erdogan fourth in the presidential race.
Three: Non-delivering AKP-MHP polls equation? An agreement was once reached between AKP and MHP to slash the vote baseline for entry into parliament from 10% (the highest in the world) in a bid to undermine the opposition.
Established by the junta about four decades ago in 1983, this was to prevent any political party that receives less than 10% of nationwide votes from taking a seat in parliament, even if it comes first in a particular constituency. The proposed new threshold was 7%. MetroPOLL figures set MHP performance at 8.9%. AKP-MHP plans were to take it before parliament in October, last year. Of course this would have been easy to push through. They form the majority. But it was abandoned. It could have worked in favour of all parties, strengthening the opposition power in parliament.
Four: Could Erdogan be at it again? Could it be another explosive situation in the making? Erdogan has put pressure on the opposition. He is using street clashes threat tangent against his rule. In a televised address to ruling AKP members he is quoted as saying: “Supposedly they’ll take to the streets without any shame… Wherever you take to, this nation will teach you a lesson just like it gave a lesson to those who took to the streets on July 15.”
Whose plan is it? Knowing Erdogan one-to-one, the opposition alleges he is inviting a civil war, on which he could stand and do anything of his liking. Could this be another version of a new coup attempt in the pipeline?
Five: What would be the next target? Everybody knows that he who rules Istanbul rules Turkey. So, removal from office of CHP’s Ekrem Imamoglu is the way. The Interior Ministry has already launched investigations against more than 550 members of the municipal staff.
In Turkey, the investigation system uses the geometry equation solution which starts with the “given” which one does not have to prove. Everything is there. There “if” question is out. These staffs, or the majority of them, will be proven to have ties with terrorist groups. The Erdogan arm is ever there. It would be bad times for Turkey if Istanbul is in bad times.
Six: Conclusion. As Fethullah Gulen observes in his writings, there are people (leaders) who appear to be human in terms of their physical anatomy and form, and they have a mechanism of conscience and systems of the heart, spirit, and sir (secret inner faculty), yet they opt for a lifestyle much below the course of “the best of stature” they are supposed to follow with an utter disregard for their spiritual anatomy.
“Since they experience concentric deformations within their spiritual worlds, they drift with currents of character corruption, darken their Adamic humanity, and fall below the course of true humanity and thus virtually turn into animals in a spiritual sense. They fail to realize the purpose of creation and the requirements of being blessed with the best pattern of creation, which is emphasized in the Divine decree, “I have not created human and jinn but to worship Me” (Dhariyat 51:56).
“Running after their fancies, they were caught in Satan’s hook; although they retained their outer human form, they ruined their spiritual anatomy, knowingly preferring the material world over the realms beyond. And in spite of so many favorable dynamics of success, they went through the disgrace of having successions of disappointment. Moreover, as most of them fell to the level of beings which spend their lives by eating, drinking, and ruminating, they rather presented a mood as described in the Divine verse, “They are like cattle, or even more astray (A’raf 7:179)…. donkeys burdened with books” (Jumu’ah 62:5).
“Different examples by both Divine verses, and sayings of the noble Prophet, mention such deformed types, and it is possible to see so many such people everywhere today. Because when people deviate from the course of faith, belief, sincerity, perfect goodness, loyalty, uprightness, and become oblivious of recognition of God (marifa), love for God (muhabba), and intense yearning for reunion with Him (liqa’ullah), it becomes inevitable for their spiritual world to be contaminated, their heart to die, and the person’s coming under the dominance of the carnal soul and Satan.
“The manifold ignorant ones of our era, who do not know the Divine, do not recognize the Prophets, who interpret religion as they fancy, who do not know what needs to be known as it requires, who do not even know their state of not knowing but consider themselves to be insightful and enlightened, harmed real religious thought even more than pharaohs did. And if they also drifted with masses devoid of consciousness under the guise of religious arguments, then such destruction even goes beyond the destruction of Antichrist… It appears that such ones are not likely at all to cease their humanity in the animal sense and adopt humanity in the real sense, the saintly sense they are supposed to be. “
Such are the inevitable odd times hovering above the Turkey skies from this seemingly 2022 even year to the polls day and possibly beyond (God forbid) if the leaders allow their hearts to die, and their person’s come under the dominance of the carnal soul and Satan. God save and bless Turkey and its people.