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Good Old 'Foreign Forces'

Cemil Ozyurt
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When I was an elementary school student, politicians, ordinary citizens and academicians, whose opinions were asked on state television, would all talk about theories in which “foreign forces” were involved.  Every time I heard this argument, I used to visualize men behind masks, holding automatic guns, conspiring to weaken our beautiful country!
I also heard on countless occasions that “if only the ‘foreign forces’ would allow, nobody could stand on our path”. As a result, whenever something went wrong in any part of the country, I used to think “see, the foreign forces are working again,” and ask myself, “why don’t the domestic forces do something about these foreign forces?” The thought that “there’s so much oil in Southeast Anatolia but the foreign forces do not allow us to use those resources!” was on my mind.   

The existence of ‘people who wanted to weaken Turkey’ implied that we had some currently-unused power and that made us feel good. Years have passed. Our black and white TV set that I was addicted to watching the state channel on was replaced by private channels, airing political discussions in which the participants shared their brilliance as to how the country could be saved. That’s how I had the chance to see, again, people who talk about the ‘foreign forces.’  

When I was coming to the U.S., I felt happy not only because I was coming to see a new continent and the most powerful country in the world, but also because I would have the chance to see the good old ‘foreign forces’ from outside. Since I was going to live in a foreign country, they could possibly be the very ‘foreign forces.’

As time passed, I had the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. After some serious thinking, I realized that, in many instances, the ‘foreign force’ effect played a much less important role than the bad administration of the country.

How could an agent working for a foreign force have anything to do with 30 thousand deaths as a result of shady construction? Which foreign force could fleece $50 billion from almost 20 banks, forcing 26 million people to live in poverty, 12 million in starvation limits?  We rank as the 22nd most corrupt country out of 90 1 and 85th among 174 countries according to human development criteria 2. I don’t think foreign forces have anything to do with these achievements. I haven’t met any foreign force that caused the income of 10 Turkish minimum wage earners equaling that of 1 French minimum wage earner; or the income of 20 Turkish minimum wage earners equaling that of 1 American.

I understood that foreign forces are nothing but a search conducted by incapable administrations to blame others for their failure in providing happiness and peace to their people. Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks “we’ve got to do something to weaken Turkey.” Countries have policies to defend their own good. Have you ever thought why there are no foreign forces that try to weaken France or Germany? If you are strong enough, if your administration skills are solid, no one can stop you.

At the end of the day, the bombings in Istanbul that killed almost 60 of our own people were carried out by our own citizens. So were those who stripped banks off $50 billion! Let’s not waste any precious time looking for imaginary enemies. Let’s just find a formula from our own sources to bring peace and stability...

(1) International Transparency Institution 2000 Study.
(2) United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Human Development Report 2000.

(11th Issue, February 2004)

Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07