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ANKARA: Ankara is well-situated

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  • ANKARA: Ankara is well-situated

    Turkish Daily News, Turkey
    Nov 26 2008


    >From the day that crises discussions started, I am not sure whether
    you ever noticed, but there was a striking difference in attitude
    between Ankara and the business world, foremost represented by
    Istanbul. For us, the concept "Ankara" is a mixture of
    bureaucrats-politicians-soldiers; meaning a portion of society
    receiving income from the state and bearing no risk of job loss.

    Whereas "Istanbul" is a concept comprising the business milieu. A
    mixture of employer-employee-artisan; meaning the portion of society
    that bears the risk. Employers have the biggest risk. Employees as
    well, are affected in every way by the crisis. To put it this way,
    Ankara is comprised of people who are well-situated. Whereas Istanbul
    is represented by people who assume responsibility.

    As Bilal Cetin, the representative of Vatan Gazetesi in Ankara, put it
    recently, the latest crises that we are living through shows the
    difference between Istanbul and Ankara very clearly. There is
    excitement in Istanbul. Fear, even panic. People are concerned their
    employer will become bankrupt and thus they will be unemployed. That
    is why they constantly pressure the administration. They want the
    package to pass as soon as possible.

    In such a situation the media furiously broadcast, "the crisis is
    coming, where are you?" Those who listen to Istanbul see a mood of
    panic. Behind closed doors precautions are taken incessantly in order
    to "tighten the belt." Employees are waiting in agitation. They are
    trying to figure out whether they will be laid off one day or
    not. They are bitterly trying to come up with what to do if they are
    laid off.

    Ankara, on the other hand, monitors this scene cold-blooded. They have
    a look as if they are living in outer space. Taking one step further,
    they claim "these people, employers, try to screw money out of the
    state while calling it help." They believe Istanbul is exaggerating
    everything. They describe Istanbul as the weakest link in the country.

    This difference between Ankara and Istanbul is extremely important and
    as I see it, harmful. For let us not forget, if the private sector is
    unable to earn money then one day those in Ankara will reach a point
    where they will not receive their pay.

    If Ankara does not accept that they are in the same boat and as long
    as it views the private sector as "grafters" and itself as "protector
    of state property," we will not escape our difficulties.

    [HH] Armenian front relaxes gradually

    The latest meeting between Armenian Foreign Minister Edvard Nalbantyan
    and Babacan, and declarations thereafter, caused us to raise our
    hopes. In the Caucasus everything might just change any
    minute. Therefore, we should not be too exited but our expectations
    still rise. Turkey and Armenia for the first time are able to really
    look each other in the eye. They seem to be convinced that easing
    relations will be beneficial for both.

    Yerevan finally wants to develop and enrich its population. Finally it
    plans on expanding and relaxing its relationship with Europe through
    Turkey. We should not expect Armenia to back off the genocide
    allegations. Generations have been brought up with the genocide belief
    and it has been branded into their skin. We can not erase it. If we
    want to develop our relations we need to give up reservations. Easing
    relations will bring great advantages for both countries, Turkey and

    Turkey bears a heavy burden. Genocide allegations are unfortunately
    accepted all over the world. We can deny as much as we want but it is
    perceived as reality. If Turkey wants to ease its burden, it has no
    choice but to keep up good relations. It will not accept genocide
    allegations but learn to live with them. Armenians advantage will be
    reached through finally stepping onto the right track with
    Turkey. There is no end to living with genocide allegations. The time
    has finally come to see the truth and establish an order that better
    responds to its peoples needs. My only concern within this
    Turkish-Armenian approach is that militants on both sides will
    sabotage development. They will definitely do this, you will see. They
    will push and pull, and try to ruin everything. Let us see if those
    who embrace this approach will behave smart and be successful.