Erol Manisali for President of Turkey (18th April 2007)


With the Great Hittite Hero Telipinus in mind, the Turkish MPs should all vote Professor Erol Manisali for President. Few moments were so critical in the 4500-year long Anatolian History.

In an earlier article, we described the critical situation in which Turkey is found today because of various inimical plans and governmental inconsistencies. We stressed the point that, although the present parliamentary majority has the possibility to elect the current Premier as President of the Republic, they should avoid this option, and vote an authoritative academic for Turkish Head of State. In this article we reveal the identity of a great Turkish academic and intellectual, whom we believe as the most qualified for the position.

Turkish Presidential Nominee Criteria

As we already presented extensively the various perilous plans, threats, and challenges today’s Turkey has to face and outmaneuver, we will expand herewith on the reasons the current Premier cannot be a Presidential Nominee.

First, the Turkish Premier does not comprehensively evaluate the plans, threats and challenges we exposed; it is obvious that the ideologically / theologically motivated Turkish Premier does not properly perceive the use of some of his traits, political ideas, behavioural attitudes, and religious beliefs by Turkey’s enemies. If he did so, he would change some of his attitudes, and reveal plainly his political positions – especially those considered as ambiguous. When things deteriorate to that extent, you cannot hide yourself behind your finger! If the Turkish Premier realized the damage caused to Turkey’s International Image and National Brand by the comical, old-fashioned, and irrelevant veil of his wife, he would either demand her to remove it (in order not to damage her own country) or to stay home. He did not opt for either solution; he kept insisting on his unnecessary ideological empathy, and on his disastrous for Turkey model of woman he wants to propagate. He apparently belongs to those marginal surrealists, who demonstrate their astonishment when ‘discovering’ that the world is not …..ideal! Of course, the current Premier never went to a Turkish university; his studies are limited to a marginal theological educational system, the Imam Hatip schools, a totally irrelevant system for a person’s introduction into the perplexities of our global world.  

Second, the Turkish Premier does not understand the world he lives in; in his imaginary mind, his own ‘plans’ for an Islamic Turkey can be materialized. He should be considered as the Muslim World’s best Don Quixote, but this happens only at Turkey’s most outrageous prejudice. What is even worse is that, according to insiders, he reached the pathological level of considering his personal worry as more important than Turkey’s National and Strategic Interests.

Third, in today’s world, and with the challenges Turkey faces, the role of the Head of State can be successfully undertaken only by a multitalented person able to detect diplomatic plot, capable to compose a synthesis of political attitudes and ideas, apt to have a strategic vision for the country’s future, and proficient enough to implement it. Above all, the future President should be a person that provenly demonstrated great skills of political forecasting.

Balance between a Secular President and an Islamic Democratic Premier

It would be wise for the current parliamentary majority to understand that there are in Turkey secular intellectuals and academics, who reject the Western mendacious and colonial tactics more resolutely and rigorously than the Islamists! Being the advocate of an Islamic religious state (and few are so extreme among the present parliamentary majority) does not necessarily equal knowledge and rejection of the Western mendacities, atrocities and disastrous activities.

As a matter of fact, Turkey’s future President should lead the effort of democratization and contribute to the final minimization of the Republican warrantor’s role played by the military in Turkey. To efficiently do so, the person in question must be trusted by the still powerful military.

At the same time, the President of Turkey must be the foremost defender of Ataturk’s concept of a modernized Turkey; in so acting, he may finally shape a bridge between the military who still insist on Turkey’s adhesion to the EU, and the Islamists who accepted Turkey’s EU challenge only to politically strengthen their position. As a genuine visionary, he must be able to convince all parties involved that, similarly to Japan, South Korea, Australia, South Africa and Norway, Turkey can be very ‘Western’, very modern, very democratic, and yet not a EU member! It will be critical for Turkey to disconnect and dissociate the two concepts, as modernity can be achieved without EU membership.

There is a famous Turkish academic able to perform outstandingly as regards all the aforementioned tasks; putting personal interests aside, all the Turkish deputies must unanimously vote him for Head of State. Under current circumstances, this would be the best solution.

Erol Manisali for President

Erol Manisali, Professor at the Department of Economics of Istanbul University, is an internationally renowned Turkish economist, political analyst, international relations theoretician, commentator and political activist. There is no need to introduce Prof. Dr. Erol Manisali in Turkey, as he is a very well-known and venerated erudite and scholar, with constant presence in the mass media, the political associations, and the bookstores. Here, we may offer a career outline for international readership without prior knowledge of Turkey.

Born in Istanbul (9 November 1940), Erol Manisali graduated from the London School of Economics (1964), received his assistant professorship degree in 1970, and associate professorship in 1975. Coordinator for Turkey at the World Trade Center, Erol Manisali was Turkey’s representative to the Council of European National Youth Committees and founding member of the European Community association. For many long years publisher of the monthly “Middle East Business and Banking”, a publication where Manisali’s one time academic colleague and former Premier Tansu Ciller contributed many articles, Erol Manisali was the Director of the Istanbul-based Cyprus Foundation (Kibris Vakfi). He is currently the Director of the European and Middle East Research Center, and Member of the Environmental Problems Foundation and the International Executives Association. Current chief columnist in the Kemalist establishment’s most favorite daily, Cumhuriyet, Erol Manisali has always been a most respected interlocutor of Turkey’s prime ministers and presidents, world leaders, diplomats and academia.

Among his numerous books, we can enumerate the following: Survey of the Turkish Tourism Industry, Dışsal Ekonomiler ve Ekonomik Gelişme (External Economies and Economic Development), İktisadi Kalkınma (Economic Development), İktisada Giriş (Introduction to Economics), Uluslararası Entegrasyon Teorileri ve Gümrük Birlikleri (International Integration Theories and Customs Unions), Foreign Economic Relations of Turkey, Metropolitan Planning and Management, Gümrük Birliğinin Siyasal ve Ekonomik Bedeli (Political and Economic Cost of Customs Unity), Dünden Bugüne Kıbrıs (Cyprus from Past to Present, 2002), Düşünceler-Attilâ İlhan’la Neler Tartıştık? (Thoughts – What We Discussed with Attilâ İlhan, 2002), Türkiye – Avrupa İlişkilerinde Sessiz Darbe (Silent Revolution in Turkey-EU Relations, 2002), Dünya’da ve Türkiye’de Büyük Sermaye (Large Capital in the World and in Turkey, 2002), Türkiye ve Küreselleşme (Turkey and Globalization, 2002), Zaman Tünelinde Bir Adam (A Man in the Time Tunnel, 2002).

More recently (last January), Professor Manisali presented his thesis for what Turkey’s foreign policy strategy should be in the advent of a European rejection of Turkey’s candidacy, a development he has had always anticipated as the only truly plausible. It is obvious that only scholars with great background, strong conceptual thinking and bold vision would dare speak openly about a highly controversial issue like this. He suggested that Turkey should rather establish an Eastern, Asiatic, substitute to the anachronistic and futile Search for the West. We re-publish an indicative excerpt:

“The new demands of the West have inevitably led Turkey to a search for a new balance in foreign affairs. While Turkey’s interests are coming in conflict with those of the West, they become more in harmony with those of Asia.

Both Russia and China strongly opposed the U.S. military presence in Asia. Both of them are against U.S. intervention in Iraq and defend the territorial integrity of that country.

European Union countries are putting obstacles in front of Turkey’s active participation in Afghanistan. In a way, they are excluding Turkey. They don’t want Turkey in Afghanistan despite the fact that they accepted it as a candidate country and are supposed to admit it into the Union.

Their desire to exclude Turks from the Aegean and Cyprus is a matter of discussion today.

The U.S. is pursuing a policy completely at odds with Turkey’s strategic interests regarding intervention in Iraq and northern Iraq. This has gone on for more than ten years, since the beginning of the Gulf War.

When we take a look at the U.S. and EU demands from Turkey regarding the region, we see that they are in conflict with Turkish national interests. In fact, disagreements go far beyond those conflicts”.

As I have known personally Professor Manisali for more than 15 years, and worked with him on various projects for several years, I will end up on a personal note. I believe that Prof. Manisali had a very clear vision about Turkey’s potentialities since the mid-90s, when he opposed Turkey’s adhesion to the Customs Union, denouncing the privileges it offered to European countries and the ensuing disadvantages for Turkey. As the years pass, I came to agree with his position on the subject. As we shared a discussion with the former President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Rauf Denktas, in 1995, I remember that Prof. Manisali foresaw the formation of the strategic energy alliances that are currently taking shape between Central Asia, Caucasus, Russia, the Middle East, and Europe.

I view in Professor Manisali the most authentic, present day Anatolian intellectual, genuinely representing the 45 centuries long unchangeable traits of Anatolian History. Through a retrograding memory, one goes back in time up to the Ottomans, the Eastern Romans, the Macedonians, the Persians, the Ionians, the Cappadocians, the Lydians, the Phrygians, and the Hittites. Like the Great Hittite Hero and God Telipinu, who molded the posterior mythical figure of Hercules, Prof. Erol Manisali knows that there will be Istustaya, Papaya, and Miyatanzipa, i.e. the Fate-goddesses, and the Dark-goddess sitting under the hawthorn tree, awaiting the return of Telipinu. With the Great Hittite Hero Telipinus in mind, the Turkish MPs should all vote Professor Erol Manisali for President. Few moments were so critical in the 4500-year long Anatolian History.

By Prof. Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

Published in the American Chronicle, Buzzle and AfroArticles on 18th April 2007


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