Why and how? Turkey From the proverbial ‘sick man of Europe’ to global player
Though most of the people sitting in the visitors’ galleries are not having the facility of the Urdu or English translation of what Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, one of the most talented leaders of Islamic world, is saying while addressing the Joint Session of the Parliament, but sincerity and pain for Muslim Ummah is oozing out of each and every word he has uttered in his mother tongue and people are so attentively listening to as if they believed that all what he is saying is the voice of their hearts and souls.
Perhaps, another reason for making people believe that all what Tayyip Erdogan is saying is true and carries weight was his long marvelous political career started early teen age studded with hard struggles and resultantly crowned with unmatchable successes.
A self-made person who started his career as street vendor hit the limelight when he was elected Mayor of Turkey’s cosmopolitan city Istanbul in 1994 and in just four years time transformed this mega-city, which had all the problems of big cities in developing states, into one the beautiful cities of the world in just four years time. In his four years term as Major of Istanbul he had not only paid off $ two billion loan against the municipality but executed development projects worth $ 4 billion to revamp the civic infrastructure of the city.
The practical demonstration of continuous struggle and deliverance was reflected in each and every word Tayyip Erdogan penetrated in the hearts of the listeners, particularly the advice he had given to the political leadership of the country both in government and opposition, to collectively work for the strengthening of the democracy and national economy, as according to him powerful democratic order solely depend on the strong and vibrant economy.” Don’t get impatient, as you have to pass through the same mills of difficult and tricky processes to bring home a strong democratic order,” he candidly shared his experiences with the Parliamentarians of brotherly Islamic state whom he was addressing for second time, a rare distinction for any world leader.
As usual putting his country’s unflinching support behind Pakistan in every thick and thin Turkish Premier set ambitious targets of cooperation between the two states in various fields, but of course, with focus on the economic relations for near future.
Besides unexplained bonds of friendship in which the people of Pakistan and Turkey are locked and which have a long history even when the Muslims of sub-continent had not attained freedom the two brotherly Islamic states have many more in common as the democratic order in both states were intermittently interrupted by the Military dictators and both states had seen the hanging of their elected prime ministers.
Both the 20th century dawned differently on both the countries with Pakistan going under the boots of another Military dictator while Turkey coming out as strong and stable democracy putting the military dictators under their thumb.
With sincerity of purpose and commitment to the cause of democracy and nationhood Turkish leadership had a clear roadmap in every sphere of life for their people and state in years to come and this determination had brought unprecedented results with Turkey’s economy turning into one of the world’s fastest growing economies in the world. Especially under the dynamic leadership of Tayyip Erdogan Turkey had also retired the IMF and other world monetary bodies loans, took the country’s exports to 140 billion mark, transformed Turkey into the heaven for tourists annually attracting over 30 million tourists, turning the tide of brain-drain to give further impetus to the country’s economic growth.
Especially the vision 2023 of Tayyip Erdogan virtually seemed an ambitious dream but keeping in view his track record everything seemed achievable wherein he has planned to take the country’s GDP to $ two trillion with per capita income from existing around $ 13000 to $ 25000 turning Turkey into the 10th biggest world economies.
On the other hand the picture here in Pakistan is altogether different with all the major state institutions in tatters and a very few departments, with judiciary on top of it, which are trying to streamline the things are coerced and hampered for petty and personal gains.
Needless to mention the failures and follies of the political leadership of the country which are once again pushing the incumbent political dispensation to gallows, for their personal and parties gains And seeing this dismal state of affairs the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Ergodan had hinted in his address to the Pakistani MPs to rise forge unity among the political leadership for the collective good of the people of the country and place their personal and party interests on the back-burner.
The way the words of Tayyip Erdogan have touched the hearts and souls of common Pakistanis have left the similar impact on our leadership and would they rise to the occasion and take some steps for the cure of about to collapse national economy in the similar fashion Tayyip Erdogan and his predecessors had taken over the past few years and cured the proverbial ‘sick man of Europe’ and make it strong enough to compete the world economies in the throat-cutting competition and treading steadily to transform Turkey into economic joint in years to come.
Syed Abid Gillani Islamabad based journalist and socio-political analyst.