According to Lieutenant Colonel Ozmen, the Office if the Chief of Staffs Middle East expert said in the latest edition of Armed Services magazine that climate change is an inevitable problem which will be faced all over the world, not only by Turkey. This is problem will be addressed by plotting out a national security strategy to amend the climate change (Ankara).
One of the options that Turkey may be facing is that they might wage war in order to keep the citizens and their living spaces safe. Another one is thoroughly amending the national security strategy, so that it will accommodate the possible risk and threats of climate change. The country should improve on its military capabilities on various aspects of domestic and international security, as well as possible relocation and transfers of the populace when the time of war arrives.
These problems would arise because Turkey is the recipient of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, as it is strategically located in eastern and southeast of Turkey. In 20 years time, people who dont have good access to clean water would be increased to five billion heads. Turkey, having the cleanest water resources in the area would surely catch the interest of its neighoring countries that are unfortunate to have a good source of water, where climate change would surely mean water shortages for them. Internal problems could arise within these countries, as well as possible instances of domestic attacks in Turkey. It is due to the fact that lack of water could further result to shortages in food supply, and could lead to a collapse in the economy as well.
Another problem that Turkey is facing is regarding the threats being made on the secular republic. The Turkish armed forces said that there are efforts made to undermine the secular republic, as it was showered by comments regarding issues that the Parliament would elect an Islamic candidate for presidency (Reuters). With this report, people saw what could be a possible threat to secularism. The military however, stood firm that they wouldnt just be spectators, especially now that secularism is being threatened. However, there were speculations that these comments were just caused by the air of elections coming soon.
But the problem is that everyday, different ways of undoing the modern advances and destroy the democratic and secular structure of Turkey are coming out. This is according to the chief of the general staff, General Yasar Buyukanit, as he addressed the public during Victory Day last August 30. The secular republic of Turkey is being guarded by no other that its military, as anything they see unusual and threatening to the secular republic will be deposed, the latest of which is in 1997, when the government was viewed to be on the Islamists end (Tribune).
According to General Buyukanit, the Turkish armed forces will never bend its beliefs and stance and will continue to uphold the interest of the democratic people, of the secular Turkey. The military and higher secular elites have directly opposed the presidential candidacy of Abdullah Gul, which is the Foreign Minister today. The reason for this is because of his Islamic roots, as well as the wearing of a Muslim head scarf by his wife, which is a clear representation of the religion they support.
Turkey is aspiring for membership in the European Union, and is composed of a majority of Muslims, but the constitution it upholds is a strict sense of Secular constitution (Thomas).
Another military problem that Turkey is suffering from is the Turkish rebel troops threat to the country. The rebel group PKK composed of Turkish Kurds are the ones causing the ruckus, launching attacks on the country while in hiding in another county. They are hiding somewhere in the mountainous northern Iraq which is known to be as a Kurdish area. These PKK have ensued deadly attacks on military installations and some public areas of the country (The Boston Globe).
The country has formed an incursion in order to punish these rebel troops. However, this incursion would be causing a lot commotion especially because it will pass through the northern Iraq area, something that could possibly go wrong and lead to violence. In order to avoid further harm to any of the two countries, Iraq should be the one to hunt down these PKK rebels, especially now that they are into hiding in their territory.
Also, Turkey cannot barge into another land only with a massive amount of military troops unless they are declaring war. A of problems could go wrong, and the peaceful area of Northern Iraq could turn into a warzone in an instant. The army massing up by the border in northern Iraq is 150,000-strong just to curb the terroristic ways of these PKK rebels. 150,000 armed soldiers is enough to wage a small war with another country.
Turkish Generals however, clarify that they wouldnt go into hasty measures because they abide by the democratic rules. They said that their will be no cross-border campaign if the Parliament tells them to do so. With this words, the pressure is placed in the shoulders of the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Previously, Erdogans Justice and Development Party is being questioned by the nationalists and secularists for a case of incompetence in the part of the Prime Minister.
According to the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, there should be no border crossing to avoid any complications. No one should cross the border from both sides, especially with issues like these heating up. Iraqi Kurds will have to take down the PKK rebels by themselves, even though it may seem hard to do, without the help from Turkey. This is to maintain peace in that northern region of Iraq.
Another problem that Turkey focuses on is about its entry to the European Union. Turkey is making an impression that they deserve to accepted in the EU by avoiding anything that could forfeit a possible European Union membership. However, there are a lot of people, individuals and groups of people who doesnt agree with the possible membership of Turkey. They see Turkeys entry in the international group as a problem, instead of being an asset, Turkey becomes a liability.
According to these people, Turkey is very different from the other members of the European Union because of how the country is ruled. It is not actually run by democracy, instead, the authority that decides on how it should be ruled are the military forces. A lot of issues spurn out of nowhere regarding Turkeys membership, like how it deals with minorities rights, eradicating the power of the military to run the state, and by improving further the democratic procedures it employs to the populace.
If ever Turkey will be able to address these issues, then the possibility of getting the favour of most of the EU members is high. However, the problem will be how they will be able to address these issues. Turkeys rules and policies have been the same for a long time already, and they were able to establish a stable government. If they would abruptly change it in order to qualify for the European Union, nobody knows how it will affect the country. Surely, several complications would arise and the ones that are more likely to suffer are the masses, the Turkish people which these rules are being employed upon. The result would depend on how they will tolerate these changes.
There problems regarding the European Union membership can be traced with the issue on PKK rebel terrorists. Turkeys Kurdish region has experienced an increase in violence and has resulted to civilian action. Because of this, the government mobilized Turkish police to pacify the situation, attacking the demonstrating masses with tear gas, batons, tanks and other lethal weapons that can get hold of. The government issued a state of emergency, and a number of human rights and political activists were arrested (Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty).
This internal problem that Turkey wasnt able to address had caught the eye of the leaders of the European Union. They questioned the actions made by Turkish officials, and asked why everything has led to a stir up of the masses. It is a bad image for a member of the European Union to have unsettled government issues like this one, and no member of the EU has experienced problems such as these starting the day they joined the European Union. This has somewhat brought a negative point on Turkey in the aspect of joining the European Union. Efforts have been made to redeem what has happened that time.
How can I reduce the threat to human security?
Turkey is facing serious political and military problems these days. This is due to the pressure they are receiving with regards to their aspiration to join the European Union. One of the negative setbacks of this situation is the threat to human security. War can break out anytime, especially now that Turkey and the neighboring countries are well-armed since the region has been plagued by a lot of wars these past few years now. The countrys army may be prepared for war, but the people are not. Surely their lives will be affected if the situation would turn into bombings and gun battles.
The government is doing their best on how to solve these problems, even though there are times that they are neglecting the side of the people. They may have been overlooking the interest of the people in order for them to be accepted in the European Union. This is a major concern because it involves the welfare of the people, and the main purpose of a governing body of the country is to serve the people. There are other alternatives to these cases however. One of these alternatives is for the people to act.
As a citizen, they can do something is they really want to. They can invoke change, depending on how the people do it. They are the ones who has control over these matter, not the rebellious groups, not the military forces, not even the government. Everything is on the peoples hands, and the outcome will surely depend on how they would address the situation. It is no merely a national or a regional problem; it is already a global issue.
As a citizen, the least I can do is to disseminate information. Having a good line of communication for the whole nation is very crucial, since it opens up the connection for every concerned citizen. People have ideas which can be executed to promote safety and the welfare of other people. It mustnt fall on deaf ears, especially at times like these, where every idea for a solution counts. As a citizen, I am also bound to this nation by law thats why I should still abide in every law and regulation it employs on the people. I am also responsible for my actions, such that it wouldnt lead into further complications for me and my country.
I should cooperate to the fullest in order for the programs and projects of the government to be successful. It is also crucial to choose on what side am I on, regarding the issue of the Europen Union. If the leaders deem that being a member is what truly matters, then I must abide by their ideas. However, I am also responsible to voice out my opinions in a more peaceful way than staging demonstration and ensuing public mobility. It could really be a waste of time and resources, instead of focusing on what really needs to be focused on the actual problems that the country has.
Even though I am just an individual, there are still other ways on how I can be of use to the country. I should try my best to become an asset instead of being a liability. Instead of complaining about how things work and how things go, I should just be cooperative with the programs that they employ to the people. There is always a right time to complain, which is also my responsibility as a citizen. I should report everything that I see as wrong, so that people concerned would still be able to amend or fix it.
Ankara. Militarys Expert Says Israel, Iraq and Syria Can Become Threats. 2007. Turkish Daily News. September 19 2007.
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. Iraq: Kurdish Official Downplays Threat from Turkey. 2006. Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. September 19 2007.
Reuters. Secular Turkey Is under Threat, Military Says. Europe, 2007. International Herald Tribune. September 19 2007.
The Boston Globe. Turkish Threats to Turkey. 2007. September 19 2007.
Thomas, Mark. Mark Thomas Refuses to Ignore the Problem of Turkey. 2006. September 19 2007.
Tribune, The World. Turkeys Secular Government in Trouble, General Warns. 2006. East West Services. September 19 2007.