Sunday, January 28, 2007

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

Dear Colleagues

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that, in being made, actually causes itself to become true. Although examples of self-fulfilling prophecies can be found in human literature as far back as ancient Greece and ancient India, it is 20th century sociologist Robert K. Merton who is credited with coining the expression "self-fulfilling prophecy" and formalising its structure and consequences. In his book Social Theory and Social Structure, Merton gives the following definition:

The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the original false conception come true.

Let us evaluate the latest situation and if this is "Self-fulfilling prophecy" or Strategic Investigation of the existing situation?

Further to my notes on latest Presidential Elections which is scheduled in late April 2007, we had a workshop in METU Alumni premises today to evaluate the various aspects in order to reach common wisdom on the subject.

We all agreed on that there will be no early general elections other than the regular scheduled election on November 2007. Normally we expect an early elections after a serious economic crises as happened twice before. There is no such case at this time.

On the other hand, a serious financial crises is expected in early 2007 in the local market due to the fragile social atmosphere. That will create a difficult time for the people in Turkey in the short run. We cannot estimate how the management in power will handle these difficult times.

We understand that Soldiers had already had that brainstorming within their ranks and they have reached a certain inside consensus which is not yet made public.

On the other hand, there is no response from business circles, no evaluation nor any statement from local Industrialist & Businessmen Association nor from local Chamber of Commerce. They all are seemed to be so silent, appearing to accept the statu-quo. We really need to know what they know that we do not know at this time. Are we in METU Alumni, too sensitive? Are we exaggerating the situation?

In a recent study created by Mr. Alim TELCI of Ak-Investment in local SABANCI group of companies, he evaluates various scenarios and in his final scenario the existing chairman of the ruling party becomes the next president with almost 70% probability, and the next general elections create a coalition between two right wing parties.

We understand that all related parties have a certain consensus not to create too much social tension, nor any interference during election period. Foreign experts reinforce above brief analysis as in the latest reports of Morgan Stanley and Standard & Poors.

Reputable foreign correspondents who are stationed in Turkey, and those who are very competent in analyzing the local politics, are also surprisingly so silent. They are seemed to be unable to evaluate the silence in the local intellectual environment

In our workshop today in METU Alumni in Ankara, we evaluated all parameters with the available information already made public, and decided to form an Alumni Council in February 2007. We also wish to bring together all interested NGOs in our premises in a workshop. We shall then release public statements to inform the public what we feel and think and advise. Please advise if above is still "Self-Fulfilling Prophecy" Your comments are always welcome.

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