What ‘Young Turks’?
In his May 20, Page 1 article, Amando Doronila proclaims, “A generation of Young Turks enters Senate.” He says further:
“The entry of the generation of the Young Turks—mostly at ages ranging from 40 to 50—has infused into the Senate fresh blood to generate new initiatives. [It] is what makes the results of the 2013 polling a game-changing event that has dramatically changed the landscape for 2016.”
One can indeed hope so. But of the 12 senatorial candidates who won, nine come from the administration coalition headed by the Liberal Party and only three are from the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). And the UNA had early on declared that it was not really in opposition to the administration, especially since its leader, Vice President Jejomar Binay, is a member of President Aquino’s Cabinet.
The “Phrase Finder” in the Internet defines a “Young Turk” as “A young person, full of new ideas and impatient for change.” Can any among those newly elected or reelected senators be truly identified as “full of new ideas and impatient for change”?
During the weeks of campaigning, did we hear from them “new ideas” and were we emotionally roused by their “impatience for change”?
What did we hear but tired old phrases, slogans and programs of “helping the poor,” providing “free education,” creating more jobs, delivering more food to the hungry and building more houses for the homeless? How these promises could be fulfilled was not elaborated. If at all, they were the same old programs that have been rehashed ad nauseam by countless politicians and administrations of the past.
William Safire, the popular American columnist on politics and language, once wrote that Winston Churchill had used the phrase “Young Turks” to describe those who criticized his plan to restore British imperialism after World War II. The “Young Turks” were against the perpetuation of an age-old and revered imperial policy of the British prime minister.
It would be hard to find among the newly elected and reelected members of the Senate who would disagree with the principal policies of the P-Noy administration, such as the focus on the “daang matuwid” and the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) economic strategy.
The phrase “Young Turks” originated from the group of literally young Turkish students, academicians and politicians who brought about the Turkish revolution of 1908 that eventually abolished the absolutist Ottoman Empire and introduced modernity and democracy to Turkey.
The newly elected and reelected senators in 2013 are far from being revolutionary.
—MANUEL F. ALMARIO,
spokesman, Movement for Truth in History,
(Rizal’s Moth), email@example.com