According to Article 68 of the Gagauzian Constitution, a bashkan is granted the right to address the nation. My appeal to the people of Gagauzia contains the wishes and thoughts of many of you, with whom we have discussed the preservation and further development of our autonomous territory. The first document, which we have developed together, adopted and implemented during past four years, was the “Eleven Steps towards the People” programme. By successfully implementing many sections of this programme, we became convinced that it was realistic and well prepared. However, in times of increasing crisis actions of globalisation in the modern world, the relatively small Gagauz nation faces major challenges. How do we keep our language, culture, traditions and customs? What should we do not to be dissolved or assimilated? How can we be successful and grow in number? How do we create the right conditions to ensure the preservation and development of our people? What new goals will we define for ourselves?
The Gagauz people should clearly realise that by the power of history itself, as well as by their own will for self-determination, the past two decades have witnessed something that should radically change, and already is radically changing, our attitudes towards and demands upon ourselves and those around us. We are living and participating in an epic time when, in front of our eyes, one of the last fragments of the great Turkish super-ethnos adopts the characteristics typical of a European-civilised nation and forever rejects the narrow and provincial mentality.
Bearing in mind historic responsibility and looking in the faces of our ancestors and our descendants, it is time for us to learn one indisputable truth – a nation is nothing without a national idea. The core of any national idea is to gain national dignity and worth through goal setting and thus achievement of the nation’s rightful place amongst other nations.
And the first questions that should receive decent and honest answers are: Who are we? In what way are we interesting to other peoples of Europe and the rest of the world? What is our historical mission and what experience and common cultural and technological value do we carry and, most importantly, should we bring to the world community? What hidden and special development resources do we possess in such harsh times of crisis? What problems have to be solved to take us to a new systemic level? We have the answers to these questions. Moreover, we already have the proven strategies and the starting platform, which we will discuss further below.
The Gagauz people have retained their identity, expressed in the language and customs of their distant ethnic ancestors. This is due to the unique tradition of self-consciousness, dignity and a will to be free. We have never been anyone’s servants or slaves. When conditions of existence became unbearable, our people moved to new places, maintaining their traditional values and unique identity, but once the nationwide migrations ended, we obtained forever a living space that we are obliged to protect and improve. It is necessary to understand that we have nowhere else to go.
Freedom to choose a place in living space is replaced by freedom to choose a way in time. But time is not only money; it is also lost as well as realised opportunities. The freedom of wandering turned into the responsibility of acquiring a new meaning of existence in a new and challenging environment. The danger of a nationwide migration in the world with a global socio-economic crisis has turned into the danger of massive individual migrations. Each year of delay translates into thousands of Gagauz leaving the homeland to seek their happiness abroad. And we need to give an adequate systemic response to this serious challenge of globalisation.
The Gagauz people must realise as soon as possible this new historical situation, as well as their new historic mission. The Gagauz must merge with the rhythms of modern European history in creation of which they should not play the role of a lagging and driven nation, but rather an advanced and overachieving one. And we have every reason for this.
We must clearly, with all the consequences, realise that our nation is no longer just a historical and geographical relic of the great and mighty Turkic-speaking world, but an entirely self-determined nation that has not only its special historical destiny, particular national culture and ethnic fathers, and unique national character (without which no nation can exist), but also its national territory, particular form of governance, and accepted national attributes and symbols: flag, emblem, national anthem and state awards (that is, legitimacy and legality and specific domestic and international status). Along with gaining new status, we have to change our psychology and the level of our claims, our world outlook and our role in history.
In this regard, we must express our sincere gratitude and deep recognition to the people of Moldova and their respected representatives for the fateful law “On the legal status of Gagauzia (Gagauz Eri)” which they accepted in 1994, the hardest of years for Moldova. Something extraordinary happened – the small Moldovan people that themselves were on the brink of ethnic assimilation and disappearance in the 20th century acted with great dignity in relation to an even smaller and more oppressed people.
Therefore, we are not tired of repeating: regardless of our political views and convictions, the Republic of Moldova is our common country. We will always be a part of a free, democratic, neutral and sovereign Moldova, no matter how complicated and controversial the political situation becomes in this country and abroad. We, more than anyone, are interested in strengthening the statehood of the Republic of Moldova. We must also express special gratitude to the peoples and governments of Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and the EU countries, whose friendly attitude towards our nation acts as a foreign policy guarantee of our existence and sustainable political, economic and social development. Without timely vigorous and effective political support from Russia and Turkey, the historical destiny of our nation could have emerged as a different, perhaps tragic, scenario. But history does not know the subjunctive mood with “if”, “maybe”, etc. History has shown that the Gagauz have learned to make friends and allies everywhere and at all times. We cannot afford to have enemies. The deep wisdom of our ancestors and centuries-old experience of our development prevent this from happening.
Europe and the world, shaken by evident and latent ethnic, racial, cultural and religious conflicts, desperately need today this experience and model of ethnic survival, coexistence and cooperation amongst people. That is why we represent a particular interest to European and international communities. That is why it is in this direction that we can count on real and effective support from the global structures and organisations in the formulation and implementation of our unique Gagauz model, our unique innovative technology platform for European and Asian countries. And we are obliged to justify this high confidence of the international community. Each of Gagauzia’s citizens should ask himself or herself daily the same question: what have I done today for my land to flourish?
The most important feature of our present nation-state territorial entity is the presence of not only ethnic Gagauz, but also other ethnic groups. In our case it is not only the Moldovans, but also Bulgarians, Russians, Ukrainians and other Slavic peoples.
As a nation, we must integrate all of our compatriots in the process of our common state building at the national level, and especially at the level of our national territorial formation – Gagauz Eri. They are our compatriots, and therefore the partners in all administrative, economic, social and cultural processes, with all the accompanying rights and responsibilities. Common use of the three official languages (Gagauz, Moldovan and Russian) within the boundaries of the autonomous territory as well as their use during the official meetings of the authorities is the evidence of our maturity.
In this regard, I would like to pay special attention to the unique common historical destiny of the Gagauz and the Bugeac Bulgarians and our rich experience of inter-ethnic cooperation in all areas of cultural and economic life. It seems that the time has come for a new development of regional and in-depth territorial and political interaction. Too much unites us, especially our common problems, challenges, threats and interests which require stronger forms of territorial and political cooperation and collaboration of the Gagauz and Bulgarian peoples.
On the other hand, the Gagauz nation should be actively and purposefully integrating not only on the scale of Moldova, but also in cultural and economic community from the Atlantic to the Urals. We are Europeans with a thousand years of experience in European formation, and no one should forget that, not in our home in Gagauzia, not in our home in Moldova and not in our home in Europe. Because our distant ethnic ancestors (as well as the ancestors of the modern Bulgarians) brought on the saddles of their horses not only the prowess of steppe warriors, but also the centuries-old wisdom and morality of Oriental civilisations and the highest standards of justice, freedom and respect of human dignity. Our steppe warriors have shown incredible sensitivity to and acceptance of the European cultural, ideological and technological achievements, as well as towards new spiritual values, including Christianity and written culture.
The greatness of peoples and nations is not determined by the size of their population or territorial gains. The ruins of Babylon, Persepolis and Rome are impressive testimonies. They are all that remain of their empires’ claims to world domination and hegemony. Bees of the steppes and ants of the flats outlived these dinosaurs of history due to a better and more effective social and economic adjustment and most importantly because of the higher instincts of collectivism and self-sacrifice in their communities. Nature is the most respected teacher of mankind – the mankind that is now standing at the threshold of a significant and threatening change, when the greatness of the Western civilisation can turn into another historical myth.
The true greatness of a people is determined by their ability to withstand harsh challenges of history, by their ability to acquire unique experiences through survival and development, their own culture of innovation, and their own model for resolving ethnic and nationalist conflicts. The creation of such a model is currently our main contribution to the European and the international community. And here, I repeat, we hope for understanding and meaningful steps in response from Moldova, Russia, Turkey and the EU; we hope for their political wisdom, economic and informational support.
Located at the junction of the Turkic and European civilisations, or rather on the very edge of it, our people not only embraced the best from these cultural worlds but also reinforced their unique personality; their clearly recognisable ethnic entity, identity and spirit; and their own special national character. We are proud to say to the world: “There are only a few of us, but we exist.” The voice of Gagauzia is heard throughout the world.
Every truly great nation is embodied in its national genius, such as Luther in Germany and the Slavs Cyril and Methodius. Our great compatriot Mikhail Chakir is one of these geniuses of mankind. The true value of his cultural feat is only now beginning to be realised by the world’s scientific and cultural community. He managed to carry out the great mission of the unification of the Turkic and European cultural and spiritual heritage, standing on a level with the great unifiers of mankind.
Great in all his deeds, Mikhail Chakir made his substantial contribution to the connection of civilisations and the raising of the level of education and self-comprehension in Gagauzia. He also contributed to the difficult task of raising the level of national identity of Moldovans. In Tsarist Russia, using his own funds and time, he wrote and published school textbooks for the Moldovan school that he built in Skynosa and offered to the Chisinau municipality. It is not for nothing that in the obituary of our great compatriot in 1938, the remarkable Moldovan poet Nikolai Kostenko called him, on behalf of all the Moldovans, the “Apostle of the Gagauz”. It seems that the modern-day Chisinau politicians and cultural figures could refer to this valuable experience and a true example of strengthening the inter-ethnic relations in our long-suffering common fatherland.
Our people have become a de facto nation in the modern sense, with, on the one hand, all the basic features of statehood, territoriality, cultural and psychological characteristics, and the unmistakable presence of its ethnic and cultural diversity and, on the other, some unique historical advantages that we must clearly understand, make the best use of and implement. What are they? How do they manifest?
It may seem strange, but in full accordance with the principle of “no prophet in one’s own nation”, foreign visitors from Russia, Turkey, Europe and other regions of the world provide us with some of the answers. One sees it better from the outside. After a detailed analysis of the situation in the modern Moldova, they are surprised to note that the level of development; business activity; industrial production; loans; and implementation of technological, organisational, managerial, marketing and production innovations in Gagauzia is much higher than in the surrounding areas. Moreover, many of them claim (and I believe not only under the influence of the remarkable achievements of the Gagauz winemakers), that throughout the CIS, with rare exceptions, it is in fact possible to find “mini-regions” with a significant and constructive ethno-energy. These regions are results oriented for integration into the regional and global economy.
Let us now take a look at the facts and statistics confirming these subjective appearances. In spite of the narrow political sectarianism and disunity; in spite of disbelief and opposition from certain
going to analyze in details all activities, but will elaborate briefly
on several points. The education system was our priority for the past
three years. We have seriously improved school equipment with multimedia
devices, computers and interactive whiteboards, also providing Internet
access to all educational institutions in Gagauzia. The quality of
teaching and the results of our children on exams progress each year.
Common graduation days and various contests, competitions and Olympiads
have become traditional. Every tenth graduate of Gagauzia is studying
abroad. Much attention is paid to in-depth study of the Gagauz language.
Books and magazines are produced in our native language. The Research
Centre of Gagauzia has started its activity.
We have also managed to achieve a lot in health care and in improving the technical equipment of medical institutions. For the first time in Gagauzia’s history, 40 of our doctors passed their internships in the best clinics of Turkey. They successfully applied the knowledge they have received, using the full range of diagnostic equipment (equal to about 10 million lei, received from the Republic of Turkey in the form of grants). It has become a norm to allocate each year at least 3 million lei for the maintenance of medical institutions in Gagauzia. We pay great attention to social support for the most vulnerable social classes of the autonomous territory. Each year, all relevant compensation and benefits are paid on time. We obtained large-scale humanitarian support in the form of 5,000 tons of food grains and foodstuffs (with a value of about 65 million Russian rubles) from the Russian Federation. Five thousand tons of fuel (valued at more than 100 million Russian rubles) will soon be delivered to us from the Russian Federation, as well. We have established strong regional connections with different countries. Cultural issues do not remain without attention. Participation of creative teams in various competitions and festivals; their technical equipment; further cooperation with TURKSOY; the production of books, photo albums of Gagauzia and a number of films – all are fruits of our common work. Our cooperation with the Turkish TIKA Agency, which regularly supports us in our quest to become successful, is remarkable. The Second World Congress of Gagauz People gave a new impetus to strengthening our ties, saying to the world that there is such a nation as Gagauzia. The list of work we did together can be continued. More information on this work is available in the “Gagauzia’s executive committee’s first 1000 days of work” report. However, much more has to be done in order to ensure favourable conditions for the development of all components of Gagauzia.
3. The persuasion principle – decisiveness in the politics of a nation
Construction of relations in a “power-civil society” system depends on two main factors – rational and cultural.
Purely rational factors taken as an extreme principle of governance are based on the criteria of appropriateness and effectiveness: all is rational that, in the opinion of management, contributes to the goal regardless of moral and ethical cultural values. This approach totally denies the existence of a divine spark in a man. It deprives a person of free will and choice, constraining his creativity and leading to neglect of the path of his ancestors.
This approach in building the Soviet state and society gave rise to a totalitarian and authoritarian command-administrative system, which resisted the challenge of war but failed the challenge of transparency. As a result, the system collapsed. It has, however, generated the dependent mentality that has affected, to a greater or lesser extent, the peoples and the elites throughout the ruins of the empire. Corruption of the spirit leads to corruption of activity.
The principle of following one and only one “infallible” guiding line transformed, in practice, this “line” into an unpredictable curve whose trajectory came to a complete political collapse. History has once again proved that trying to implement any rationalist “wonderful” utopia eventually turns into a terrible dystopia, the collapse of which ruins the lives and hopes of those who trusted in it. We have no right to forget the hard lessons of repression, collectivisation and the famine of 1946 that took away the lives of more than 25 per cent of the Gagauz people.
Such a “rational”, or more precisely a rationalist and immoral, approach has proved to be ineffective in the post-Soviet era. Moreover, it has proved its irrationality and senselessness. Extremes always turn into their opposite.
The experience of political power in Moldova in recent years clearly showed that the authoritarian methods of governing, despite some success in social and public spheres, led to a sharp division of political forces in the country, to an atmosphere of uncompromising resistance, to social upheaval and ultimately to the loss of power by the governing elite. The path of authoritarian leadership ended with a political collapse.
As has been customary in the political traditions of our country since its waywodes and governors, the new political elite always begins with the destruction of the previous power structure, a shake-up of the officials and public administration, and the redistribution of property. However, no castling of managers can change the main aspect – their own mentality. Furthermore, with each change of leadership, we observed a new round of corruption.
To our credit, the new political power of Gagauzia has not followed the path of destruction. We opted for strengthening and transforming our legislative and executive bodies, for cultivating a new, creative and responsible attitude to business. We did not follow the logic of political egoistic rationality whose purpose would be the maximum possession of power to the detriment of everything else. We are not the temporary workers living on the principle of “After us, the deluge.” And that is why, from the very beginning, we rejected all attempts at redistribution of property. We did not scrap a single project started by the previous government.
It was clear to us from the beginning that the old bureaucratic thesis that “people are the grass, and officials are the wind” should be dropped.
What made us do just that, and not otherwise? Was it only the sad experience of the great power, or was it the not-so-good historical experience of an independent Moldova?
Every nation has its own political instinct that is generated by its culture and historical past. Whenever our distant Turkic ancestors stepped onto the path of rigid authoritarian political doctrine, it ended with a rupture; tribal internecine wars; and, as a result, a new ethnic and state catastrophe and enslavement. Every time our ancestor khans and beys abandoned the old method of persuasion, coming from the depths of people’s democracy in favour of hard coercion and blind obedience, they led the ancient Turks to a sad and ignominious end.
Taken in historical perspective, what are the nature and the advantages of the moral and political persuasion method, compared to the autocratic violence?
By the will of history, our people have splintered from the great Turkic super-ethnos, but we kept our ancestors’ legacy: faith in the divine grace of heaven, loyalty to centuries-old cultural traditions, adherence to the ideals of tribal democracy, freedom of choice and belief in the power of the collective wisdom of the tribe.
Whenever the authoritarian methods of leadership were imposed on our people, the collective spirit of the Gagauz showed a powerful resistance – covert or explicit, depending on circumstances.
A Gagauz can only be persuaded; to any attempt of violence he will find an adequate response.
That is why we put at the outset of our political and economic activities the laborious method and way of persuasion, based on the collective wisdom and creativity of our people.
What is the greatest difficulty in following this way forward? First and foremost, all people see and understand differently the perspectives of moving forward, the order of objectives and means of achieving personal and social well-being and security. But there are short- and long-term goals. Often, a nearby hill prevents one from seeing the ridge of hills beyond. Unfulfilled short-term expectations often fuel unjustified frustration and disbelief in one’s own strength and success of the common cause. And where there is no faith, there is no success; people turn into a crowd of insecure losers. During the difficult nineties, our people showed the world their persistence, unity and desire to defend their right to autonomy, achieving it through peaceful means.
Following the method of persuasion refers us again and again to the taken path, to analyze in detail the causes of all our successes and failures. It makes us take into account the continuous change in the political and economic situation in our country and abroad, to constantly strive to find answers to new challenges of history, and to carefully look into our own shortcomings and turn them into accomplishments.
Take for example a typical characteristic such as envy. How many troubles and misfortunes it has brought to our people! But man is endowed with this special feeling for a reason. We need it for something. What for? To feel strongly that you have fallen behind someone. It is a very important feeling, as it awakens the mind.
And then the mind offers the human soul two mutually exclusive ways. The first and simplest way is to make the one ahead fall behind. This is a common human weakness, and we often see it even in the behaviour of our Moldovan colleagues from the centre. But let us not put the blame on others, but rather take a closer look at ourselves.
What is the defect of this simple way? It is the fact that people not only overshadow their own existence and the existence of others, but also, and more importantly, they waste enormous amounts of energy and ingenuity destroying the progressive forces that surround them and those of the nation in general.
But there is another way, which is much more difficult, but much more noble and wise – to learn from those ahead and surpass own backwardness and sluggishness. This is a noble way in which the initial, heaven-bestowed sense of the laggard develops into a desire for self-determination and success in one’s work. And that means that God has given us a reason, so we could learn to turn our disadvantages into advantages.
One of the most powerful methods of persuasion is a personal example. One of our ancestors, the very wise Oghuz Khan, said: “Not one of our leaders should sit in one place. He should move all the time, be in motion. The one who maintains order in his house maintains it in his district and throughout the country. In this mortal world, nothing lasts forever, except for the good name. Who you are defines how much load you must carry.” Each of us must carry the load of responsibility for the fate of the autonomous territory by maintaining it in proper order.
What is the great value of persuasion as opposed to coercion? Persuasion is based on respect towards the person being persuaded, while coercion is based on tacit or explicit disrespect. Therefore, all that can be achieved by coercion cannot last long and can be effective only in the short term. Sometimes, though, coercion is a must; however, the fruits of persuasion are much more durable and are simply priceless for the development of a nation in the long run. The experience of countries with developed democracy and high standards and quality of life is obvious proof of that.
And now, hands on our hearts, let us ask ourselves: how many times have politicians and power elites from the centre approached our people through persuasion? Rather it was with instructions and prohibitions, restrictions and mentoring. What does this mean? This signifies that we do not always know how to induce the sense of respect due to ourselves. It is a bitter truth, and there is nothing to look for in the theory of conspiracy against our people. After all, we were able to evoke a sense of proper respect in the crucial year of 1994. Why? Because we were able to convince the central political elite that it is impossible to obtain a full and sustained sovereignty for the country without respecting the sovereign rights of our people to be autonomous. And here we can proudly say: “Gagauzia Is the Mirror for Moldova.”
Only by taking an honest look at itself through the prism of Gagauzian and Transnistrian issues can Moldova clearly define its present and its future. Humiliated is not the one who persuades with the power of his own mind and example, but the one who tries to force using all forms of violence – from administrative and economic to political and legislative.
Besides respect, persuasion should have another indestructible force – justice. For the unjust cannot be respected; that is the general law of human nature and of its divine origin – conscience.
Worn out and constrained, conscience takes cruel revenge on the source of its humiliation and violence. How? Through the loss of its dignity and respect; at the state level, this means a national tragedy. One cannot be free by oppressing the freedom of others; one cannot demand justice by using injustice; one cannot demand respect without respecting others.
There is one more very important point: you cannot insist on something that you cannot apply to yourself or something that you do not believe in or doubt. If that were the case, it would not be a persuasion but a bluff; to put it in common language – a deception. It is the sin of professional and “home-grown” local and central politicians, promising voters completely unrealistic, obviously unfeasible but very alluring, promises. “Do not tempt these small ones”, said our Saviour, having in mind such liars and hypocrites. And what he said has gained new force during the current economic and social crisis.
The great ancient Chinese philosopher Han Fei Tzu once said: “The difficulty of persuasion is not only in a lack of arguments or in a lack of eloquence. The art of persuasion is to determine the true needs and intentions of the one you are trying to persuade, and open to him the true path to realisation of his aspirations.” But this is impossible without the trust in interaction between the leader and the follower, the one who persuades and the one who is persuaded. This is the very truth itself, and it would not hurt modern politicians to listen to these words coming from the depths of time.
When it comes to politics, one first of all asks about the political doctrine or a political idea held by a political party or faction.
What, generally speaking, is a political doctrine? Usually it is something that has degraded through prolonged use and ineffectiveness and is expressed in pompous verbal form, sometimes devoid of real content or any real political idea. “Liberalism”, “socialism”, “democracy”, “communism”, “ecologism”, etc. – let someone show us where and when these numerous quasi-scientific political labels, currents and movements were purely applied in practice. Probably many will find it surprising that in capitalist Sweden there is more socialism than in socialist Cuba, that there is more trade freedom in non-liberal Afghanistan than in the liberal European Union and that there is much more real communism in the primitive tribes of Amazonia than in communist China.
How should we, modern Gagauz seeking to realise our national idea of gaining recognition and respect from other nations, regard all this that is incomprehensible for a clear and sound mind “doctrinology”? Whose side to take and what party to join?
Pieter Bruegel the Elder, a famous artist of the Renaissance, created a soul-striking picture, where a chain of blind beggars, led by a blind guide, heads for the steep bank of a misty swamp. This picture is a warning to all who dare to blindly follow one political doctrine.
History has repeatedly confirmed the truth of Bruegel’s terrible prophecy. It would seem that the only way left is a pluralism of political doctrines and ideas. But Krylov’s famous fable of the swan, the pike and the crab pulling a fixed cart in different directions shows us just as vividly the greatest sin of political pluralism – dividing and fragmenting the healthy forces of society to the endless bickering, useless disputes, and worthless waste of energy and inner resources of the people.
Moldavian and Gagauz parliaments went down the well-travelled path of political pluralism. And what do we see as the result? Political parties and factions became political branches of various clan-based groups, pushing their selfish narrow interests and remembering the people only during election times.
But the practice of developed Western democracies suffers from the same sickness of narrow group interests. It is for a reason that the wise British politician Winston Churchill said: “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”
So is there any way out? Yes. Let the politicians deal with politics and political doctrines, and we will remember the experience of our wise ancestors. It is because our ancestors never dealt with political doctrines but, rather, supported the proven, credible and respected people from their community and entrusted them with the control of current and long-term affairs.
Our team has appeared to be closely following the scenario of the traditional political practices of our ancestors. Of course, this scenario had modern PR and media technology in it, but the essence remained the same – voting for real people and not lifeless doctrines.
I dare to observe that our team appeared in spite of and not thanks to the existing political practice, whereby the boss of a powerful political group graciously appoints the docile candidate as a governor of Gagauzia. It should be noted that this has been the fault of almost all political bosses from Chisinau.
The Gagauz people have disappointed the vain expectations of one of these all-powerful political bosses from the centre. It was not our team that won; it was the political instinct of the Gagauz people, inherited from our ancestors. Our traditional political culture won, which cannot be overcome by any modern and albeit advanced but not very decent electoral technology.
The offended boss did not even honour with his presence the inauguration of the bashkan, elected by our people. Meanwhile, the heads of almost all diplomatic missions accredited in Moldova attended the ceremony. Sooner or later, this style of authoritarian political leadership had to lead the boss’s party into a political deadlock, and this is exactly what happened by the end of last year.
So, with what have we come to the people who elected us? With what political doctrine have we tried to seduce the experienced Gagauz?
We did not come to them with doctrinaire fantasies; we came to them with a premeditated plan of action and a realistic “road map” adequate for our harsh reality. Its name you all know – “Eleven Steps towards the People”.
What is it in reality? It is the implementation of Gagauz’s national ideas, expressed in the form of a systemic and organic (i.e., corresponding to the realities of Gagauzia) programme of actions. And we have never renounced this chosen way despite the severe counteraction of these crisis times and the powerful and well-coordinated authoritarian command-administrative system.
We have managed to jump-start from the deadlock the rigid bureaucratic system of our long-suffering but endlessly talented Gagauz homeland. With a loud screech and rumble of poorly lubricated and poorly fitted wheels, the state machinery of Gagauz autonomy moved along the “Eleven Steps” road.
What is the particularity of the systemic and organic approach that we developed in order to solve what seemed to be unsolvable problems? It is known that the organs of a growing young organism must develop in a particular order, with defined priorities and proportionality. Otherwise, we can get a rickety little body with a huge (and possibly empty) head or a deformed body with a powerful stomach and potentially poorly developed other organs.
The “Eleven Steps” programme focuses on systemic and organic growth dynamics for all components of a developing nation: domestic and foreign policies; economic, social, cultural, educational and health components; and more. The emphasis is on an innovative approach, using the most advanced information technologies and taking into account the traditional mentality of our managers and producers. By implementing our programme, we aimed to ensure an integrated and balanced development of all the regions in Gagauzia.
We have a special stake in education, real improvement in the rights for our wonderful women and creative young people – our hope and future.
But most importantly, we did not forget the great cultural heritage of our people, so wise and profoundly expressed in the words of the great Turkic leader, Oghuz Khan:
If people do not approve the way you have chosen, do not count on success.
The one oppressing his people is digging his own grave. The one oppressing his people is similar to an enemy. In this case, only the enemy would be happy.
Do not hide your intentions from the people, thus you will gain their trust.
Convince your people with a word, not a weapon.
Do not threaten anyone, do not cause harm. If someone causes you harm, endure it.
No path but the fair one is acceptable to the emperor.
It seems that contemporary political scientists (let alone our politicians) have much to learn from our ancestors. We have already done much, but there are still many unanswered questions and a lot to be done. It is necessary to maintain the tempo and dynamics of moving forward. Therefore, we are facing the following problems.
5.1. In order to achieve the right place among other nations, we must, above all, preserve political and social stability by ensuring the dynamics of Gagauzia’s development – because only motion gives stability to the wheel of history.
I’ve said it before, and I will repeat it again. Today’s investors are cautious. Where there are risks to stability, investors should not be awaited. And only by internal and external investments can we stop the emigration, return our citizens back to their country and turn their efforts to meet the challenges of our national project.
5.2. Only reliability and predictability allow a nation to take a decent place among others. We have to exert much effort to become predictable and reliable partners in the eyes of the world. We will not allow any redistribution of property or disrespect to the property and contractual law. The development of legal and business culture is our national priority.
5.3. Each of us, wherever he may be, has to suppress firmly any attempts at pinning separatists’ labels on us or denigrating prejudices and false opinions of any others. Caring for our reputation as the reliable, honest, conscientious and responsible partner is the business of each of us, regardless of country of residence. It is the guarantee of our national creditworthiness and effective promotion of our products and services in conditions of severe global competition.
5.4. In order to ensure and protect our sustainable future, we need to strengthen comprehensive ties with Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and the European Union. The history of the suffering Gagauz people is very close to that of these countries. Our task is to do everything possible to be guaranteed protection through the international reputation of these countries against any disturbances and encroachments on the symbols of our freedom and national identity, the legacy of our ancestors, or the future of our descendants.
5.5. We must always remember that the Moldovan stork will really take off only when he has two strong wings – Gagauzia and Transnistria. We must do all in our power to contribute to this goal. We argue that only in this case will Moldova be able to ensure European standards of living for its citizens. The true territorial integrity and independence of Moldova is a reliable guarantee of our autonomy.
5.6. And once again, we give a clear and explicit message to the political elite of our country. We are citizens of the Republic of Moldova and we will be conscientious and law-abiding citizens as long as there is a neutral, democratic and sovereign Republic of Moldova. But no one in the world should doubt that the politicians considering Moldova as an unsuccessful project might try to implement their plans without taking into account the national interests of the people of Gagauzia. In the opposite case, we will independently determine our place in future history, among other nations of the Earth. The time of geographical and political wandering of the Gagauz has ended forever. We were formed as a civilised nation of Europe and will not allow anyone to doubt the viability of our national project.
5.7. That is why we must adopt a new modernised Constitution of Gagauzia during a national referendum to ensure absolute transparency and openness in dealing with all new proposals and constructive ideas. New challenges require an urgent response, and the adoption of this code is our priority.
5.8. Our autonomous territory is over-politicised. We must move away from excessive politicisation of society towards pragmatic solutions for the citizens. “Politics is the art of the possible” says a recognised and fundamental political principle. All political parties and movements in Gagauzia should adhere to this inviolable principle of constructive political activity. We need a new political culture, based on wise political traditions of our ancestors and the new political principles, focused on the interests of all residents, without exception, of the autonomous territory.
5.9. For the sustainable and steady development of us as a nation, we must remember that our nation is a multi-ethnic fusion of different peoples and cultures. Working on our land side-by-side with the Gagauz are Bulgarians, Moldovans, Russians, Ukrainians and others. Their skills and cultural traditions are our common heritage. Our national project should be based on protection and integration of all these ethnic and culture-forming factors in our common territorial and nation building, with the full realisation of all rights and obligations of this extraordinary creative potential of Gagauzia and Moldova. Only in spiritual unity can we give an adequate response to the challenges of history.
5.10. We have enough desire, goodwill, dedication, pragmatism, and intellectual and institutional capacity to make Gagauzia an example and a technological innovation platform for the European and world community. And we will get there sooner or later. With the support of the international community, these goals can be achieved much faster. We will strive for it with the centuries-old perseverance and consistency that are common to us, with faith in success and building upon the younger generation. We will also have to design and adopt our first five-year plan for the development of our autonomous territory, with the help of international experts.
5.11. We must exert all our capacities and knowledge to develop our spiritual culture, education and economic order to make of Gagauzia the little Switzerland of Eastern Europe. We are ready to implement the most advanced management technologies and solutions. Our experience can be useful for all of Moldova and provides a good chance for the real unification of the country.
And it is our duty to do so despite all the challenges of history, contrary to all those who doubt our ability to create a decent future for our children and grandchildren. People without dreams are like birds with clipped wings. We have such a dream, and we must fulfil the aspirations of our ancestors. I’m sure all our goals are achievable and feasible.
“Long live the free, democratic, prosperous and open to the world Gagauzia!”