Mehmet Ali Birand
I, too, attended the three-day Bilderberg meetings on the weekend. It took place under extensive secrecy and security. We were confined to the Ritz Carlton Hotel. There were nearly 100 participants. No one else was allowed into the hotel; not even one single outsider was let in. We went to sleep, got up, ate at the same place and held meetings one after the other from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.
My head was full of questions before going into the meetings. The identities of the attendees were known beforehand. They were all very prominent people.
What could have happened when so many famous and important people got together? Of course, according to our conspiracy theories, scenarios had to be written and decisions had to be made. If one studied the articles in the media, he or she was left with an impression that even the Turkish president could be chosen at the meetings.
I settled in my room with this excitement. I wore my best suit, put on my most stylish tie, and went down…
My excitement intensified when I looked around me. I was surrounded by people who almost constantly made it in newspaper and television headlines.
I wondered what else I would experience once the meetings started. So I let the tide of Bilderberg carry me away…
I was dead-tired at the end of the three days.
I got out of one meeting to go into the next. I needed to participate, ask questions, and watch attentively. Everyone took the meetings seriously. Nobody would leave the sessions to go outside, stroll around, and have coffee.
On the last day, when I looked at my notes, I was completely disappointed. Where were the secret decisions? Where were the conspiracy theories? And were there not supposed to be decisions made about presidential elections and a coup attempt?
There were neither secret plans made, nor secret sentences uttered, nor secret decisions taken. It was no different than hundreds of other high-end international conferences I had attended.
There was nothing different except for the influence of the participants.
On the other hand, it was heaven for someone interested in international relations, just like myself. I got to breath the air. I learned a lot.
I would like to give a couple of examples:
We started at the developments in Iraq and went on to discuss China's place in the world. Would it be a single-polar world, or a multi-polar one?
How Iran's nuclear power would affect all of us was discussed in detail. Concerns on the issue were conveyed.
The developments in the United States, what the elections would bring, and how the public opinion in the United States was progressing was deliberated.
The most important issues facing the world, from energy policies to expansion in the communication technologies, were reviewed.
At the end of the three days, we have learned and discussed the world's most prominent problems with the world's experts.
Turkey in Bilderberg
Of course, Turkey was also among the subjects discussed during the meetings.
And in two different sessions... Important questions were asked. Where the Justice and Development Party (AKP) was taking the country and whether there was a probability of a coup were deliberated.
There were four questions about Turkey:Who would win the elections?Was there the threat of a system change to Islamic canon law?Would there be a coup?Would Turkey intervene in Iraq?
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the developments in Iraq, the Kurdish issue, and the events in northern Iraq were discussed in great detail.
I did not witness secretive plans or decisions. But I heard what the world's most prominent leaders thought about Turkey and their concerns. I saw how confused they were.
Most importantly, I saw that, at the end of the three days in Istanbul, their views about Turkey have become clearer and their knowledge of our country has deepened.
This is why holding the Bilderberg convention in Istanbul has proved to be beneficial for Turkey.