An acrimonious war of words has broken out between the Başbakan (head executive) of Atatürk, Evan Cuntainça, and vocal Atatürker Sevastáin Pinátsch. Since late March, the two have been engaged in discussions of a draft of a new proposed provincial constitution. The debate, however, has become increasingly embittered, now extending to arguments over the proper role of an elected official. Pinátsch has called Cuntainça "deluded," while the Başbakan has dismissed Pinátsch's concerns as "unreasonable" and "a waste of time." At the heart of the disagreement is a request by Pinátsch that Cuntainça mark the changes that he has made on subsequent drafts of the proposed constitution. "It is not clear what you've changed, where and why," Pinátsch wrote on 26 March. He complained over the course of the discussion that it was unreasonable to expect the citizens of the province to read every draft in its entirety and sort out which changes might have occurred. "You borrow liberally from the original draft, but in a way that is neither clear to you or anyone else."

Cuntainça replied that he had the province's best interests at heart, and that it wasn't unreasonable to expect the citizenry to read the drafts as a whole. His responses to Pinátsch indicated that Cuntainça thought his efforts at transparency had been more than adequate. "[Y]ou have not put forward a real argument on transparency," he complained. "I think that is just making criticism for the sake of it." The conflict soon became ugly, and within a few weeks Pinátsch had begun calling for the Başbakan's resignation ("While I believe you are a fine human being and a capable minister, you are not a reasonable representative of the people you purport to represent."), even as Cuntainça appealed to him for leeway and pled a lack of time. "I honestly feel the main problem here is a lack of communication more than anything else," Cuntainça wrote, "And that has created a lack of understanding."

The amount of time Cuntainça could devote to his duties as Başbakan and his work on the draft, considering his academic pursuits, was an earlier point of contention. To Pinátsch's considerable displeasure, Cuntainça had delayed any action on the draft in order to run for office, and then, once he had been elected, had announced that he wouldn't be able to find time to work on the document for at least three months. No solution appears forthcoming. Pinátsch, who has proven to be energetic and sharp-tongued during his three months as a citizen, may simply be fundamentally at odds with the complacent Cuntainça, who has spent two years as the lone power within the province. "I am doing my best here," Cuntainça wrote. "And if you cannot see that, then it is your problem, not mine.


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