Zeynalov reminded the attendees that Erdogan also was arrested a couple of decades ago. That eventually helped him to become famous and won him the elections five years later. But it didn’t stop Erdogan to use the same law for justifying the arrest of Zeynalov in 2014.
Prof. Hayrettin Karaman, Erdogan’s close friend and religious counsel, and AKP’s main Islamist theologian, has issued a fatwa that legitimizes certain crimes during a civil war. He said, “soldiers who commit ordinary crimes during a wartime shall not be punished.”
To consolidate his reign, Turkey’s president Mr. Erdogan intimidated his political opponents, emasculated the military, silenced the press, and enfeebled the judiciary; most recently, he pressed the parliament to amend the constitution to grant him essentially absolute powers.
Turkish president’s chief religious counsel Hayrettin Karaman, professor of Islamic law, has given approval to overlook torture and other crimes committed by members of security services, saying that Turkey is at total mobilization and under attack from within and outside.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said in Ankara on Thursday that the state of emergency which was declared following a failed coup attempt in July of last year will continue until the faith-based Gülen movement, which the government accuses of being behind the coup attempt, is completely wiped out from state institutions.
During the past few months I interviewed scores of Turkish citizens who escaped from Turkey following the unsuccessful military coup, fearing for their lives. Many of them left their families behind. Although it has the potential of becoming a major player on the global stage, Turkey’s brilliant prospects are being squandered because of President Erdogan’s insatiable lust for power.
The proposed constitutional change grants the presidency new powers to directly appoint a vast range of public officials – cabinet ministers, provincial governors, and judges to the highest courts in the land. Simply put, the government’s plans are an enabling act: they are designed to strengthen the individual over the collective.
The AKP government, under emergency rule, has taken over hundreds companies, seized the assets of businessmen and shut down institutions linked to the movement. Despite the fact that Gülen denied the accusation and called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, President Erdoğan – calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” – and the Turkish government launched a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement.
However, Erdogan has a problem: Whereas Ataturk came to power as a military general, Erdogan has a democratic mandate to govern. Ataturk’s Turkey was rural and only 10 percent of the country was literate at the time, with most educated people supporting his agenda. Erdogan’s Turkey is 80 percent urban and nearly 100 percent literate, and many well-educated Turks oppose his agenda.
Western officials have preferred to raise concerns over the steady dismantling of Turkey’s free institutions only privately with their counterparts in Ankara. This approach has failed. That failure has left many millions of pro-democracy Turks to fend for themselves, while a once-fringe ideological element in the AKP, reared on Islamist supremacism, has been emboldened.
According to an official narrative of the government, MIT learned the coup plans earlier in the day and its chief several times discussed it with army chief Akar. One fundamental contradiction was the fact that despite this early warning and intelligence, commanders of navy, ground forces and air forces attended a wedding ceremony that night.