Erdoğan’s parallel state (1)

Dr. Ihsan Yilmaz
Dr. Ihsan Yilmaz


Date posted: February 12, 2014

İHSAN YILMAZ

The Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) semi-official think tank the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) has been championing the view that the Hizmet movement has formed a parallel state within the state.

It seems that they are distorting the original meaning of the term. Today, the term parallel state must be used to characterize Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s own political design. The recent legal wiretappings that were recorded by a court order have confirmed once again that he has increasingly been building up his own parallel state, despite the fact that he was democratically elected and has been powerfully ruling the country. It is obvious that the constitutional powers given to him have become insufficient for his desires, ideological pretensions and sociopolitical aspirations.

The term “parallel state” was coined by American historian Robert Paxton in order to denote a collection of organizations, organs, associations or institutions that are state-like in their organization, management and structure, despite the fact that they are not officially part of the legitimate state or government. These parallel structures serve primarily to promote the prevailing political and social ideology of the state. Parallel states are, first, created by the executive branch of the government and second, are unofficially or illegitimately financed by the executive branch. The executive branch tries to create Althusserian apparatuses of the executive and not the state, since the state normally includes elements which the executive cannot control such as the judiciary and some autonomous official bodies such as the central bank, the Ombudsman’s office, etc.

In some extreme cases, after fully controlling the state, the executive dissolves the parallel state into the official one. The parallel state differs from the term “state within a state.” While a parallel state is usually endorsed by the prevailing political elite of a country, a “state within a state” refers to state-like institutions that operate without the consent, and even to the detriment, of the authority of an established state with their own secret laws and court systems. Parallel states can be found in totalitarian or semi-totalitarian countries, such as Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, the Soviet Union, Iran and North Korea, and in youth organizations, leisure organizations, work/labor collectives, unions and militias.

Erdoğan is now creating his own parallel state in the sense that the judiciary, law enforcement officers, the Court of Accounts, intelligence agencies, the police force, etc. are some state bodies that must be able to monitor the activities of everyone in the country, including elected politicians, so that illegality and corruption do not occur. Nevertheless, he has been reducing the powers of all these authorities either de jure or de facto so that they cannot effectively uphold the rule of law. For instance, he has been trying to change the law so that prosecutors will not be able to covertly chase down corrupt politicians without letting the politicians know!

The recent Internet ban legislation is similar. Instead of giving independent judiciary the authority to ban website content that is deemed illegal, obscene, attacking personal lives, etc., he wants to give it to one of his bureaucrats who will be able to close down these websites without any court orders. This means that he can censor any criticism on the basis of being insulted, etc. He is effectively transferring the power of the judiciary onto himself.

In my next piece, I will continue with this discussion to show how Erdoğan has been creating a parallel media, economy, his own religious community and even laws by using the public’s money and power of the executive.

Source: Todays Zaman , February 12, 2014


Related News

Turkish schools boost Turkey-Brazil ties

Brazilian national soccer team coach Carlos Dunga has said schools opened by Turkish entrepreneurs in Brazil strengthen ties between the two countries. Paying a visit to Colegio Belo Futuro, a Turkish school founded last year by a Turkish entrepreneur in Sao Paolo, Dunga said on Wednesday that Turkish schools in his country build a bridge between Turkey and Brazil and strengthen the two countries’ relations.

AK Party takes action to expel deputy who opposed closure of prep schools

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) referred Kütahya deputy İdris Bal — who opposed the government’s planned closure of prep schools (dershanes) — to the party’s disciplinary board for expulsion on Thursday. Bal, reiterating his opposition to the closure of prep schools, he said that such a move would violate the Constitution.

Embrace Relief headed down to Haiti to help orphanages

Embrace Relief distributed clothing and food to approximately 40 children. The first orphanage was fortunate enough to have a water well and electricity in one of the bedrooms for the orphans, however, the children had very little in terms of clothing, shoes and sustainable food.

Turkish Cultural Center Vermont gives awards at Friendship Dinner

The Turkish Cultural Center is the Vermont’s premier source of information on Turkey, its history, culture and heritage. TCC awards paid tribute to outstanding individuals and organizations whose contributions markedly strengthen peace, harmony and diversity. TCC recognizes and celebrate the altruism, philanthropy and selfless commitment of distinguished individuals or organizations working toward a better peaceful world.

NPR’s Interview with Gulen – He Denies Involvement In Coup Attempt

From his exile compound in the Poconos, the cleric accused by the Turkish government of leading a failed coup attempt last year, Fethullah Gulen, denies any involvement.

Yamanlar College student becomes world math champion

ISTANBUL Osman Akar, a student from the private Yamanlar College in İzmir, has won a gold medal at the 55th International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), which was held in Cape Town. Students from 106 countries around the world participated in the event from July 3-13. Akar was among students on a math team chosen by the […]

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Lynching of the Hizmet movement by the hand of the state

Gülen movement’s silent majority

Turkish businesswomen building orphanage in Burundi

Trip to Turkey leaves a lasting impression

Filipino – Turkish Tolerance School students excel in ICAS 2014 exam, Ten others top in campus journalism

Turkey Targets Gulen-Inspired Projects Around the World

After 50 days, Turkish university director out of Malaysian jail with UN refugee card

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News