Lessons from Dec. 17: Who is parallel?


Date posted: March 9, 2014

 

TAMER CETIN
Since the corruption investigation initiated on Dec. 17, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his supporters have been claiming the existence of a “parallel structure” that is responsible for the investigation. This illusionary parallel structure is allegedly made up of the members of the Gülen movement.

 

The nature of the parallel state, the existence of which the prime minister and his team are promoting, involves stepping outside the boundaries of state rules and institutions in order to manage state affairs based on instructions from sources outside the state structure. It is clear that defining and identifying such a parallel structure becomes very problematic. Accordingly, the parallel structure has to be identified based on two characteristics. Firstly, members of the parallel structure have to operate outside their job description as dictated by law or, more formally, “step outside state rules and regulations.” Secondly, the members of such a structure need to receive orders from sources other than their superiors in a state hierarchy.

First, let us look at whether the Gülen movement has such a parallel structure. To prove that this is the case, one has to establish that the investigations and wiretappings were not conducted within the scope of a legal investigation. If that is proven, one has to demonstrate that the police and prosecutors in charge of the investigations were receiving instructions not from the state but from sources within the movement. Both of these claims have to be proven with evidence.

In this regard, the prime minister and his followers are far from being able to show evidence. They are being extremely imprudent by repeating their baseless accusations to the point of driving the country to chaos. Unless and until they show evidence, the parallel nature of the movement that they are arguing with an unprecedented insistence remains a patent and blatant lie. One only has to look at the violent tone of these accusations to see that these have nothing to do with the truth. History shows that those who take their power from truth are never this aggressive.

Interestingly, when we follow the same definition of a parallel state, those who are accused of corruption and fraud within this investigation — the people from Erdoğan’s close circle — seem to fit well with this definition. As the leaked evidence, which the prime minister confessed to himself, demonstrates, Erdoğan and the ruling party abused state power to conduct illegal acts such as manipulating the media, intervening in the judicial process, rigging bids and forcing businessmen to donate to charity organizations, to name a few. They used state power to route illegally obtained money (in exchange for bids) to people or organizations close to them. By doing this, they have clearly met the first requirement of being “parallel.”

While they were abusing the power given to them, they wanted to avoid possible problems this would bring by seeking religious justifications. They acquired the necessary blessing and fatwas (religious rulings) from parties they know, fatwas which they otherwise could not get from Sunni Islamic sources. In sum, they were instructed by a structure other than the state, satisfying the second property of being parallel.

The ruling party cadres have obtained the authority to rule the state from the people and swore to use this authority in good faith. Subsequently, they have violated state rules and institutions, acted on the rulings of other authorities and even got involved in the money laundering scheme of an outside power (Iran). As such, they are the true architects of the parallel structure. The prime minister and his team, despite all their resources and power, cannot even come close to proving that the movement is guilty of their accusations. Yet, mounting evidence clearly points to the parallel structure built by the prime minister and the ruling party.

So, where do we stand? Can the evidence be cast aside by arguing that this is just another instance of corruption and that corruption exists everywhere? If all that has come out is true and the prime minister and his followers are acting as though the evidence does not exist and they continue to steal (and accuse the movement), then they know the religious consequence of their actions since they come from an Islamist tradition. They must know that there can be no religious blessing that will allow them to hide from the truth and that their losses will be much more than any amount of money they can accumulate in their houses. If they continue to ignore corruption while knowing it to be true, then they are betraying not only those who supported them and brought them to power, but also the national will. If they argue that people will never believe that corruption and bribery occurred — even if there is audio and video evidence — and that they will receive support in the elections, then they are insulting not only the people, but also their own intelligence.

To conclude, the prime minister and his followers argue that the recordings that show legal and ethical violations are montages, dubbed and obtained illegally, and that the public will not believe them even if there is visual evidence. By making such arguments, they insult and betray people’s intelligence, memories and wills. They have also exhausted their political capital by stepping outside the state rules and institutions and becoming a parallel structure. Despite these facts, they are still engaged in blaming the movement for their own crimes and trying to “finish” the movement, which is itself another violation of rights and law. Furthermore, this will not save them, as they know very well. All the methods and tools they are using in their agitations and efforts to conceal the truth only make their own desperation clearer.


*Tamer Çetin is visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Source: Todays Zaman , March 9, 2014


Related News

Individuals can force change

Instead of Erdoğan’s accusations that the Hizmet movement had plotted to unseat his government, couldn’t it have been a handful of good men and women within the bureaucracy, i.e., the judiciary and the police, who leaked the investigation documents on Dec. 17 to the public to prevent these crimes from being covered up?

Turkey: Erdogan’s macabre dance in Africa

What is the sense in advocating for the transfer of investments of private individuals to a government backed NGO? Is President Erdogan indirectly telling African leaders that his empire in Turkey extends to African countries hence the outrageous demand? From the preceding, it is clear that President Erdogan has little or no respect for African nations hence this anomaly. I also beg to state here that the politics of Turkey should be left in Turkey.

Erdoğan calls on people to show no mercy to Gülen movement

Amid an ongoing witch-hunt targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday called on people to not show mercy to the movement, saying the pitiful will be pitied, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Government cuts off funds for disabled child over father’s Gülen links

The Turkish government has cut off funds granted to Rafia Nur, a 12-year-old child whose father has been arrested over alleged links to the Gülen movement. The lower half of Rafia’s body is paralyzed, impairing her ability to walk or stand.

Gulen-linked org’s statement on Turkish Govt’s arrest of pro-Kurdish Parliamentarians

AfSV Statement on Turkish Government’s Arrest of HDP Parliamentarians  Erdogan’s Persecutions Underscore Authoritarian Slide New York (November 9, 2016) – The Alliance for Shared Values is deeply concerned about the arrests of nine members of Turkish Parliament from the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), including the party’s co-chairs Mr. Selahattin Demirtas and Ms. Figen Yuksekdag. […]

Why the West ‘failed to understand’ Turkey

Erdoğan has exploited the presence of Gülen-inspired people in the state bureaucracy as a tool to silence all opposition and grasp yet more power. If the Gülen movement did not exist, the president would have needed to create another “enemy of the state” to fight against in order to reach his ultimate aim.

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

EU Criticizes Kosovo, Turkey Over Deportation Of Six Erdogan Political Foes

Erdogan’s long arm abroad: no way to get passports, facing deportation to Turkey, no help!

Niagara Foundation’s Peace & Dialogue Awards – Michigan 2014

More Divisions, More Democracy

The Future of Islamic Civilization in A Globalizing World

Turkish cabinet member Bayraktar: Turkish schools abroad will be appreciated better in the future

Albanian president hails Turkish schools in his country

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News