The anomaly of war


Date posted: September 15, 2016

BURAK BEKDİL

The anomaly of war, French essayist Emile Auguste Chartier wrote, is that the best men get themselves killed while crafty men find their chances to govern in a manner contrary to justice. How much of that applies to modern Turkey remains unknown – though predictable.

Normal, in the new Turkish political lexicon, could be best defined as “a brief period of fewer anomalies between two long periods of anomaly.” This, sadly, marks the “New Turkey” that our leaders promised to grant us a few years earlier.

The country has been in a state of emergency since the failed coup of July 15. But was it a peaceful, normal country before July 15, with half of the nation hating the other half, an ethnic civil war and bombs killing thousands in the name of an ethnic land or a Sharia state? Now in addition to the tens of thousands of home-grown Kurdish terrorists the government is cracking down on tens of thousands of home-grown devout Muslim terrorists – without court verdicts proving that they are terrorists. This is the Turkish purge.

It is an old Turkish joke: A car is stolen and the police are unable to find the thief. Frustrated, the superintendent gathers his officers and shouts at them: “I want that solo-working thief caught at once! Understood? Or I’ll have you all posted to all sorts of unpleasant stations and duties!” The next day the police squad happily brings in 11 thieves. One of the officers proudly announced to the chief: “Sir, they all confessed to the thievery.”

A bureaucrat friend reminded me of that joke a few days ago. And he added: “If, one of these days, I ordered my personnel to bring me a list of Gülenists in our department, they will come back and hand me a list of at least 600 personnel. The trouble is our department has only 400!”

This is a non-violent, modern day version of the German “Röhm Putsch,” or the Soviet “Yezhovshchina.” Anyone can be the victim of what looks like a witch-hunt because he or she had studied secondary school here or high school there, if these schools are believed to be “Gülenist” schools; while, on the other hand, the energy minister, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law, publicly says that he, too, studied at a Gülenist school.

It is understandable that the government has the reflex to minimize risks in what it rightfully views as an existential war. But, when, hopefully, the danger is over Turkey will not be a peaceful, normal country. Normal, in the years ahead, will only be a brief period of fewer anomalies between two long periods of anomaly.

Mr. Erdoğan’s populist rhetoric has invariably been based on convincing the average Turk that his beloved country is surrounded by (real or imaginary) enemies, outside and inside the country. That rhetoric, and consecutive policy-making, has created powerful and weak state and non-state enemies. The post-putsch Turkish “Yezhovshchina” should respect universal norms of law. It does not. Injustice will create new enemies within, enemies who, let alone being Gülenists, hate Gülenists; enemies united around the feeling of being victimized.

This columnist has often found the government’s pretext to fight (real or fake) enemies childishly amusing but shrewd at the same time: We are about to revive our glorious past and the enemies are trying to stop us.

The wrong diagnosis worsened Turkey’s “health.” Why should the world’s major powers feel envy for a country with barely $8,000 or so per capita income? And the deliberate policy to polarize… Until recently we could talk about polarization. Now we have polarization and hostility among different groups of Turks along religious and ethnic lines. And we are adding the “Turkish Purge” into the flames. Not a good mix.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News , September 14, 2016


Related News

Kalashnikov-carrying police raid Gülen-inspired girls’ dormitory

Police officers carrying Kalashnikov rifles conducted a raid at a girls’ school dormitory in eastern Van province on Sunday, a move that is seen as part of an ongoing government-orchestrated operation targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, popularly known as the Hizmet movement.

Diplomatic Row over Gulen Influence in Africa

Turkey’s relations with African countries have been strained following demands by the Turkish government to close Gulenist schools in Sudan, Nigeria, and Somalia. After the attempted coup in Turkey on July 15, which the Turkish government has accused Gulen of masterminding, Turkey’s ambassador to Nigeria called for 17 Gulenist schools in the country to be closed.

Erdogan’s False Promises To Africa

The main issue Erdogan raises with his African counterparts is not improving economic and political relations, but the closure of the Gulen movement schools or their transfer to the Turkish Maarif Foundation, which was established solely for this purpose. Mr. Erdogan seems to be using official development assistances and “other financial tools” as carrots to convince African leaders.

Jews should speak up for Hizmet

When we think of Hizmet, Jews conscious of our own history either can say, “There but for the grace of God go we,” or we can think of Rabbi Hillel: “If we are only for ourselves, what are we? And if now, when?” 

Gulen admits meeting key figure in Turkey coup plot, dismisses Erdogan’s ‘senseless’ claims

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Fethullah Gulen admitted meeting a key figure in Turkey’s July 2016 attempted coup. But the Turkish cleric said that a mere visit from one of his followers isn’t proof he orchestrated the failed coup.

Why Is A Cleric In The Poconos Accused Of Fomenting Turkey’s Coup Attempt?

As Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan began re-establishing control Saturday, he immediately pointed the finger of blame for the failed coup attempt against him.

Latest News

This notable Pocono resident has been living here in exile since 1999

Logistics companies seized over Gülen links sold in fast-track auction

That is Why the Turkish Government could Pay 1 Billion Euros

ECtHR rules Bulgaria violated rights of Turkish journalist who was deported despite seeking asylum

Fethullah Gülen’s Message of Condolences in the Wake of the Western European Floods

Pregnant woman kept in prison for 4 months over Gülen links despite regulations

Normalization of Abduction, Torture, and Death in Erdogan’s Turkey

Turkey’s Maarif Foundation illegally seized German-run school in Ethiopia, says manager

Failed 2016 coup was gov’t plot to purge Gülenists from state bodies, journalist claims

In Case You Missed It

Associations, NGOs, banks launch aid campaigns for Soma victims

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

Turkish, Armenian students foster coexistence with exemplary project

Erdogan at UN urges global action against preacher

Palauan President: We would like to participate in Turkish Language Olympics

AFSV Statement on Paris Terror Attacks

Gülen Movement Discussed in Malaysia Seminar

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News