Date posted: February 23, 2012
I have long been pondering on some questions which are bugging everyone. When an appointed prosecutor launches an investigation into appointed bureaucrats and MİT members’ activities involving a terrorist organization, why should this be described as a “civilian coup”?
BÜLENT KENEŞ, Thursday February 23, 2012
While on my way to work on Thursday morning, a day on which I was scheduled to prepare an article for the paper, I planned to discuss the potential confidence crisis with its potential repercussions the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) traditional supporters may develop in the long run as a result of the counter campaign that came out of the prosecutors’ attempt to probe the relations between the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) and the terrorist Kurdish Communities Union (KCK). However, reading through the Bugün daily, I saw Editor-in-Chief Erhan Başyurt wrote an article similar to what I had in mind. Instead of writing a new article on the same topic, I decided to spare this column for Başyurt’s. Let us read the article that questions why the AK Party shot itself in the foot by daring to alienate a community that traditionally supported this reformist party in all critical processes:
The ‘Community’ lie and the real ‘coup’ against the government
I have long been pondering on some questions which are bugging everyone. When an appointed prosecutor launches an investigation into appointed bureaucrats and MİT members’ activities involving a terrorist organization, why should this be described as a “civilian coup”? If there are suspicions concerning some MİT members’ acts when it comes to the KCK terrorist organization and if a probe is launched into these suspicions, why should this be defined as an “attempt to target the prime minister”? Some columnists who are impartial enough to call the interior minister a “manufacturing defect” go too far to announce, “The alliance between the government and the Community [Hizmet (Gülen) movement] has ended.”
Some are trying to create new crises out of the current crisis by parroting, “Articles 250 and 251 of the Code on Criminal Procedure [CMK] should be amended as well.” In this process, some groups attempt to ensure the shield of immunity is given to all public officials while others try to undermine the cases involving Ergenekon, a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government, and Sledgehammer (Balyoz) action plan, and make sure that the defendants in these cases who are currently in jail are released.
In my opinion, the breaking point of this crisis is when politicians are persuaded into believing that “summoning MİT executives to testify in the KCK probe will target the prime minister.” If we can find out who was engaged in this manipulation, we will also understand who today suggests that “a civilian coup is being staged.” Actually, the real “coup” against the government comes from those groups who coaxed the government to pass a “protection bill” by scaring it with a so-called “civilian coup,” although the sane way for the government was to distance itself from claims of MİT-KCK relations by ensuring due process.
Erosion of confidence in five items
I can list five items explaining why this misguided manipulation, whose impact will soon be felt with increasing magnitude, has eroded confidence in the government.
First, they dealt a major blow to the confidence and prestige the AKP had built and earned in the eyes of the general public through democratization and reform. Second, they pitted the members of the judiciary against the AKP, which implemented a judicial reform and attached great importance to the rule of law. They accused specially authorized prosecutors who unearthed all attempts to overthrowing the government of “staging a civilian coup against the government.” They caused a significant loss of confidence in the government in this field.
Third, they created the impression that although it has been conducting successful operations against the terrorist organization, the government is actually conducting negotiations with the terrorist organization behind the scenes and even organizing the KCK organization and seeking to pass a bill to cover up all this. They destroyed the public trust. They sowed doubts in people’s minds. Fourth, they made the government tell the police department, which discovered many shady networks working to overthrow the government during the last nine years that it has been in office, that it is not important and can be discarded at any time, thereby disappointing and discouraging the entire police force.
Likewise, they trapped the government into telling the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), “We’ll protect MİT but not you.” In this way, they sowed “dissension” between the government and the security forces. Fifth, they put the AKP in a direct confrontation with its own voter base. They portrayed the Community as seeking a “civilian coup” against the government, which they slanderously claim will not share its powers and authority with the so-called “parallel state.”
By employing the manipulation capabilities of the intelligence organization to the last drop, they employed their “journalist” members to distort an investigation which, in the words of İstanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Fikret Seçen, “was launched after acquiring evidence during an ongoing investigation into the KCK terrorist organization that raised suspicions that some state officials acted beyond the scope of the authority given to them by the executive body [government] and helped the terrorist organization in its activities, and only targets the activities of these officials.”
They managed to advertise the government as a party which befriends religious communities only before elections and which discards and even dislikes them later. They portrayed the Community as a “worthless thing.” They created “dissension” between the “conservative and democratic” AKP and the masses.
In order to minimize the price it will pay politically for this “dissension,” whose repercussions will be increasingly felt in the future, and not err once more, the government has to find the groups that masterminded this operation against itself.
Who staged this “civilian coup” against the government as the presidential election nears? Who successfully sowed this “dissension,” which erodes the confidence felt in the AKP, and who pits the AKP and its supporters against each other? In sum, the summoning of the MİT officials to testify is nothing compared to this plot against the government.”
This is what Başyurt wrote in his column. Frankly, I cannot raise a single objection to his analysis of the process. Apparently, the confidence crisis the AK Party created in a substantial number of its supporters knowingly or otherwise and the resultant wound cannot be easily healed.