Date posted: November 29, 2013
Liberal daily Taraf has published yet another document showing that the government, back in 2004, signed an agreement with the generals to fight the Gülen movement. The document outlined that the government agreed to prevent Gülen sympathizers from getting jobs in state institutions.
Some political observers argue that the document shows that in 2004 the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government was under heavy pressure from the military. AKP officials were quick to say that they signed the document but did not follow up on the military’s requests.
Well there are several indicators that cast doubt on the government officials. For instance, in 2006 the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) set up websites to “inform” the public about how “dangerous” the Gülen movement was. In addition, in 2009, Turkish generals again prepared documents and reports to justify action against the Gülen movement.
Moreover, the Turkish National Police Department’s intelligence section also requested reports from its units tracking the Gülen movement back in 2009. The media resumed a disinformation campaign against the Gülen movement soon after the decision made at the National Security Council (MGK) in 2004.
Personally, I tend not to believe what the AKP officials say about the document. Indeed, veteran journalist Alper Görmüş wrote in 2012 that since 2006 he had been hearing a rumor in AKP circles that the AKP government was going to target the Gülen movement.
Furthermore, it is a well-known fact that in 2009 the AKP government formed a pool of officials in the Prime Ministry from which to choose its top bureaucrats. One of the most important criteria in receiving a nomination for a high-level post is whether the bureaucrat has sympathy for the Gülen movement or not. If the bureaucrat in question is merely sympathetic to the movement, no matter how talented he or she is, Erdoğan’s government will not appoint him or her.
Indeed, this was one of the points in the MGK document the government signed in 2004 — to eliminate Gülenist bureaucrats from government posts. This one example is enough to prove that, regardless of whether the government wanted to implement the decision or whether the government took this initiative by itself, the decision to remove Gülenist bureaucrats from their posts was implemented.
It could be politically risky for the government to admit that that they did indeed sign such a document and decided to remove Gülen sympathizers from bureaucratic posts. For this very reason, they may not admit to the reality on the ground.
No matter what, the proof that Erdoğan signed a document to target the Gülen movement has dented his image as a tough leader willing to take on the military establishment. What is funny, however, is that the pro-government media have started trying to restore the prime minister’s dented image with nonsense stories.
One of the stories that they came up with is the following: When the Gendarmerie Commander Gen. Şener Eruygur started criticizing the government in 2004, Erdoğan shouted, “Shut up.” Such stories remind me of the old tales the Soviets fabricated to show that the regime and leader were strong. One needs to answer the following question: If Erdoğan really shouted “shut up” at Eruygur, why did he sign the document that Taraf published?
Source: Today's Zaman , November 29, 2013