Something rotten within the government?


Date posted: December 19, 2013

YAVUZ BAYDAR

It stinks. This is the bluntest description of what the graft probe has revealed so far. This is a three-pronged operation involving more than 50 suspects, but Turkey has never seen an investigation into four ministers — who form part of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inner circle — and their sons.

What strikes us is that the inquiry required the Minister of Interior, Muammer Güler, who is the superior elected authority over the police, to be kept out of the loop — for obvious reasons.

We see a massive amount of money — tens of billions of euros — and, if the allegations prove to be true, a deep level of corruption, not only in the Fatih district of old İstanbul, but beyond — possibly stretching into other cities.

Suspicions about corruption have been under the surface for the past two or three years. But as the conglomerate-owned media were increasingly reigned in — perhaps for this reason — the public could only guess.

Even today, as the story unfolds, nobody can tell for certain whether what has surfaced is just the tip of the iceberg. Persistent rumors have it that the octopus’ tentacles may embrace many more than four ministers.

Prime Minister Erdoğan, until recently so self-confident and imposing, is no longer the same. He is now facing the most serious challenge of his more than decade-long time in office, and by his manner and tone, he certainly knows it.

Despite claims to the contrary, he was also kept out of the loop and even wiretapped, if reports are accurate — reminiscent of the fate of his close friend, Silvio Berlusconi — by prosecutors. While he had prepared himself so ambitiously for the three consecutive elections beginning on March 30, he is now forced to make drastic choices.

He remains in his trademark defiant mood. “This [the graft probe and arrests] has both national and international aspects. Some collaborators in the country are cooperating with some international circles to undermine Turkey’s success. First they tried to topple us with the Gezi Park protests and now with this ‘dirty operation’,” he said on Wednesday.

The media, under political control, are fighting to stave off the wave of allegations, as are the pro-government propagandists who work as columnists. Despite it all, they still attempt to divert public attention away from the essence of the probe, with some focusing on the “conspiracy” element, arguing that the aim is to topple the government, and others insulting the public’s intelligence by saying that both Erdoğan and Güler should have been informed about the investigation beforehand.

But the public is now sufficiently aware that something rotten must have been active within the government. The information has emerged, and no force — however censorial — can undo what has been done. The genie is now out of the bottle.

But this is not the same as the Gezi Park protests. Yes, one motive behind the unrest in early summer was a perception of corruption in cities’ construction projects, but this time, there is a huge mirror before the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

The AKP was elected in 2001 by a massive voter base which was sick of the deep corruption of the 1990’s that brought Turkey to financial collapse.

The word “ak” means “white” or “pure,” and it was the masses’ hope for a new Turkey, with a new moral order, that kept the AKP in power. These revelations thus pose an existential question for the AKP.

So, regardless of the view of the issue as “Erdoğan vs the Hizmet movement,” it boils down to a battle between moral and immoral, clean and dirty, which is the real story of Turkey in the past 12 years. It was not the Hizmet movement, nor liberals, nor other reformists that brought the AKP to power; it was the average people of Turkey.

Thus, it is no exaggeration to say that the AKP is now closer to a moment of reckoning — because it seems to have reached a political impasse — with no moral compass. We can only hope that Erdoğan does not make erratic moves that might make things worse.

Source: Today's Zaman , December 19, 2013


Related News

Answers to the questions about the Hizmet [Gulen] movement

HizmetNews.COM, January 7, 2013 The Journalists and Writers Foundation launched a new website that answers questions about the Hizmet movement (aka Gulen movement). The website may be reached at Hizmetesorulanlar.org. The website has the answers in two languages, Turkish and English, at the moment.  The website will be enriched with audio and video recordings soon. […]

Who is Fethullah Gulen? (by National Catholic Reporter)

By blaming Fethullah Gulen and the Gulen movement for the coup attempt, Mr. Erdogan’s authoritarian tendencies have only increased as witnessed by the tens of thousands arrested and detained, and the radical curtailing of free speech. It now appears that in Mr. Erdogan’s hands Turkey’s future and that of the Middle East will be less democratic, less stable and more tumultuous than ever.

Turkish gov’t jailed not only journalist Karaca, but also his lawyers and the judges who ruled to release him

The trial of Turkish journalist Hidayet Karaca (55) has already taken its place in judicial history because not only has he been persecuted by the Turkish government but also both his lawyers and the judges who ruled to release him from jail have been imprisoned.

Dismissed police officer dies of heart attack in German refugee camp

Ali Ünlü, a 42-year-old former police officer who was earlier dismissed from his job as part of the government’s post-coup crackdown, died of heart attack in a refugee camp in Stuttgart, according to media and people with knowledge of the incident.

Film “Love is a Verb” portraying Hizmet Movement met with audience in NY

The film directed by Terry Spencer Hesser who has won Emmy three times informs audience about Gülen who inspired Hizmet Movement — a volunteer-based grassroots movement that works in the field of education around the world and encourages interfaith dialogue.

TUSKON: Media raids discourage foreign investors

Foreign investors will not come to a country where the media faces intense pressure, Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) President Rızanur Meral said, speaking in front of the Zaman daily offices in İstanbul on Tuesday.

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

Turkish “religious advisors” are keeping an eye on Erdogan opponents in Belgium

Will the military take up arms against Gülen supporters?

GYV Presient Yesil: We knock on all doors

Gülen’s contribution to a pluralist democracy

Kimse Yok Mu soup kitchen to serve weekly hot meal in Somalia

34 housewives arrested over Gülen links in İstanbul

Pro-gov’t columnist still threatening fellow journalists

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News