Turkey’s post-revolutionary civil war


Date posted: December 20, 2013

MUSTAFA AKYOL

The title above belongs not to me but to Mücahid Bilici, a professor who is originally from Turkey but who teaches sociology at the City University of New York. I just thought that it is a very good definition of the mind-boggling political war that is going on in Turkey these days: The one between the government of Tayyip Erdoğan and the “community” of Fethullah Gülen.

In fact, the two sides are surprisingly similar: Both the “party” and the “community” in question consists of pious Sunni Muslims who would like to see (and build) a more “neo-Ottoman” Turkey.

Moreover, they have been close allies throughout the past decade against their common enemy: The old Kemalist establishment, and especially the military, which was a threat to both sides. However, once the common enemy was defeated, disagreements surfaced. Soon, they turned into a bitter war of words.

The shocking arrests of last Tuesday raised this political war to a whole new level. Early in the morning, the Istanbul police arrested dozens of famous figures, including the sons of three ministers in the AKP (Justice and Development Party) cabinet, the head of Halkbank, a state-owned bank, an AKP mayor and famous businessmen. The police also revealed photos of millions of dollars, in cash (!), in the homes of the ministers’ sons and the Halkbank chief. In one photo, there is even a money counting machine, allegedly used by the son of a minister who needed to count all that cash he allegedly took as bribes.

The investigation is all too new to make any conclusive comment, but it already has been dubbed by the media as the mother of all corruption cases. The three ministers in question whose sons are detained plus another minister are also directly blamed, as the prosecutor asked from the parliament the removal of their legal immunity. Since the AKP is a party which has always claimed to be “clean,” (as the very term “AK,” or “white,” implies), this is a major blow to the government, especially when local elections are four months ahead.

But what does this corruption investigation has anything to do with the AKP-Gülen Movement tension? Well, the prosecutor who apparently led this investigation in big secrecy, Zekeriya Öz, is widely believed to be a member of the movement. Notably, he was also the prosecutor of the famous Ergenekon case, and was hailed then by the AKP camp as a brave man, even “Turkey’s Di Pietro,” in reference to the Italian prosecutor who led the famous “Clean Hands” case against the mafia.

Now, however, Öz is condemned as the man of “the hidden organization within the state,” which both Erdoğan and his deputy Bülent Arınç targeted in their remarks after the arrests. The government also hastily initiated a purge against the police chiefs who mastered this operation, along with dozens of other police chiefs in various cities. Meanwhile, the pro-government media passionately argues that there is an “Israeli hand” behind the “operation against Erdoğan.”

This best-defense-is-offence attitude is not going to help the government much, however. Corruption is a serious matter and the real best defense would be to help bring those who are charged to justice. Meanwhile, the Gülen Movement, normally a civil society group, should help save itself from the image of secrecy and infiltration that it has been drawn into in the past decade. None of these are likely to happen anytime soon, though. So, fasten your seat belts, and get ready to watch a growingly heated political civil war in post-revolutionary Turkey.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News , December 21, 2013


Related News

Symposium concludes: Hizmet (Gulen) Movement Contributes to World Peace

Professors said that Hizmet is an anti-violence group that uses education and dialogue to achieve its goals. One of the highlights of the symposium was Dr. Martha Kirk’s presentation called Iraqi Women of Three Generations. There are 32 Hizmet schools in Iraq and she said these institutions teach Iraqi women self confidence.

Unlawful accreditation ban against Today’s Zaman reporter ends

Today’s Zaman’s chief parliamentary reporter Ali Aslan Kılıç, who was denied access to the Parliament building in March after his entry card was revoked, received his new card on Wednesday after a court ruling in his favor.

John Suthers on Fethullah Gulen and Hizmet (aka the Gulen Movement)

John Suthers is the Attorney General of Colorado since 2005. George W. Bush appointed him as United States Attorney for the District of Colorado in August 2001. He was awarded the Kelley-Wyman Award by the National Association of Attorneys General in 2012. He is also adjunct professor at the University of Denver School of Law. […]

The role of civil society in Turkey’s democratization

BÜLENT KENEŞ  May 22, 2012 Neither the state nor political parties can act as guarantees for democratization and democracy. With the fact that the main impetus behind and guarantee for our democratization is our ever-growing civil society, we need to consider whether we are attaching due importance to “Civil Society Organizations”. In the speech I […]

Taraf daily to sue PM Erdoğan over treason accusations

Daily Taraf has announced that it will file a criminal complaint against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on charges of attempting to influence due process after the Turkish leader called on the “judiciary to do its duty” against the newspaper for exposing a plan to eliminate the Gülen movement.

Suspicious deaths, suicides become common occurrence in post-coup Turkey

The number of people who die in suspicious circumstances after being linked to the July 15 coup attempt has been rising with every passing day, a systematic occurrence that is casting a shadow over official statements pointing to suicide. At least 14 people have reportedly committed suicide. The relatives of most of them claim that the detainees are not the kind of people to commit suicide. Rumours also have it that some of the detainees were killed after being subjected to torture under custody.

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

Fethullah Gülen’s Message on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Kimse Yok Mu continues relief efforts in Gaza

Erdoğan steps up campaign against Gülen-inspired schools abroad

Questions we dare not ask: Gülen and the coup

Who staged a coup against whom on Dec. 17?

Turkish schools bear their fruits in Mongolia too

Turkey donation by Turkish Cultural Center Albany

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News