Turkey’s Corruption Probe, And One Question For Erdogan


Date posted: December 25, 2013

İSMET BERKAN

A widening corruption probe has been consuming Turkey in recent days. Figures close to the leading Justice and Development Party (AKP), including sons of cabinet members, are facing serious allegations of bribery and money laundering. The government is denying all accusations and claims the charges are part of a conspiracy with roots both foreign and domestic. The operation is run by prosecutors allegedly close to the Fethullah Gulen religious movement (officially known Hizmet Movement).

The Gulen movement and the AKP used to be allies during the construction of the so-called “new Turkey” that aimed to unlock the military’s longstanding grip on political power. However, recent years produced a power struggle between the two Islam-inspired camps. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Gulen himself have been exchanging serious charges against each other, as media organs supporting each side join in the attacks.

ISTANBUL – There is one question that should be answered before all: Are the claims of corruption and bribery backed by solid evidence or not?

All the other questions can be asked after the answer to this one is certain. Instead, the Erdogan government is busy insulting the intelligence and perception of every one of us by posing a very different question it claims as the starting point in the current standoff. Are these claims of corruption and bribery a ‘political operation’ against them.

The government would turn out to be right if the evidence behind the corruption and bribery claims that have been talked about for days turn out to not be solid enough. But you have to wait and see whether these claims are true or false in order to be able to make such a claim.

The government says: ‘the operation is political…’

Of course it is. An investigation that includes four cabinet members, a key mayor from the leading party, business people known to be close to the government and bureaucrats is inevitably political; it has an immediate effect on politics. Such an operation affects politics in Turkey, as it would in Patagonia or in Micronesia.

And yet life is not about politics only; nor is politics a subject that takes precedence over everything else. If they are true, the claims of corruption and bribery should indeed influence, or even define, politics in Turkey.

The government says: ‘people who come up with these claims have a purpose…’

Of course they do. You are never surrounded only by friends when you exercise power; it is in the nature of politics that there are people who want to remove you from office. You need to be honest; even more honest than your opponents to not offer anybody that chance, even if the claims might be weak.

The government says: ‘a parallel state cannot be tolerated…’

Of course it cannot be. And yet you do not deserve to be in power if you had not realized the existence of that parallel establishment before the morning of December 17, 2013. Or, if you knew all about this establishment all along and turned a blind eye to it, then you need to get back to the end of the line to complain about it.

The government says: ‘foreign forces are behind them; they are targeting the Halk Bank, they want to prevent our trade with Iran…’

Let us say there are foreign powers actually in play. But are they the ones that brought cash to the accused’s houses; did they stack millions of dollars in shoeboxes?

The government says: ‘the cops abused their authority; they did not inform their superiors about the operation…’

Fortunately they did not. They would be committing a crime if they did. They were committing crimes up to this day by doing so anyway. The law set by this government in scope and in harmony with European Union standards dictates that the justice police work under the prosecutor, not their superior in the police department.

The government says: ‘we want the investigation to go all the way to the end…’

No, you do not. If you did, you would not remove the officers who run the investigation from duty by the order of the Interior Minister. You need to live with the public doubting the rest of the investigation; especially the part of the public that votes for you.

The government says: ‘you will see that due process will be denied to cabinet ministers’

Too late. This statement itself shows how late it is. Those ministers should have resigned within hours after their children were detained. Each passing minute reduces the probability that the alleged corruption and bribery crimes are free of politics; raising more doubts about the AKP.

Let us return to the beginning, and that single question that should be answered before all others: Are the claims of corruption and bribery solid? Are they serious?

Asking other questions before this one is an eclipse of reason. The people who ask these other questions have already seen their own reason eclipsed by other factors. If only they would not insult our intelligence.

Published on Worldcrunch, 24 December 2013, Tuesday

Source: Hizmet Movement , December 25, 2013


Related News

Religious communities under threat in Turkey

These operations might have targeted the government in some respects, but so far no concrete evidence has been produced about deliberate, systematic and willful inclusion of the Hizmet movement in this plot. It is true that the Hizmet movement’s media group has been lending support to the graft and bribery investigation.

UN representative found evidence of torture in Turkish prisons

The majority of the abuse occurred during the times of arrest and interrogation, his report noted, adding that most of those who have been subjected to torture have not filed complaints “for fear of retaliation against them and their families and because of their distrust in the independence of the prosecution and the judiciary.

Abant Platform meeting launches with identity debates in Turkey

SEVGİ AKARÇEŞME, ABANT/BOLU/TURKEY The Abant Platform started its 28th meeting on Friday at Lake Abant with the participation of over a hundred intellectuals, academics, journalists and pundits from different ideological backgrounds to discuss the current issues in Turkey. The first theme of the meeting was on Turkey’s issues of identity. Participants agreed that the misinterpretation […]

Gülen: I hope they avoid the adventures of the Union and Progress Party

In his speech commemorating the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, the influential Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen spoke on the topics of the ongoing persecution of the Hizmet Movement, and major developments in Turkey’s agenda.

Let Mr. Erdogan Fight His Own Battles

Mr. Erdogan is trying to drag the United States into the argument by threatening to demand Mr. Gulen’s extradition to Turkey. Some experts say there is no legal basis for an extradition request because there are no charges or legal cases against Mr. Gulen, who has permanent-resident status and has lived in rural Pennsylvania since 1997.

Turkish President calls for calm as gov’t defuses tension with Gülen movement

In a bid to de-escalate a heated debate between the government and Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s movement surrounding the future of private prep-schools, known as “dershanes,” President Abdullah Gül has called for attention to be focused instead on “more essential issues.” “Development in scientific fields is permanent. The others are daily discussions, today there are […]

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

Kimse Yok Mu carries on aid for Gaza

Australia-Turkey Dialogue Workshop

Prime Minister Erdogan’s Revenge

US Unlikely to ‘Speed Up’ Gulen’s Extradition to Turkey

The state, AKP, Religious Affairs Directorate, Alevis and rights

Syrian refugees worry about housing as winter approaches

Hate Speech and Beyond: Targeting the Gülen Movement in Turkey

Copyright 2021 Hizmet News