If the government continues to give the impression that it is trying to stop the biggest-ever corruption investigation in the country, Gezi may repeat itself. It is clear that this may harm not only the AK Party, but also the Hizmet movement and Turkey. Only the AK Party can stop this from taking place by convincing people that it is not interfering with the judiciary and that it is fully against corruption.
This may be a Gulen Movement attack on the government. However, one cannot help but ask who gave the Gulen Movement so much access in the government to begin with? Also, the government has been screaming “show us evidence” to all questions of financing and allegations of corruption. Now it seems there is some sort of evidence — should not those be dealt with first? Shouldn’t the AKP come clean with the Turkish public first, and then fight its battle with the Gulen Movement or other “foreign” provocateurs?
In building his political career, Turkey’s powerful and charismatic prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, relied heavily on the support of a Sufi mystic preacher [Fethullah Gulen] whose base of operations is now in Pennsylvania. Mr. Gulen’s followers “never approved the role the government tried to attain in the Middle East, or approved of its policy in Syria, which made everything worse, or its attitude in the Mavi Marmara crisis with Israel,” said Ali Bulac, a conservative intellectual and writer who supports Mr. Gulen.
The high-profile officials — whose involvement in bribery and corruption have been disclosed with much media coverage — and those who protect and abet them do not care about how they will be remembered by future generations. They do not feel ashamed about the positions they adopt, and they shamelessly proceed to give the impression of siding with “robbers” in the cops vs. robbers confrontation.
There are some people who fail to look at the charges that have been leveled against the detainees in the corruption operation that has touched the sons of three ministers and instead they just speculate about the timing and forces that prompted the operation.
It stinks. This is the bluntest description of what the graft probe has revealed so far… 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.
The arrest of several people close to the government, including three ministers’ sons, accused of taking significant bribes, has shaken the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to the core and plunged Turkey into political uncertainty. Whether it is the case or not — the Gülen movement denies it — the timing of the arrests has created the widespread perception that the investigation is linked to the growing tension between the AKP and the Gülen movement, also known as Hizmet.
Veteran Turkish journalist Nazlı Ilıcak was fired on Wednesday from her long-time post at the Sabah daily over a “disagreement on issues,” according to the pro-government newspaper. Ilıcak argued that Erdoğan had been misled by his advisors, leading to prejudices and suspicions about the Hizmet movement.
Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen has rejected any link to an ongoing corruption probe in which 52 people, including well-known businessmen, the sons of three ministers, and a number of advisors, have been detained as part of a major investigation into alleged bribery linked to public tenders. Gülen strongly denied allegations that the probe was launched as part of a row between the government and the Hizmet movement.
The United States has told Ankara it has no any intention of getting involved into what it calls “a family fight,” denying conspiracy theories suggesting Washington’s role in the ongoing struggle between the government and the powerful Gülen community that has exploded with a new corruption probe. “Please don’t draw us into your family fight here. We don’t want one side or the other to feed this conspiracy idea that we are against the prime minister or against Fethullah Gülen Hocaefendi,”
Radikal’s Cüneyt Özdemir said that even if some people interpret the corruption operation as a manifestation of the rift between the Hizmet movement and the government, it does not reduce the importance and seriousness of the allegations directed against the detainees. “The fact that it involves the general manager of a state-run bank and the sons of three ministers shows us the importance of this investigation,” he said.
Neither Erdoğan nor his bureaucrats could convince the public that their plan was educational, and not an attempt to punish the Hizmet movement. Gül, Arınç and several of Erdoğan’s ministers couldn’t stop Erdoğan, who started a war against the Hizmet movement and even directly attacked Fethullah Gülen by taking remarks Gülen made about the headscarf ban 15 years ago completely out of context.
Turkish media claimed that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the leader of the AK Party, said, “He [Şükür] resigned on an order [from the Hizmet movement], this is not a decision he can make alone.” However, AK Party spokesman Hüseyin Çelik denied the prime minister had made those comments. “I have spoken to the prime minister, everybody should know that he has not made such a statement,” Çelik said.
Şükür, a former international football player, left Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling party in protest against the government’s plan to shut down exam preparatory schools, revealing the intra-party divisions below the surface. The resignation came after Şükür objected to the government proposal to close these schools, which help students prepare for university and high school admission exams.