MuMTAZER – ErdoIan’s personal propaganda tool, the MGK

ErdoIan’s personal propaganda tool, the MGKLike the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US, or the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) in Germany, the MGK in Turkey — the National Security Council — is the landand#39s highest coordinator for state security. With constitutional reforms made in the wake of European Union reforms that led to an increase in the number of civilian members on this high security board, the general weight of government representatives on the MGK became much more formidable.

Debates surrounding the MGK always reflect power struggles within the ranks of the state. And in the past, of course, the military used this board to design and guide politics.

In fact, the most recent military coup in Turkish history — the Feb. 28, 1997 process — sprung from a MGK meeting and the decisions reached at this meeting.

These days, in the newly civilianized MGK, the military doesnand#39t carry nearly as much weight as in the past. But while the roles may have switched, the content of undemocratic decisions has not.

There is less of a struggle over security coordination and more of a struggle over power that we see sitting at the top of the agenda of this council.There are some very critical security problems that compose the agenda of the MGK.

The whole Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) problem, as well as the clashes underway in Kobani, has turned into both a domestic as well as an external security problem for Turkey. The recent killing of three unarmed soldiers in Hakkariand#39s Yuksekova was just one piece of the ongoing armed threat of the Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK).

In the meantime, the opening up of a corridor into Kobani, and the fact that armed peshmerga will be travelling through Turkey and into Kobani, represents the most pressing issue for the MGK at this point. The Turkish public is hearing directly from its commander in chief of the armed forces that in fact he is not in the loop and informed when it comes to either the peace process underway with the PKK or the passage of peshmerga over Turkish land and into Syria The MGK is not even able to fulfil its most basic duties of coordination.

So what is it doing these days?What we see instead is that the MGK is being used as a propaganda tool for President Recep Tayyip ErdoIanand#39s personal policies and priorities.In statements made to the press by ErdoIan, one can see how he himself has manufactured the agenda for the MGK and thus how this new kind of propaganda is functioning.

After all, ErdoIan is using every tool in hand to wage a war against the Fethullah Gulen movement. His extraordinary campaign against Bank Asya is just one facet of this war He is now using the MGK to try to condemn the Gulen movement, which must be one of the worldand#39s most peaceful movements, as an andldquoillegal organization.

andrdquo It is almost inconceivable that as a foundation known to be close to Gulen in Geneva works to help coordinate a United Nations meeting, this same foundation is being presented in a Turkish MGK meeting as a andldquothreat.andrdquoErdoIan has asserted that the Gulen movement is to be included in the Red Book as a andldquoprioritized threat.

andrdquo But never mind the fact that he acts and speaks as though this has all been decided upon already. The fact is, he does not have the proper authority to do this.

Whatand#39s more, there is absolutely no document or piece of information that would support such a move.On top of that, the prosecutorand#39s office has still not opened a single investigation into this peaceful movement.

Nor is there any official complaint against the movement lodged with the courts.In short, the war being waged by ErdoIan against the Gulen movement really only serves his political interests.

What ErdoIan is now aiming to do is extricate himself from the difficult position into which heand#39s been placed by way of the Dec. 17-25 investigations by opening up a war against the Gulen movement.

He is trying to strengthen his own political position by painting the rightfully respected and esteemed Gulen movement as evil. Trying to get the Gulen movement placed on the MGK agenda as a andldquopriority threatandrdquo is nothing other than a blatantly simplistic propaganda technique.

So, will the other members who sit on the MGK go along with this technique? With so many pressing items on the agenda these days, will the MGK really work as ErdoIanand#39s private propaganda machine? We donand#39t believe so. It is particularly impossible for the military members of the MGK to not ask this question: andldquoAccording to which evidence and which reasoning are we to place the Gulen movement on our agenda as a and#39priority threatand#39?andrdquo.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

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