BuLENT – Basic instinct and lust for power

Basic instinct and lust for powerThe most basic instinct of all living beings, including single-celled organisms, is the instinct to survive. Sometimes, people who value moral values like self-respect, honor, dignity, integrity and honesty may put this basic instinct in the background. These people are chivalrous and virtuous and they revolt against unfairness and injustice, even risking their lives to do so. The mere presence of such people in various social layers refreshes feeble hopes regarding the future of societies.If the number of magnanimous civil society actors, bold journalists or public servants who risk their careers for promoting the general interests of society legal professionals who put their shoulders to the wheel for justice to be done police officers, soldiers, prosecutors, judges, bureaucrats and the like who sacrifice their careers for the security of the nation is sufficiently high, you can be hopeful about the country’s future. What should worry and concern us is the lack or low number of such virtuous and bold people at a time when, as in Turkey, ruling circles have become corrupt, breaching universal legal principles has become a shameless norm, the powers that be have grown tyrannical and the judiciary is made a tool for unlimited oppression.Our country has, of course, a wealth of such people. But there are also the people whose basic instinct is to survive at all costs and disregard all sorts of moral norms and legal rules to this end, and unabashedly strive to hold on to power despite strong allegations of unparalleled cases of corruption, fraud, theft, bribery and embezzlement in which they are implicated as well as their shadowy ties at the national and international level.What happened in the wake of the graft probe of Dec. 17, 2013, and the aborted graft probe of Dec. 25, 2013, which laid out the shocking truth about the greatest graft and bribery scandal of the Turkish Republic, has shown that this basic instinct is stronger in the people in the second category.We watched in astonishment how they dexterously made dishonor, impudence, shamelessness and insolence a mask for themselves in order to survive politically and not be called to account for what is morally shameful, religiously sinful and legally criminal.If the prime minister, certain ministers, certain bureaucrats, certain journalists and certain businessmen of an underdeveloped country where laws, morality, honor and dignity are still deemed to be valuable had been implicated in a small portion of these allegations, you can be assured that the government and prime minister of that country would have resigned a hundred times over. In our country, on the other hand, instead of resigning from office in a dignified manner, paying an apology to the nation and patiently awaiting the courts to acquit them, they masterminded unprecedented levels of unlawfulness, purges and extrajudicial executions targeting those very people who fulfilled their responsibilities by unearthing this colossal scandal using their lawful powers and authorities.As you will remember, in Germany –where it is illegal for public servants to accept a gift worth more than 10 euros — former President Christian Wulff resigned from office day after a prosecutor demanded on Feb. 16, 2012 that his immunity should be lifted. He was accused of spending more than 700 euros for a vacation at the facility of a businessman who was his friend. In this way, he paved the way for a sound investigation. Wulff was found not guilty at the end of a two-year investigation.In our case, on the other hand, a prime minister and his close circles — who are accused of graft and bribery amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars — continue to govern the country. The interior minister, against whom there was concrete evidence, didn’t just resign in the wake of the scandal. He removed from office thousands of public servants, including those who launched the investigations against him, in the eight days that followed. Another minister who was forced to resign from office after being accused of taking a watch worth $300,000 as a bribe, continues to enjoy immunity. In addition, other ministers against whom there are similar charges of bribery continue to serve as deputies, and the bureaucrats implicated in the same probe continue to work at different positions. They shamelessly make public appearances and deliver speeches as if they were dignified people. Perhaps they really are honest people. But they deprive themselves of proving this by meddling with the judicial processes that could make this possible. Worse still, they themselves add credence to the perception that they are guilty. By posing themselves as being religious and conservative and then recklessly abusing religious values, they cast a big shadow over the image of Islam, which is a religion of morality and virtue. As if the stain of terror and violence affixed to it by al-Qaeda is not enough, they add the stain of corruption and theft to this pristine religion.We remember from Germany that a number of deputies were called to account when it was found out that they continued to receive a housing benefit of 120 euros although they spent their time at their offices. In our country, on the other hand, there are numerous cases of ministers, deputies and mayors using public resources in their personal election campaigns. And there is no one to call them to account.As you will remember, when it was recently understood that Britain’s former Minister for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller had fraudulently increased her home loan, she had to pay back 5,000 pounds and resign from office. This sum is certainly negligible in the face of the sums in the corruption claims implicating our prime minister, other government ministers and their families. Miller chose to resign, but ours continue to govern the country.What happened in South Cyprus in the wake of a recent explosion is a good example of how political ethics should be. A significant portion of the Greek Cabinet quickly resigned, feeling that they were politically responsible for the fatal incidents. In our country, no one ever thought of paying a political price for a similar tragedy, when 25 soldiers died in BalIkesir.There have also been thought-provoking developments in the wake of a large number of students who died in a sinking ferry off the coast of South Korea. As you might know, one of the school administrators immediately committed suicide, apparently holding himself responsible for the tragedy. Additionally, the country’s prime minister resigned from office even though he had no direct responsibility for the event. By doing so, he lost his position as prime minister, but reinforced his dignity and honor. What about ours? Neither the Uludere tragedy — in which 34 civilians were mistaken for terrorists and killed by military airstrikes due to false intelligence — nor a high-speed train accident that killed many people, nor similar massacres or tragedies, have urged any Turkish politician or official to resign from office. In fact, congratulations were even voiced in the wake of such incidents.This class of politicians who are quick to abuse religious and moral values and virtues is doing the greatest damage to Islam. They are leading to the creation of a perception, in Turkey and around the world, that pious Muslims are dexterous thieves, bribe-takers and oppressors. By participating in corruption as Muslims, they are causing unparalleled damage to Islam.They not only preserve their position at the expense their self-respect, honor and morality, but also destroy the legal and state system with their lust for power as they persecute social groups that resist their unruliness. Using media outlets and public resources available to them, they hurl slanderous words and engage in character assassinations. In order to survive, they cover up the dirt in which they are mired up to their neck and attack state organs, national values, the rule of law and democracy, irreparably damaging them and acting like a beheaded rooster in the throes of death.The prime minister and his corrupt aides’ basic instinct to survive at all costs has resulted in mass unlawful and extra-judicial purges in the bureaucracy great pressure and censorship on the press and social media a bill that reorganizes the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and casts the regime as a full-fledged despotic intelligence state bans on freedom of assembly, as seen in the recent May Day festivities threats and acts of blackmail that are not befitting to a democratic state guided by the rule of law and hate crimes against the Hizmet movement. We must add to this their insatiable lust for power.In my opinion, a ruling party that is knee-deep in corruption cannot sustain unbelievable practices launched with animalistic instincts. But unfortunately, we will pay the price for this political gang’s lack of dignity and honor in the short- and medium-term. The entire country and nation is losing because of their insolenc

SOURCE: Todays Zaman