BuLENT – Behind the scenes of TahIiyeciler setup as pretext for clampdown on free press

Behind the scenes of TahIiyeciler setup as pretext for clampdown on free pressThe police conducted an operation against an al-Qaeda-linked organization in 2010. The order for this operation was given by then-Police Chief OIuz KaIan Kksal, who is currently a deputy for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

One of the members of this organization who was tried under this operation decided to take aantage of the governmentand#39s andquotparallelandquot paranoia and filed a complaint in connection with this operation. This complaint is now being used as a pretext for the recent crackdown on journalists.

This media coup is the top agenda item in Turkey. A number of people including Zaman daily Editor-in-chief Ekrem DumanlI and Samanyolu Broadcasting Group Chairman Hidayet Karaca were taken into custody.

It is hard to make a technical analysis of the decision and connections as such an attempt would tax the boundaries of our mind and legal system The operation decision was apparently hurriedly made as soon as the legal framework for andquotreasonable doubtandquot was created. andquotReasonable doubtandquot can be defined as andquotdoubt which Aunt AyIe would consider reasonable,andquot as Milliyetand#39s Gungr Uras put it.

Actually, there is no reasonable doubt. Let us read the decision with the help of the template prepared by media outlets close to President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan, who can be considered the mastermind behind the operation.

There is allegedly an organization which is conspiring against a rival religious community with members numbering in the thousands. A police operation was conducted against the group TahIiyeciler (roughly translated as annotators) in 2010.

The operation was announced by Muammer Guler, who was the governor of Istanbul at that time. All newspapers covered the operation in detail.

TV networks like CNNTurk and Haberturk broadcasted the videos of Mehmet DoIan, the alleged leader of the organization. In these video recordings, DoIan said it is andquotobligatory for Muslims to join al-Qaedaandquot He made a call to armed struggle and depicted the AK Party as being one of the barriers to an Islamic state.

The trial is still under way.Following the start of the andquotparallelandquot paranoia, one of the defendants in this lawsuit filed a complaint about these andquotparallels.

andquot The prosecutor took the complaint seriously and launched an investigation into those listed in the complaint. The prosecutor claims individuals including DumanlI and Karaca are trying to take over the sovereignty of the state.

How are they doing it? By committing andquotslanderandquot against the complainant, andquotdepriving him of his freedomandquot and andquotfalsifying documents.andquot These acts are defined as offenses under the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), but they have nothing to do with the efforts to take over the sovereignty of the state.

Also, there is no evidence of andquotslanderandquot and other offenses. Reading the text, one would be inclined to believe DumanlI and Karaca had abducted the man in question.

Construing a courtand#39s arrest warrant as andquotdepriving oneand#39s freedomandquot will be etched as a gross scandal in legal history. Such absurdities are what made me say there isnand#39t even reasonable doubt.

The following is offered as explanation for the offense of slander: In his speech broadcast on April 6, 2009, Fethullah Gulen cautions that a new reactionaryism campaign might be kicked off. He indicates that al-Qaeda-like terrorist networks are hard at work to find a suitable environment in Turkey.

He draws attention to the fact that the powers that positioned Hezbollah against the Kurdistan Workersand#39 Party (PKK) might create al-Qaeda-like organizations. The name of this new organization might be TahIiyeciler and the members of this organization might be equipped with arms to conjure up the perception that andquotMuslims may get involved in terrorism when they have the chance.

andquot Gulen is actually talking about a generic andldquofrontandrdquo terrorist organization.One of the notable developments of 2009 was the public disclosure of the plan to finish off the AK Party and Gulen.

According to this plan, the police would raid the houses of the members of the Hizmet movement and find weapons which had been secretly planted beforehand and in this way, the movement would be treated as a terrorist organization by public authorities.Eight months after Gulen made this speech, the police launched a crackdown on the members of an organization which was allegedly an al-Qaeda offshoot.

The preparation for this operation was made by Huseyin Namal, the head of the Intelligence Department, and the operation was given the go-ahead by Kksal.According to the andquotunreasonableandquot claim, Gulen delivered a speech and the Zaman daily ran a news story about it.

Ahmet Iahin and Huseyin Gulerce wrote articles about it while Samanyolu TV covered it in the TV show andquotTek Turkiyeandquot (One Turkey). In this way, the Gulen-affiliated police chiefs and officers received the order to conduct an operation against these innocent people, who were jailed for 17 months.

It is ridiculous to say that Gulen was sending instructions via media outlets. Given the political atmosphere of 2009, even idiots can see that it would be a great risk to do so.

Moreover, let us suppose that he did in fact give such instructions. Then isnand#39t it necessary to take action against Namal and Kksal in the first place?Gulenand#39s speeches are closely monitored by all media outlets.

His remarks in question were quoted by many outlets, including Vatan newspaper Many columnists wrote articles about it. andquotReactionaryism is an excuse an organization called and#39TahIiyeand#39 might be invented at any timeandquot was the title of a news story on Vatan.

So are we supposed to treat Vatan Editor-in-chief Tayfun DevecioIlu as a suspect? Zaman and Vatan ran virtually the same story even the headline of Vatanand#39s story was more striking. DumanlI and DevecioIlu are exactly in the same position their papers ran a story about the same speech.

Both didnand#39t write themThe inclusion of Samanyolu TV in the operation is even funnier The designer, scriptwriter, director, intern and top manager of the network are being treated as suspects. The excuse is that the script of the show and daily life had overlapped.

. This is currently what such serials try to do.

Their scriptwriters diligently read newspapers and their insights may be accurate. The same applies to the famous serial andquotKurtlar Vadisiandquot (Valley of the Wolves).

I think everyone involved in the serial should be sentenced to life imprisonment.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman