I hereby present the ‘parallel state’

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- I have previously made my views concerning the “parallel state” allegations parroted by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan and a vicious group of aides with “unknown intentions” clear. To sum it up, I noted that it is up to the infallible measure of the law to determine what the “real state” is and what the “parallel state” is.
In other words, if a person acts within the boundaries set by the law, fulfills hisher duties and responsibilities within this framework and recognizes the powers and authority vested by the law when performing these duties and responsibilities, then she is a proper member of the real state. Likewise, if a person targets the proper members of the state in an effort to cover up hisher unlawful and illegitimate acts and procedures that are considered an offense under the law and according to democratic values, and she violates all principles of national and universal laws to this end, then she is the member of the “parallel state.”

Now, let us put our hands on our hearts and visualize what has been happening in Turkey for the last four months. Doesn’t the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) — being controlled by Prime Minister ErdoIan and intriguing, political Islamist and militant groups, and who would have to resign from office immediately in a normal, democratic country based on the rule of law, given the scandalous allegations against them — deserve the “parallel state” designation more? Yet, oddly enough, this true “parallel state” has accused every public institution — where public officials are appointed to office based on their merits and in compliance with the traditions and procedures of the real state and are responsible for performing their duties within the powers and authority vested by the law — of being part of the “parallel state.”

In doing so, the parallel AKP state does not respect the law, regulations, procedures, traditions, principles or morality. The judges, prosecutors and high court members who try to perform their lawful duties and responsibilities within the legal framework have been targeted as the “parallel state.” More than 13,000 police chiefs and officers who were guided by the principle of equality before the law and who tried to fulfill their duties in compliance with the law were purged. Everyone sees that Prime Minister ErdoIan, who is implicated in serious charges with strong evidence, and the true “parallel state” that is allied with him, have produced no concrete evidence so far about their much-parroted claims and slander, and that no persuasive investigation has been launched into these and accusations.

Anyone who managed to eke out public TV broadcasting at universal democratic standards from the elephantine machinery known as the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) has been purged on charges of being a member of an imaginary parallel structure. Everyone has witnessed how the incompetent political Islamist militants who replaced them turned this prominent public broadcasting entity into a partisan propaganda machine both before and after the elections. Moreover, the sad state of the state-owned Anadolu news agency is best indicated by the mentality and the type of journalism it has recently adopted.

The best example of how the AKP made all the components of the real state dysfunctional and established its arbitrary order or disorder their place, is the process by which the Court of Accounts, which conducts public audits in the name of the nation, has been stripped of its functions. For the last several years, no one has any idea of whether financial resources and budget appropriations, which consist of taxes and other public revenues, were properly used or wasted or spent in a corrupt manner. In this context, Parliament’s auditing functions have been disabled, as the Court of Accounts performs these functions on behalf of Parliament. The true “parallel state” is emasculating the real state’s auditing institution and militantly ignores its constitutional position.

Unfortunately, public auditing is not the only authority that has been stripped from Parliament. What is more shocking is that Parliament’s legislative power has come under the tutelage of a small oligarchic group. We learned from the leaked audio recordings that the Prime Ministry undersecretary, who was just a public servant, made promises to some public officials about passing a bill to make their reprehensible acts no longer offenses. Moreover, what happened later reveals that he fulfilled his promise. The legislative power of Parliament, which represents the nation’s willpower, is being virtually destroyed in the hands of this small oligarchic group.

In connection with its recent historic decisions that uphold the rule of law, the Constitutional Court –being one of the last strongholds of the real state, and in which people invest their hopes for the sake of safeguarding fundamental rights and freedoms and preserving the sense of justice within the state — was quickly labeled part of the “parallel state.” Even this labeling is sufficient proof that those who accuse the real institutions and actors of the state of being a “parallel state” are themselves the parallel state.

The government circles have gone so far that they don’t hesitate to label any person or institution that does not openly favor them in their decisions as part of the parallel state. The extent and magnitude of this paranoia of the ruling elites is well indicated by the fact that even pro-government Supreme Election Board (YSK) and the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTuK), who had previously made so many decisions that favored the ruling party, had their share of accusations. As this paranoia became deeper, the rector of Dicle University, who was the first female rector who wears the Islamic headscarf, tended to be received as a member of the “parallel state” by the ruling party.

There is more to this pathological paranoia. ErdoIan and his aides, who nurture a distorted perspective about the country’s bid to become a full member of the European Union, which had been a national target for decades, have eventually started to perceive even the EU as part of the parallel structure. The country’s relations with the US have recently also had their allotment of this inconceivable paranoia. The prime minister managed to be the first ally in history whose statement was directly and openly denied by the White House. Therefore, the vicious minority that surrounds him went as far as to accuse the US administration of acting under the control of the so-called “parallel state.” An old spin doctor who is very much favored by the prime minister even asked the prime minister on a live broadcast, “Is there an imam from the Hizmet movement at the White House?”

Nor is he the only one who has lost his balance. Inconceivable claims, slander and lies of the government as well as of the government-controlled media have become quite ordinary.

The government and its media held the Turkic American Alliance, Turkey’s strongest lobby in the US, which is close to the Hizmet movement, responsible for the passage of the Armenian genocide bill in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress. They even portrayed the US Congress as being part of the “parallel state,” hereby showing just how irrational this spree of slander and lies can become.

Although there is strong evidence supporting accusations of involvement in the most comprehensive graft, theft, bribery and fraud scandal in Turkish history, the ErdoIan administration accuses every public institution or state organ of being the “parallel state.” Hiding behind these unfounded and unfair accusations, ErdoIan and his vicious militants in influential positions are resorting to all sorts of lawlessness and arbitrariness. In this way, they fully deserve to be designated as the real “parallel state.”

BuLENT KENEI (CihanToday’s Zaman) C