If ‘being a democrat’ entails defending them…

Prime Minister Erdogan gave the signal for these criticisms, saying, “The Constitutional Court, too, was wiretapped.” It follows that the campaign to discredit Kılıc will escalate… We are no longer shocked concerning such developments.

It would be surprising if Erdogan and his senior aides had remained silent in the face of the messages Kılıc gave in his “exemplary” speech; it would be surprising if they felt the need to think on his words, as well. Indeed, they don’t want any obstacles in their path as they proceed to build a sort of “party state” headed by Erdogan. Thus, when someone talks about rights, freedoms, democracy and rule of law, they are quick to accuse him/her of being part of some ambiguous “parallel structure” in the first place. Then they move on to increase the dosage of accusations.

What seems odd to me is that they try to justify Erdogan’s ambitions and efforts for institutionalizing an arbitrary and authoritarian administration in terms of such high-sounding concepts as “new Turkey” or “democracy.” And this clearly is the main occupation of the pro-government media and spin doctors that are obsessed with supporting Erdogan no matter what.

This sounds to me as tragicomic as subversive generals claiming that they overthrew a democratically elected government with the intention of “strengthening democracy.” We remember that our subversive generals were always “obliged” to stage coups, not inclined to do so. They would overthrow the government and abolish the Constitution and, in their first statement as leaders, they would say they were forced to stage a coup because democracy was under threat. They would say they’d return to their barracks after restoring democracy. Really, the army would return to the barracks after they were convinced that they had sufficiently fine-tuned politics and society. Of course, they would keep in place the mechanisms for establishing their tutelage over politics.

Prime Minister Erdogan labeled the graft and bribery probe of Dec. 17, 2013 a “coup” and, since then, he has been arguing that he is fighting a “war of independence” against the coup. A coup is certainly a serious crime and it must be prosecuted on legal grounds. We have been asserting this since the first day he voiced this claim. However, he has so far failed to produce any evidence to prove this claim. But Erdogan continues to parrot “parallel state” or “coup” accusations. Thousands of police chiefs and members of the judiciary were reappointed to other posts. Were they “coup supporters”? If so, why isn’t there any judicial investigation being made into them? Why not bring them to court?

Now, it is high time we ask the following questions and give loud answers: Who staged the coup and who are the coup perpetrators: an ambiguous “parallel state” or those who rushed to undermine judicial and legal mechanisms using the powers and authorities available to them to cover up the graft and bribery claims against them? Who perpetrated the coup: those who seek to govern the country by vesting extensive powers and authorities in an “intelligence organization” or those who were hurriedly removed from office just because they investigated graft and bribery claims?

I don’t know if Erdogan and his supporters really believe in what they say as they, like subversive generals, try to justify their arbitrary practices as “democracy,” but I know that they are dragging Turkey into profound uncertainty, raising concerns for every sane person making problems in the country.

In my previous article, I argued that being a democrat has certain minimum and universal norms. If “being a democrat” entails defending the acts of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Erdogan, I must stress that I am not a democrat.

The government’s move to ban May Day festivities in Taksim Square, İstanbul, have led to serious tension. I hope this ban is eventually lifted and May Day is marked with joy in Taksim Square. I wish everyone a happy May Day.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN