IHSAN – Mahupyan and Karaman: A DavutoIlu-ErdoIan clash?

Mahupyan and Karaman: A DavutoIlu-ErdoIan clash?Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoIluandrsquos chief aiser Etyen Mahupyan repeatedly confessed that the Justice and Development Partyandrsquos (AKP) involvement in corruption is real and that half of all AKP voters believe the AKP is corrupt. An AKP deputy and ErdoIanandrsquos biggest mouthpiece, Mehmet Metiner, who claimed to have watched CCTV recording of hundreds of naked men torturing a headscarved woman in KabataI (a lie ErdoIan used to mobilize his voters against the Gezi protesters), challenged and even subtly threatened Mahupyan.

And yet Mahupyan insisted on his views. Then ErdoIanandrsquos chief fatwa-giver, professor of Islamic law Hayrettin Karaman started writing in his pro-ErdoIan newspaper Yeni Iafak that the corruption is a fact and that rulers who live in luxury while the poor suffer are sinners.

Both Mahupyan and Karaman are crucial figures since they are both fatwa-givers of ErdoIanandrsquos authoritarianism and corrupt regime. Karaman is the Islamist fatwa-giver who distorts Islam to produce favorable fatwas, legitimizing the corrupt and illegal practices of the Islamist politicians and businessmen.

This includes taking out loans from banks with interest, donating huge amounts of money to charities of politicians in return for favorable public tenders and contracts and even getting people killed for the benefit of the state.As Ali Bula wrote, ErdoIan started getting these fatwas after becoming mayor of Istanbul in 1994.

The justification is an Islamically perverted one. They argue that since Turkey is in the Dar al-Harb (an un-Islamic country, in the abode of war) and since what Islamists are doing is jihad, they can bend Islamic rules out of necessity and also break the official law.

But so few people knew all this.After the Dec.

17 corruption operations, Karaman started writing about these issues openly. I think he was trying to convince ErdoIanandrsquos religious voters that andldquoyes, ErdoIan did engage in corruption, but it was for dawah, jihad, for the Islamist cause, not for himself.

andrdquo I do not know why but Karaman also wrote that for the sake of the state, individuals can be sacrificed and he mentioned Muhsin YazIcIoIlu, who was killed in a very dubious helicopter accident, as an example. His Yeni Iafak piece is one of the greatest enigmas of the ErdoIan eraWhile Karaman has been trying to persuade ErdoIanandrsquos religious voters, Mahupyan has been doing exactly the same thing for secular, liberal, leftists circles.

The AKP would never send Karaman to the Western capitals to defend itself and it would not publish many of Karamanandrsquos pieces in its English mouthpieces, such as Daily Sabah and Yeni Iafak English, but it would frequently ask Mahupyan and Osman Can to visit the Western capitals to legitimize the authoritarianism of the AKP. Mahupyan, a renowned and skillful intellectual, is the secular legitimizer of the ErdoIan regime.

Nevertheless, despite their efforts, both Karaman and Mahupyan seem to be siding with DavutoIlu against ErdoIan. As I have written here before, despite his dreams of restoration (whatever that means), his Ottoman nostalgia, his intense lectures about the past, his zigzags in foreign policy, DavutoIlu is not a corrupt politician.

He may eventually be engulfed by the corrupt elite of the AKP, but at the moment he speaks against corruption, nepotism, etc. He continuously mentions meritocracy.

He is a relative of the ulker family, whose business conglomerate is disliked by ErdoIan and had to invest more than $3 billion in the UK since ErdoIan did not permit it to invest in Turkey. It is known that DavutoIlu was not ErdoIanandrsquos first choice for the job of prime minister, but ErdoIan had to chose him to balance Abdullah Gulandrsquos influence on the AKP.

It is not possible in the short run since ErdoIan is still very popular, but DavutoIlu may be thinking of gradually isolating ErdoIan in the presidential palace, thinking that the ErdoIan dynasty is becoming a liability and a burden for the AKP. I know that there are now may people in the AKP ranks who think in that way and who are very upset with the fact that the AKP and the AKP media have become a family business of the ErdoIans.

But I do not know if DavutoIlu thinks similarly or not. However, looking at Karaman and Mahupyan and reading several columns in pro-AKP newspapers that concede corruption is taking place, I am inclined to think that they get their power indirectly from DavutoIlu.

All in all, this may be the wishful thinking of a naive columnist who is unaware of how power intoxicates people.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman