Introducing the guardians of the ErdoIan regime

ISTANBUL (CIHAN)- As Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan has been subordinating bureaucratic institutions to the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) so that he can rule the country through its “guidance,” I have been trying to point out that such a close relationship between politicians and MIT would turn Turkey into an intelligence-oriented or “al-Mukhabarat” state.
During the old Kemalist regime, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had power over politicians so that it could lead the country. However, since 2011, as I pointed out in previous articles, MIT has replaced the TSK’s position and become the dominant institution, intervening in civilian politics.

Expectedly, MIT uses different tools than the TSK did when it intervenes in civilian politics. Unlike the TSK, which used “coercive power” to “convince” politicians to do things, MIT uses “information” to “convince” politicians.

For instance, during the Kurdistan Communities’ Union (KCK) operations, police noticed that MIT and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) had dirty relations. They saw that MIT used its powers of manipulation to present the KCK operations as if they were operations against the peace process. While manipulating this fact, MIT not only escaped from legal proceedings in which it would be held accountable for wrongdoings, such as not preventing PKK attacks that ended up killing innocent civilians, police and military, but it also became the only source of information that the government relied on.

Similar manipulations also took place during the ReyhanlI bombing as well. Back in May 2013, in my Today’s Zaman article “Intelligence wars” (May 26, 2013), I explained how MIT had used the media to manipulate the public concerning the ReyhanlI incident: “The information revealed so far shows that MIT did not share any of its information with the police despite its extensive intelligence gathering activities over the past few months. It was only when the police acquired information on this matter that MIT decided to share its intelligence with them as well. Through media manipulation, MIT gave the impression that it had cooperated with the police in a timely manner but it was the police that failed to do its job. The Radikal daily has played the most critical role in this intelligence war in the ReyhanlI incident. In a report by Radikal on May 17, ‘MIT ve Emniyet’te yeni dönem’ [New era in MIT and police], it stated: ‘Recent reports show that MIT received intelligence on the bombing and shared the information it received with the police. The police later sent a warning to all its units via a secret memo on May 9’.”

In addition to these two examples, there are many more examples, such as the Roboski incident, that can be given to show how MIT took over the critical position in the decision-making process.

Since I noticed this dangerous trend that Turkey is turning into an intelligence state, as MIT replaces the TSK’s position, I have been warning people that this would eventually make Turkey an authoritarian regime. In democracies no intelligence agency is given such power to dominate politics and establish its own regime.

For instance, back in an article from June 12, 2013 (“MIT in breach of Law”), I openly stated that “with the protocols MIT has signed, Turkey is turning into a Syria-like al-Mukhabaratintelligence-oriented state. This is a violation of existing laws and quite problematic for Turkish democracy.”

While warning that Turkish is closely turning into an al-Muhkahbarat state that is against the basic principles of democracies, I was naive to think that ErdoIan and politicians would not allow MIT to replace the TSK’s role in the old regime. I was naive to think that ErdoIan would want full-fledged democracy for Turkish people here. I was naive to think that ErdoIan would not want to establish an Iranian model of “democracy” in which the fully armed intelligence agency, the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, are at the center to protect the regime and not the people.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. With the recent law proposed to Parliament, what ErdoIan is establishing is a similar model — the Guardians of the ErdoIan Regime — where the MIT is located at the heart of the regime to “protect” the regime and not the people.

It seems that, for this purpose, MIT is establishing an armed unit to conduct operations for the regime. The new law gives ErdoIan and MIT limitless power and the ability to conduct operations against opposition groups, including jailing, killing and kidnapping them, etc. More importantly, there is no authority to oversee what MIT is doing against Turkish citizens.

The new law allows MIT to conduct operations in foreign countries against Turkish citizens. The law allows MIT to kill Turkish citizens in foreign countries without any court procedure and, just like its Iranian counterpart the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, no one has the right to ask MIT, “Why did you kill Turkish citizens living in foreign countries?”

EMRE USLU (CihanToday’s Zaman) C