McCarthyism peaks in Turkey

When President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan said last week that he had no knowledge of and is opposed to the formation of a monitoring committee for the Kurdish peace process that had been agreed upon between the government of Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoIlu and Abdullah Ocalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Deputy Prime Minister Bulent ArInc dared to respond not only that ErdoIan was well informed about the process but also that “there is a gover

When President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan said last week that he had no knowledge of and is opposed to the formation of a monitoring committee for the Kurdish peace process that had been agreed upon between the government of Prime Minister Ahmet DavutoIlu and Abdullah Oumlcalan, the leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Deputy Prime Minister Buumllent ArInccedil dared to respond not only that ErdoIan was well informed about the process but also that there is a government in this country.

Ankara Mayor Melih Goumlkccedilek criticized ArInccedil, saying that the parallel state — a term invented by ErdoIan to refer to sympathizers of the Guumllen movement, who he sees as responsible for the corruption probes against his government — wanted to attack the government from within and used ArInccedil for this purpose.

In remarks posted on Twitter, he further claimed that ArInccedil had acted on orders from the parallel state and should immediately be dismissed. ArInccedil, in turn, alleged that Goumlkccedilek had sat in the lap of the parallel state and sold Ankara to this structure’ plot by plot.

He further claimed that Goumlkccedilek’s aim was to secure the nomination of his son as a Justice and Development Party (AKP) candidate in the coming general election.

The spat between ArInccedil and Goumlkccedilek was significant in terms not only of revealing the increasing discord in AKP ranks but also in indicating how the parallel state concept — first used by ErdoIan to claim that the corruption probe that broke out in December 2013 was in fact a coup attempt against his government by the Guumllen movement inspired by foreign enemies — is now being used even in quarrels among politicians at the top of the AKP establishment to fight each other

ErdoIan’s source of inspiration for the parallel state concept are the supporters of the military tutelage regime in Turkey, who claimed that the Balyoz and Ergenekon military coup attempts were simply fabrications by sympathizers of Guumllen in the police and the judiciary.

ErdoIan, then prime minister, not only used the concept to cover up the corruption probe against his government but also to initiate an immediate witch hunt, in which thousands of members of the police and hundreds of members of the judiciary were relocated, dismissed, detained, arrested and subjected to prosecution without proper evidence. The parallel state allegation was thus employed in a broader effort to cleanse the civil service of all those suspected of being anti-AKP.

It was further used to claim that the cases against the Balyoz and Ergenekon military coup attempts aimed at the overthrow of the AKP government were in fact fabrications, a conspiracy against the national army, advancing ErdoIan’s efforts to bolster an alliance with the military.

As prominent author Oya Baydar stated, the pro-government media owned and run by big businessmen dependent on public tenders have, since the outbreak of the corruption probe in December 2013, blamed all crime, sin and murders committed since the days of Adam and Eve on the parallel structure.

Thieves, those involved in bribery and corruption, even murderers and rapists have tried to evade conviction by claiming that they were simply victims of plots by the parallel state. The media reports on how parallel state nonsense is being utilized in the infighting and rivalry to seek nomination in the AKP ranks.

But it was shocking to most that even two top AKP politicians like ArInccedil and Goumlkccedilek would accuse each other of being part of the parallel state.

In the early 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy and his supporters in the United States accused thousands of Americans of being communist party members, communist sympathizers or Soviet agents and initiated a witch hunt, followed by aggressive investigations with a total lack of proper evidence.

McCarthyism has ever since come to mean the practice of making accusations of subversion and treason without any evidence, using unfair allegations or investigative techniques in order to restrict dissent or political criticism The parallel state allegations only mean that McCarthyism has found its wildest practice in Turkey today

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN