OIUZ – The ‘politics of friends and enemies’

The ‘politics of friends and enemies’Recep Tayyip ErdoIan, the prime minister of the Turkish Republic and the head of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is making some interesting promises during this presidential campaign. It appears to be no longer democratization, but rather the creation of new enemies, that he is pursuing.

His aim is to portray the whole “parallel structure” witch hunt as being part of some sort of state reflex. In statements made on a television program, Prime Minister ErdoIan used the expression, “The Red Book enters into all this,” in order to strengthen the allegations of a parallel structure.

When he mentions the “Red Book,” he is talking about a book that people say state workers and bureaucrats are obliged by the “deep state” to read and become familiar with. And so it is that this same book, which took political rule under the umbrella of the guardian authority when it came to national security issues, is now seen by the AK Party as a sort of insurance.

When the truth is, they theoretically came to power to finish off the guardian authority, spouting off promise after promise about protecting and developing democracy.So will it work, the AK Party using the same methods and rules — but in a more powerful way — that the military guardian authority relied on for so many years? In the short term, perhaps.

But in the long term, it will not be accepted for a political party to put democracy under siege using the codes and rules of the “national security state.” The “friends and enemies politics” used by the top levels of the AK Party to polarize society is a method that has been successful, but has not elicited results.

The whole concept of “the politics of friends and enemies” comes down to us from the well-known Nazi-era legal consultant, Carl Schmitt. It refers to a method that was used quite successfully to take over the helm of the country and to then strengthen the ruling position.

At the same time though, those who use this method to boost societal power never have a very long political life. With its “torba yasalar” or “sack laws,” the AK Party ruling government has completely disrupted the country’s legal order This much playing around with the legal code has ultimately worked to destroy relations between the state and the people of the country.

Its targets of becoming the “single party” and to take single-handed charge of the state strengthen the assertions that such a transformation is under way. Independent deputy and former Culture and Tourism Minister ErtuIrul Gunay, who resigned from the AK Party, notes that the government’s seeming desire to wrap itself in the mantle of a guardian authority identity is related to an “ambition to be like the Young Turks.

” He says, “This is why they are busy trying to fill in those assertions about parallel structures as best they can. But it’s not working out as they planned.

The truth is, all those new laws and regulations, like the MIT [National Intelligence Organization] law, the new rulings and all the legal changes that have been made since Dec. 17, all of these are aimed at making the crimes that certain public officials have been involved in no longer criminal acts.

”After all, we have an interior minister who says things like, “You break down the door we’ll turn this into a legal act.” This is the expanded version of the Young Turk or Committee for Union and Progress (CUP) mentality and it is a mentality that we see enlarged now, 100 years after that era of around 1914.

It is the specter of CUP, but less capable, more soulless and perhaps less skilled. But one thing is certain, and this is that the specter of CUP is wandering around these days.

It is unacceptable for Turkey to be dragged away from democracy and further toward a deep and uncertain future. Lately, newspapers have been full of articles about the steps taken by the elected government to strike up an agreement with the Shanghai Five Customs Union.

And the truth is, a multi-dimensional plan aimed at pushing Turkey completely outside the borders of democracy is being implemented. How possible will it really be for the country to progress down the road to democracy with a domestic authority modelled on the era of CUP and an international identity linked to a Eurasian-Third World paradigmThe AK Party government, by wielding the “politics of friends and enemies,” has splintered the country, pushing Turkey off the course of democracy by changing all the departments and institutions of the government in the name of the guardian authority mentality.

Illegal operations and acts, all based on faith in their political popularity, will ultimately be recorded on the AK Party’s political report card with bad marks. Every political party gets its start rising out of the expectations and hopes of a country’s people.

In 2002, the long-awaited actor in terms of bringing about a much-desired democratic transformation in Turkey was the AK Party. But today, what we see is a party that is now in full denial of its original mission and identity it is a party transformed into one that tries only to wield the guardian authority status quo, but even more powerfully than in the past.

In the end though, the “politics of friends and enemies” will be able to protect neither the AK Party’s ruling position, nor democracy.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman