People’s voices gagged

Then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) faced two choices when the infamous Dec. 17 and 25, 2013 corruption investigations swept onto the countryand’s agenda.
Either they were going to allow the investigation to move forward and be tried by an independent justice system, or they were going to try and prevent the truth from coming out. In the end, the second choice won out.
But of course, Erdogan and the AKP needed to have a reason for blocking the investigation. They were intent on escaping the power of the law, but how to explain this to the Turkish public? They needed to find such a good explanation that it would ensure their supporters remained staunchly behind them.
And so, Erdogan came out strong, declaring, and”What we hav is a coup attempt.and” Yes, this was to be his reason. But who then was behind this coup attempt? A handful of prosecutors and a police chief? This didnand’t sound too likely, so it was at this point that the whole concept of the and”parallel state structureand” was created. As it turned out, this was to become an extremely useful conceit the parallel state could be blamed for practically everything that had gone wrong during the AKPand’s long stay in power.
As Erdogan made the rounds, telling citizens the absurd tale of a so-called coup attempt, not even his closest circles believed him. But as his fellow partisans realized that the story was actually working, their hesitation waned, and they too began telling this story to anyone who would listen. It is this support that is the most influential factor in making Erdogan the lawless, unfettered power that he is today.
Erdoganand’s first move in the wake of the explosive Dec. 17 and 25 situation was to remove the police chiefs and prosecutors in charge of following up on bribery and corruption charges from their positions. He then fiddled with the makeup of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), successfully taking over this influential council. At the same time, thousands of police officers were removed from their jobs, reassigned to different positions, and sometimes fired. Next, it was the turn of prosecutors and judges. Somehow, during this period of judicial takeover, it became completely normal to see prosecutors and judges arrested. Notably, what Erdogan saw clearly was that there was no reaction, no result from his arbitrary and illegal moves. In short, he ordered these things to be done and they were done.
In the meantime, using the AKPand’s majority in Parliament, Erdogan oversaw the legislation of back-to-back laws aimed at suppressing opposition criticism. Laws like the National Intelligence Organization (MiT) Law, the Domestic Security Law and the various Internet laws all wound up degrading Turkeyand’s democratic standards on many levels. At the same time, these laws worked to finalize the power of an autocratic, censorship-wielding state in the face of a potentially opposition-minded society.
The observation that the opposition in Turkey simply sat back and watched as a and”single-partyand” and and”single-manand” regime was carefully constructed over these years is unfair. But it is fair is to say that no influential or effective opposition was ever galvanized not enough was done to inform or warn the public about what was happening.
When you add to the ineffectiveness of the political opposition the ineffectiveness of civil society organizations, labor syndicates and the media, it becomes clearer why it was so easy for Erdogan to push his plans through.
Perhaps the most striking reason for the oppositionand’s relative silence in the face of all this was that so many people believed in the story of the and”parallel state.and” Countless important political, social and media pundits ascribed the events playing out in the main arena to being an and”AKP-Gandulen groupand” fight, and thus stood back. And this, from the very start, was Erdoganand’s goal.
The June 7 parliamentary elections didnand’t turn out the way Erdogan had been hoping they would. This Sundayand’s elections are simply the continuation of the story.
If there is any positive aspect to the development of the takeover of the ipek Media Group, it is the widespread understanding now that it is not just the Gandulen movement which preoccupies the AKP and Erdogan.
The story of the AKP and Erdogan will set off in a new direction on Sunday. Either this story will come to a close, or it will lead us into a more painful final chapter than we had either expected or believed possible.
Unfortunately, the Nov. 1 election will neither be fair nor secure. But despite this, I do believe that the resounding message from ballot boxes will be this: and”No more tyranny!and”