Power and corruption

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party)ame to power in 2002 with a background in political Islam in its pocket, but it now appears that the AK Party has broken from the long-standing Islamic tradition of rejecting excessive wealth and the culture of luxury.
In the beginning, Turkeyand’s ruling party managed to pull in the masses by declaring, and”Weand’ve taken off our National View [the political stream of which they were a part before] shirts.and” This was boosted by the repetition of the old Welfare Party (RP) slogan of and”fair order.and” It now appears that the rhetoric of the AK Partyand’s old conceptual platform — of fighting injustice, of promoting a modest life and of ensuring that everyone has access to a fair share of prosperity — is in fact quite empty.
The chasm that now lies between the AK Party and the foundational concepts of justice and development — on which the party is theoretically supposed to be based — is immense. The Turkish public can see clearly that the justice system is no longer either independent or objective. As for development, itand’s evident to all that as far as the ruling party is concerned this is a term that applies only to a small, quite happy circle close to the AK Party.
Workers pushing for their rights are denigrated loudly as and”ungrateful.and” Opposition parties promising to raise the minimum wage to something reasonable are declared enemies. As this all happens, the state appears to have been taken hostage by levels of luxury and ostentation befitting a sultanate. When the news broke that Mehmet GandOrmez, the head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, had returned the Mercedes — worth TL 1 million — that was gifted to him, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan intervened. and”Had I known, I never would have allowed it to be returned,and” he said. Right after this, he told GandOrmez and”I have wonderful news,and” and presented the directorate with a special armored vehicle. We are all keenly aware that Turkey is not actually that rich of a country.
It is unacceptable that these resources are being unfairly and illegally hoarded by a tight circle of ruling party supporters. But what is happening should not be interpreted the abandonment of Islamism for some sort of secularization. It is more like a contest in vulgarity or perhaps, to use Hilmi Yavuzand’s great phrase, and”landumpen Islamism.and”
None of this showy extravagance should be interpreted as a sign that Turkeyand’s coffers are full. What it really shows is the relative indifference of the faction of people who are busy grabbing up all the state resources, motivated by the fear that they may fall from power at any moment. And for people who apparently donand’t fear Allah, how can chiding words from true believers have any effect?
All the stolen money and other ill-gotten gains belong to the people of Turkey. All the promises about Turkey being the leader of the Islamic world in the future were just another tactic used to manipulate the people. Let me recall a recent headline from a newspaper that joined the chorus of pro-government media a bit later than some of its counterparts: and”Itand’s a different era now.and” The story goes on to tell about how no longer do Turks living abroad send money to their relatives in Turkey, rather it is the other way around, as the economic crisis has hit Germany. In the words of a Turkish government minister in charge of EU relations: and”True unemployment is alive and kicking in Europe. We are not going to head there. If we were to open our gates, theyand’d com.and” This is of course an invented piece of news. It is a lie that Turks in Turkey are now sending funds to their families in Europe, and thereand’s little chance that the reporter who wrote this even believed it.
Just compare living standards and conditions in Europe with those in Turkey compare basic rights and freedoms. Donand’t you really think that if Europe were to open its gates and lift visa restrictions, even the people writing such news, or those ordering it to be written, would head for Europe immediately? Why do those pro-government media supporters both lampoon Western civilization and try to benefit as much as they can from the opportunities it provides?
Consider that their children mostly go to universities in the West. Think of how they spend their holidays there, grabbing up real estate. The AK Party — which has completely chewed up and spit out the spiritual and financial dimensions of Islamism — is also rapidly losing any alliances it has with Western powers, knowing well that friendly relations with the West would make its own legitimacy more difficult to defend.
The AK Party — which is completely encompassed by gangrene at this point — wants to suck the whole society into this cesspool of rot, making them partners in the partyand’s spiritual and financial crimes. When this happens, neither societal nor individual consciences will remain. What all of this shows is that when you arenand’t ashamed, you can do anything you wish. It is a lesson confirmed by history.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman