June 24, 2014

Inquisition conspiracy

Mümtazer Türköne

The question motion İdris Naim Şahin submitted to Parliament for Interior Minister Efkan Ala to answer contains serious accusations which would normally urge the government to resign.

The motion raises several questions about the comprehensive conspiracy the government is planning to finish off the Hizmet movement. The war Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is waging against the Hizmet movement by parroting a series of unfounded accusation has parallels to Şahin's claims. Şahin says the government is occupied with fabricating evidence on which to base the prime minister's accusations.

Şahin is no ordinary person. In the past, he served as interior minister for this government. He knows closely the prime minister, the state and the functioning of the government. This is why there is a convincing background to each of the questions he asks. It seems as if the government has been caught red-handed.

Şahin's claims explain well why the bug probe has ended up in a fiasco. Three years ago the prime minister announced that his office had been bugged. Although it was a colossal scandal, it had not been properly investigated thus far. This time, several police chiefs, including those who conducted the graft and bribery investigation of Dec. 17, 2013, have been taken into custody and, as their lawyers have said, they were tortuously cross-examined. In the end, most of them were released by the prosecutor while the rest were released by the court. It appears the prime minister had referred to this investigation when he said, "We entered their dens and will soon explain everything." But it failed to produce any remarkable outcome.

There is no evidence to submit to the court regarding the bug probe. Some National Intelligence Organization (MİT) staff and an adviser to the prime minister say they found a bug in an electrical outlet at the prime minister's office. However, all evidence, including fingerprints, had been obscured from the beginning and none of the procedures which need to be followed in such a case had been pursued. It is impossible to prove that such a bugging device was found in the Prime Minister's Office.

Although the prime minister declares the detained police chiefs as guilty and exerts pressure on the court, nothing can be proven. I should also note that the vice president of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) resigned from office, saying he had been forced to change the activation date of the bugging device in his report.

The Hizmet movement had faced similar methods in what came to be known as the Erzincan conspiracy. According to the plan, weapons and bombs were to be placed in the houses of members of the Hizmet movement before the police raided them, and these people would then be labeled as terrorists. This conspiracy was completely uncovered. Those who were involved in the conspiracy were arrested, and the Supreme Court of Appeals intervened in the judicial proceedings because of the status of the Erzincan chief public prosecutor, who was involved in the conspiracy.

Another detail came from former Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ, who made a statement upon his release from prison. Başbuğ said two people were responsible for his arrest: Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz, who came to the forefront in connection with the graft and bribery investigation of Dec. 17, 2013, and former Police Chief Ali Fuat Yılmazer.

The prime minister said he had arranged the release of the convicts in the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) court case although they were released in connection with a decision passed by the Constitutional Court. This picture urges us to conclude that in order to block the graft and bribery investigation of Dec. 17 and 25, Erdoğan made a deal with the generals and military officers who had been imprisoned on coup charges. He not only formed an alliance with them but also plotted conspiracies against the Gülen movement using their methods.

Şahin's question motion implies that the "witch hunt" rumors are completely true. An inquisition court is in operation and trying to eliminate all dissidents with various accusations. To this end it forms alliances with former enemies and carries out a plan of destruction resorting to intrigues.

We need to rely on the tendency of truth to come out eventually. Moreover, this inquisition is operating rather clumsily.

Published on Cihan, 24 June 2014, Tuesday