Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been constantly attacking the Hizmet movement for the last six months.
Almost everyday, he mentions the word "Pennsylvania," which is known to mean Fethullah Gülen. Erdoğan risks his own Islamic beliefs just to lead his voters to believe that Gülen and his followers are not Muslims, but puppets and even agents of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) -- just like Ivan Watson of CNN International! -- and Mossad. Erdoğan also keeps claiming that Fethullah Gülen and Hizmet movement supporters are terrorists.
On a live TV show, he pressured a journalist to call them a terrorist organization. He also reportedly said he was aware that some of his ministers had been silent on this issue and that he would speak to them.
Yes, many of his ministers and party members have been totally silent on this issue, or they have wholeheartedly spoken out against Pennsylvania, Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet movement. In total opposition to Beşir Atalay, Efkan Ala, Bülent Arınç, Bekir Bozdağ and Ahmet Davutoğlu, others, including Minister of Customs and Trade Hayati Yazıcı, have openly stated that the prime minister's accusations of a "parallel state" are legally groundless.
It is also known that in closed, off-the-record meetings, a number of Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputies and staunch columnists who support the Erdoğan government have told their Western interlocutors that these allegations of Erdoğan's are unsubstantiated, that they cannot be proven in any court and that Erdoğan is simply making the claims to convince his voters to vote for him. I would humbly advise my American and European readers to ask this issue to, for instance, AKP deputy Osman Can or columnist Etyen Mahçupyan. I still trust their honesty despite their support of Erdoğan.
An important question is this: Why are many of these AKP members not like Erdoğan and the AKP's social media trolls, who keep libeling Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet movement? I think the answer is very simple. First and foremost, they know very well that there is not a shred of evidence against Gülen and the Hizmet movement. Erdoğan controls the state to a great extent. He has formed an alliance with the Ergenekonians in the police, judiciary and the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) against the movement, but they have not been able to come up with any evidence in the last six months.
This is too risky for Erdoğan. Erdoğan's supporters in this fight against the movement, such as Gülay Göktürk of the Bugün daily, are becoming impatient and asking for evidence. Whistleblowers have informed the public that Erdoğan has asked his bureaucrats to fabricate evidence, but since not every bureaucrat sheepishly obeys him, so far they have not been successful.
The second but most important reason for the AKP lambs' silence despite their sheepish obedience to Erdoğan is that they are not completely sure whether the AKP can stabilize its anti-democratic and authoritarian rule in the country. They know very well that Erdoğan and some of his ministers and bureaucrats have been slaughtering the rule of law, justice and regulations. They are fully aware that the corruption allegations are very serious, that legally acquired evidence is solid as a rock and that independent courts will make life difficult for Erdoğan, his family and his businessmen friends.
Moreover, they keep witnessing how all the accusations made by Erdoğan and his media have been refuted and how Erdoğan's media outlets keep publishing corrections because of court orders.
That is why they silently watch while their bleeding and cornered leader attacks in every direction. Since they are not sure if he can win this game or not, they have not left the AKP ship yet; but in their private conversations, they have started voicing their concerns.
I do not and will never feel sorry for these opportunistic and immoral politicians. They deserve Erdoğan.
Published on Today's Zaman, 04 June 2014, Wednesday