July 17, 2014

Lowdown on the 'parallel state' rhetoric

Cafer Solgun

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has for some time been wrestling with a "structure" whose very existence is questionable.

Its existence is questionable because no such organization "nested within the state" has been proven legally to exist, and no court action has been brought against it. The originator of this claim is Prime Minister Erdoğan, who has long been acting as de facto "president" of a non-existent presidential system, exerting total control over all the powers and resources of the state. Despite all efforts, the existence of such an "organization" could not be substantiated. Therefore, they decided to fabricate evidence. This is utterly scandalous in all respects.

The National Intelligence Organization (MİT), the National Police Department and some prosecutor's offices are sending "confidential" instructions and circulars urging their inferiors to find evidence to support the claim of a "parallel state." Of course, they are doing this in conformity with Prime Minister Erdoğan's "witch hunt" campaign.

They might find some fabricated evidence as a result of this frantic campaign and bring legal action against the Hizmet movement, which they accuse of being the "parallel state." However, it is pretty obvious that this lawsuit will be legally controversial. Why is Erdoğan taking the lead in this oppression?

Everyone who dominated the state apparatus so far has always needed "enemies." They have categorically argued that our country is under attack from fuzzy "internal and external enemies." They used this "enemy" concept to earn "legitimacy" for their unlawful and anti-democratic actions. They staged coups, engineered the political arena and manipulated the media.

This is exactly what inspires Erdoğan's policies. There is no "coup" threat in sight. It is becoming meaningless to keep the mentality and practices of the one-party era's Republican People's Party (CHP) on the agenda. CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's change-oriented policy certainly has a big role in this. Then against whom will Erdoğan fight? Who will be his next "enemy"?

He had to find an "excuse" for the mass reshuffling of the police and judiciary in an effort to cover up the graft and bribery operations of Dec. 17, 2013. The "parallel state" rhetoric came to his rescue.

He now points at this so-called "parallel state" as the source of all evil committed by the state, as well as all sorts of adversities experienced during the in which time the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been in power. Moreover, the AKP markets itself as a victim of this "parallel state."

Even in his presidential campaign, he continues to harangue the Hizmet movement, which he accuses of being the "parallel state." He threatens his own party, saying he will continue this quarrel after he is elected president and that he is taking note of those who have not lent him sufficient support in this fight. Those who don't know this background might think Prime Minister Erdoğan is running against someone called "the parallel state."

Erdoğan seeks to remain in power by positioning himself as a "leader who fights enemies," not by marketing his vision, deeds, policies, performance or plans. In other words, he believes that he can stay in power as long as he can keep this perception alive. For this reason, he will always need "enemies." He will describe serious criticisms of his administration as an "attempted coup." This is the main reason for targeting the Hizmet movement.

But how long can this last?

I will give a clear answer to this question. For now, I can say that even the most seemingly invincible tyrannical systems will eventually fall down.

Published on Today's Zaman, 17 July 2014, Thursday