The police crackdown on the Zaman newspaper and Samanyolu TV channel will contribute to the disenchantment of people who might still be confused about Turkey's current situation and the direction it is heading with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at its helm.
What we see is not that the ruling party is trying to purge the Hizmet movement using the public resources at its disposal, which would not be a legitimate thing to do. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has invented an enemy called the "parallel state" and is currently using this discourse as an excuse for establishing a one-man regime. It is ruthlessly using all public institutions, particularly judicial bodies, to put this goal into practice.
Pro-government media outlets are trying to distort the facts as they are ordered to do so, but any sane and conscientious person can see that this crackdown's sole intention is to intimidate and silence dissident media outlets, which cannot be accepted or ignored.
But it is the truth.
Another dimension of the truth is that this operation is trying to take revenge for the graft and bribery investigation of Dec. 17 and 25, 2013 on its first anniversary.
For one year, Erdoğan has been working to dodge the corruption allegations by labeling them as an "attempted coup" and pledging to "enter their dens" to motivate his supporters. He is certainly in the grip of feelings of hate and revenge. This operation has clearly indicated that he does not care about this country's interests, economy and prestige or about internal or external political, diplomatic or social balances. He has lost self-control and is openly nurturing grudges and hatred against everyone he sees as an "obstacle" to the fulfillment of his dictatorial ambitions, which he does not hide.
The scandal is that the person nurturing these feelings of hatred and hostility is the president of the country.
A president is normally supposed to be conciliatory, all embracing and constructive. This is the presidential duty as defined in the Constitution. The only change in Erdoğan's mentality and style in his transition from the prime ministerial to presidential duty is increased acrimony and combativeness.
Even during military coup regimes in the past, subversive generals would take into consideration the potential reaction from the public, or Europe and the US, before attempting to shut down a newspaper or arrest a journalist. They would defend the arrest of journalists, saying, "They were not arrested because of their journalism."
This was the argument adopted by all repressive governments to follow. Thus, hundreds of journalists have been arrested, tortured and sentenced to extended prison terms with baseless charges, such as membership in a terrorist organization, by abusing the public's sentiments about the issue. I too, have been taken into custody, tortured and jailed with similar charges many times for being a dissident.
The public had become accustomed to the way leftist journalists are pressured and tortured under unfounded charges.
In recent years, the ruling AKP has been wielding the same stereotyped demagoguery, with AKP officials making the same statements -- "They were not arrested for their journalism." The AKP's difference is that it has considerably expanded the scope of its definition of "dissident" or "enemy."
Indeed, Ekrem Dumanlı, Hidayet Karaca and their colleagues were detained with the extremely ludicrous charges of "membership to an armed terrorist organization." The supporting evidence is as ridiculous as the charge itself.
On the first anniversary of the graft of bribery investigation of Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, the AKP wanted to intimidate the opposition with a show of power using a crackdown on the Zaman newspaper and Samanyolu TV channel. But this show will prove costly for the ruling party, as Turkey is currently standing at the crossroads between tyranny and democracy.
We must not yield to tyranny.
Published on Today's Zaman, 15 December 2014, Monday