January 5, 2015

The meaning of this crisis

Ali Bulaç

In the wake of the Dec. 17 and 25 bribery and corruption operations, the faction led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has directed two main accusations at the Hizmet movement: a) that the Hizmet movement has become involved in a plot constructed by foreign powers -- notably, the US and Israel -- with the aim of overthrowing the elected government of Turkey, and b) that the Hizmet movement has gone all the way into people's bedrooms with its wiretaps.

Though an entire year has passed since these original accusations were made, there is still no sign of any concrete proof to back these claims. Renata Sommer, a European parliamentarian and member of the Christian Democratic Union, asserts, in her capacity as a member of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, that allegations of a coup attempt against the Ankara government are ridiculous. As Sommer also notes, there are simply no documents to back these claims.

In addition, the police arrested in connection with the wiretaps have not been asked one single question in relation to espionage. As far as these “illegal wiretaps,” the suspects have underscored two arguments: “The wiretaps are completely legal, and our chiefs and the top-level officers all knew all about them!”

The vast majority of Justice and Development Party (AK Party) members, however, do not believe these allegations. Despite all this, traces of the Hizmet movement have been sought under every stone, while both corruption and the transition of the southeastern Anatolian region into a federation are being covered up; at the same time, the operation against the Hizmet movement is being used as an election strategy.

There are of course sympathizers of the 40-year-old Hizmet movement. When the AK Party came to power in 2002, it took advantage of help from the Hizmet movement, both to help close the gaps in the AK Party in terms of personnel as well as to ward off expected coup attempts. In the meantime, quite a few coup attempts were revealed.

Even if there were occasional legal violations -- and these of course cannot be ignored -- to say that there were truly no coup attempts, to say that there were no military coups, to say that there weren't thousands that went missing, to say that the country wasn't been shaken by assassinations, to say that there weren't junta-type organizations that had taken root in the Turkish military, all of this would make even a child laugh.

No, this country has seen coups, has had its Parliament disbanded, has seen its Constitution shelved and has seen hundreds of thousands suffer. Measures were taken against the guardian authority. If precautions had been taken against the guardian regime to the full extent, Turkey might have turned out to be a state of law.

Two important developments occurred that derailed this process: One was Ankara's 2011 attempt to try and regain power and authority in the Middle East by overthrow the regime in Syria via a “neo-Ottoman ideology,” and the other was the revelations of bribery and corruption that emerged.

From the very start of all of this I have believed that these operations were NATO-centered. There are certainly those who know this in the government, that the Hizmet movement is being used as an instrument. In the meantime, this message is being given to those carrying out these operations: “If you are going to harm us, we will create absolute chaos. We will burn down the city and then turn it over to you. And just look, that's what we're doing!”

On the other hand, the AK Party, which has been isolated, has tried to find its savior in cooperation with the Ergenekon supporters as well as by leaning on Abdullah Öcalan. The support from these two factions has been provided granted “Erdoğan finishes off the Hizmet movement.”

Thus it is that, unfortunately, the AK Party has formed an alliance with Ergenekon supporters and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which in fact is actually an alliance with Ergenekon supporters and members of the PKK who want to take revenge on the Hizmet movement. The AK Party has actually been taken hostage. If the Hizmet movement is targeted by a blow, one can be certain that next in line will be the AK Party and the other groups.

Published on Today's Zaman, 05 January 2015, Monday