Ever since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan launched a battle against the faith-based Hizmet movement after a corruption probe went public on Dec. 17, 2013, almost no day has passed without pro-government media outlets' bringing forward allegations about the “parallel structure or state” and associating any negative development in the country with this so-called structure.
The “parallel state” or “parallel structure” is a phrase often used by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, its former leader Erdoğan and his supporters to refer to the Hizmet movement inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
Erdoğan launched a battle against the movement following the Dec. 27 graft probe in which senior government members were implicated. Erdoğan, who was the prime minister at the time, accuses Hizmet of masterminding the graft probe with the aim of toppling his government. Hizmet strongly denies the accusations.
A news report in the pro-government Sabah daily on Thursday, which was based on anonymous intelligence sources, claimed that the “parallel structure” changed the ear tags on cows to present them as calves in order to receive TL 300 premiums paid by the state to animal caterers for each calf they raise in order to encourage meat production. The state does not pay any premiums for cows. The story said the “parallel structure” changed the ear tags of a total of 4,000 cows, hence unlawfully receiving TL 12 million from the state's budget.
The daily also linked the meat shortage experienced in Turkey several years ago with the “parallel structure.”
To substantiate these claims, the views of anonymous sector representatives were included in the story who said: “Since 2007, members of the parallel structure have convinced animal breeders to sell their animals by giving, let's say, TL 15 for a cow that actually has a price of TL 10. The sold cows were slaughtered, hence their reproduction was prevented. Then, claims were spread through the media about the absence of a sufficient amount of meat in the market, imposing pressure on the ministry [Turkey's Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry] for imports of meat. They acquired great profit from imports. … Their goal is to slaughter cows to prevent reproduction, hence opening the way for meat imports.”
Published on Today's Zaman, 01 January 2015, Thursday