Orhan Kemal Cengiz
For the last year not a single day has passed without hearing these infamous words: parallel state. These were present in almost every speech made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They have been in the headlines everyday in every single newspaper close to the government.
Tens of thousands of police and public officials were relocated, disciplined, punished, intimidated and subjected to all kinds of mobbing with these magic words.
Judges and prosecutors were dispersed all across the country just because they were associated with the parallel state.
The graft probe was dismissed; the police officers who conducted it were put in prison for allegedly acting on behalf of the parallel state.
Bank Asya was raided after being portrayed by pro-government media as the financer of the parallel state.
The right to collect charitable donations of the Kimse Yok Mu organization – one of the biggest humanitarian aid charities in Turkey -- was revoked for allegedly being associated with the parallel state.
The offices of the Zaman daily and the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group were raided, and journalists were taken into custody and put in prison just because they were members of the parallel state.
The government has been changing virtually the entire legal system using these words.
Some people who present themselves as democrats have excused all of the anti-democratic steps of this government, saying that such steps are necessary measures to fight against the parallel state.
In sum, this government has been leaving no stone unturned in its search for members of the parallel state; they have made every effort to get rid of this parallel state; they tell us all these abnormal measures are necessary to fight against this parallel state. We should be patient and silently wait for democracy.
Democracy will follow as soon as this government has completed its war against the parallel state.
Well, a few days ago, the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) presented an excellent motion of inquiry to Parliament.
They said that the government has alleged that the Gülen movement has organized within the state and have been acting as a kind of parallel state. We suggest, they said, a parliamentary inquiry into these parallel state structures within the state.
What would one expect the reaction of the government against this motion to be? This proposition was dismissed with the votes of members of the ruling party in Parliament.
In the American Heritage Dictionary McCarthyism is defined as “the political practice of publicizing accusations of disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence.”
Well, in the case of Turkey, put “insufficient regard to evidence” aside. The ruling party does not feel it needs any evidence, let alone consistent, coherent allegations.
Do you know what happened after the motion for inquiry was dismissed in Parliament?
Now, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has alleged that the People's Republican Party (CHP), the main opposition party, is under the control of the parallel state and that members of the CHP are taking orders from Fethullah Gülen because Gülen has in his possession the sex tapes of 45 members of the CHP.
Well, after seeing the “fight” against the parallel state in Turkey, we should say that we all might have exaggerated McCarthyism and the devil it represents.
New and unprecedented chapters of the witch hunt have now been written in Turkey that make McCarthyism look like child's play.
Published on Today's Zaman, 19 February 2015, Thursday