October 17, 2015

Prosecutor drafts indictment using Erdoğan’s hate speech

A recent indictment of Turkey's largest-ever corruption investigation employs the usage of fantasy novel characters, conspiracy theories, age-old tales and, more alarmingly, rhetoric surprisingly similar to that of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The prosecutor of a court case must provide “evidence of the offense” in the indictment they prepare, according to Clause (J) of Article 170 of the Code on Criminal Procedure (CMK).

İstanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor İsmail Uçar, however, not only fails to provide evidence of any offenses committed by the defendants but also echoes Erdoğan's hated-filled and scaremongering rhetoric and the same editorials, commentaries and accusations appearing in the pro-Erdoğan media.

Accusing the police chiefs who launched the graft probes revealed on Dec. 17 and 25, 2013 and Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen of attempting to overthrow the government, Uçar seeks to turn the country's largest-ever graft scandal into an “anti-coup” investigation.

Uçar's indictment has faced ridicule from opposition lawmakers and legal experts for its abundant usage of fables, myths and even characters from the J.R.R Tolkien bestsellers, “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.”

For example, retired prosecutor Mete Göktürk recently told the media: “I haven't read the whole indictment. But the stories, myths, films told here diminish the significance of the indictment. Accusations not proven by tangible evidence are not taken into consideration.”

“When you talk about the law, it is serious business. It [indictment] cannot be filled with unnecessary things. There is no place for subjective evaluations in the law,” he said.

Following this fanciful introduction, Uçar's indictment reveals its inner workings as a political statement rather than a legal document that presents facts and evidence, using rhetoric similar to that of Erdoğan and his associates within the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

Uçar borrows ‘domestic collaborators of West' rhetoric from Erdoğan

Uçar begins the indictment by claiming all the civilizations previously established in Anatolia such as the Hittites, Lydian, Romans, Seljuks and Ottomans were all superpowers of their times.

He adds Turkey did not rise to superpower status because it was deliberately thwarted by “especially our Western friends and their collaborators at home.”

Nearly word for word, Erdoğan, while on the campaign trail for the March 30, 2014 municipal election, had accused “domestic collaborators” of conspiring with Western forces to topple his government.

These “domestic collaborators” included opposition parties, major business groups, media conglomerates and the Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement -- a grassroots civil society organization inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.

Uçar calls the wars in Iraq and Syria “all sectarian conflicts provoked by the West.”

He also claims Western nations are using religion to colonize Middle Eastern states, adding, “The sheikh-looking US and British spies have been continuing their operations for centuries in Afghanistan and [Saudi] Arabia.”

Uçar's Gezi Park criticism poor copy of Erdoğan's discourse

Erdoğan's xenophobic rhetoric was particularly visible during and after the Gezi Park protests in the summer of 2013, which began in the summer of 2013 as a wave of protests to prevent the AK Party from pushing through its plans to build an Ottoman-style barracks in place of the park.

Uçar claims the Western nations that were “uncomfortable” with the AK Party's governance of Turkey used the Gezi Park protests as a pretext to “develop an attitude” towards Turkey.

Pointing out that some members of the European Parliament, referring to Claudia Roth, even witnessed the Gezi Park protests, Uçar draws attention to the European Parliament's decision to condemn Turkey and decries the Gezi Park as a “coup attempt.”

He claims programs aired on CNN, statements made by Amnesty International (AI), the White House, former US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans and former National Security Council spokesperson former Laura Lucas all calling for a scale-down of police brutality towards demonstrators during the Gezi Park protests are “not a coincidence.”

Uçar includes term ‘parallel structure' widely used by Erdoğan

For example, the derogatory term “parallel structure,” devised by Erdoğan and his associates within the AK Party to vilify members of the Gülen movement, is used 149 times in the indictment.

There is no legal definition of the term “parallel structure” set out by the Supreme Court of Appeals, but it is readily used by Erdoğan to denigrate members of the Gülen movement and present the civil society organization as a national security threat.

For example, on page 290 of the indictment, Uçar states, “As a citizen of the Republic of Turkey, one has no safeguard against this parallel structure.”

Similarly on page 179, he mentions “… forming a parallel structure within the state and managing this structure with directives from across the ocean …” in an oblique reference to Gülen, who currently resides in the US in self-imposed exile.

Uçar borrows terms traitor, treason, haşhaşi from Erdoğan

In public rallies leading up to the municipal and presidential elections in 2014, Erdoğan slammed Gülen for having met with Pope John Paul II in 1998, calling him all kinds of slanderous names such as "false prophet,” "traitor," "treasonous" and "hashashin" -- a member of a medieval order that spread political influence through assassinations -- among others.

Similarly, Uçar uses the term “traitor” five times and the term “treason” 14 times against the defendants without putting forth any shred of proof and in clear violation of their rights.

In the indictment Uçar also uses the term hashashin, even if only by way of adding audio surveillance tapes of one of the defendants, Okan Vural, who states on the phone to a friend that he is not one of the “hashashin.”

Uçar: EU treatment of asylum seekers there for world to see

In the conclusion, Uçar decries the treatment of asylum seekers from Syria and Iraq by Western states, "which rant about human rights issue in their annual reports in which they criticize Turkey."

“Journalists kicking asylum seekers; the Western civilization that makes up excuses not to allow asylum seekers who have come in boats has failed,” he says.

Published on Today's Zaman, 17 October 2015, Saturday