December 13, 2014

The parody of dictatorship and silence

Orhan Kemal Cengiz

It is as if we are watching a parody of dictatorship. Either the dictator of this game will show a pathetic indulgence while trying to satisfy his ambitions, or, as we know from the theatrical scene in Orhan Pamuk’s novel “Snow”, the guns we think are loaded with blanks will catch fire and the whole country will slide towards an irreversible state of disaster.

The night before, Turkey was a country where 150 journalists would be taken into custody some time before dawn.

Not only a Twitter phenomenon that details the names of police officers and prosecutors to be involved in the move; but also Bülent Arınç’s words that can be translated as “I hope it won’t happen” and the AK Trolls’ vindictive text messages earnestly suggest that an operation is being hatched.

If it wasn’t for real, as early as Friday morning we would have heard statements even from cabinet ministers to the effect of, “Well, you see how parallel forces do everything they can to showcase Turkey as a fascist regime.” We would have witnessed claims that people gathering before the Zaman newspaper headquarters and the Çağlayan Courthouse were “pawns of a public opinion operation organized by parallel forces.”

Instead, we have observed an ominous silence – a silence which demonstrates that Turkey is in a more pathetic state than the country where 150 journalists will be taken into custody one early morning. So this is a country where an extraordinary arbitrariness rules supreme; where a strikingly shocking operation of the arrest of 150 journalists is not taking place just because the news has leaked or conditions are not favorable.

Some people may think that the Gülen Community deserves to be “the target of antidemocratic treatment” because their media had in the past celebrated some similar practices; because they ignored the human rights violations and other transgressions and character assassinations during the proceedings of the Ergenekon and Balyoz cases. However, if that is what they think, they are badly wrong.

Such a vindictive approach would miss the fact that an outlook ready to arrest 150 journalists will start choking the rest of the media the next day. And they would also miss the fact that the so-called “parallel structure” is being used as a magic wand to destroy democracy. They would overlook the reality that all oppressive regimes in the world are built on a perception of domestic enemies.

Those who keep silent in the face of the present state of insanity today will not be able to make their voices heard when they become the target!

Published on BGNNews, 13 December 2014, Saturday