February 27, 2015

My answer to the police’s summary: Do not lend support to al-Qaeda

Emre Uslu

As you know, an arrest warrant was issued for me on charges of my connection to the Hizmet movement, inspired by Fethullah Gülen.

A summary of proceedings has been prepared. My lawyer sent me the summary. I read all the nonsense. I will answer the accusations one by one. The summary is crammed full of stuff and nonsense whose apparent intention is to take revenge on me for bringing to the agenda the National Intelligence Organization's (MİT) policies and alleging that it lent support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda and telling them not to do so "because you are damaging the country's interests by doing so." To take revenge, they are trying to establish nonsensical links with ridiculous claims.

Let us start: The police's summary of proceedings maintains that the dialogues used in the "Decision Board" scene in the soap opera "Şefkat Tepe" (Compassion Hill) are the same as my writings and there is a chronological similarity between my articles and the TV serials of the Gülen movement.

First, let us read the following quotes from the police's summary. In order to explain better the police's manner of reasoning, I will make a lengthy quote. The police argue: "Two days after Fethullah Gülen delivered his speech titled ‘Murders committed in the name of the religion' on Sept. 25, 2013 in the edition of the Zaman newspaper dated Sept. 25, 2013, the matter was reported in the news with an emphasis on Islamophobia. Then, the ‘Decision Board' scene of the TV serial ‘Şefkat Tepe,' aired on Sept. 28, 2013 on Samanyolu TV, touched on Islamophobia. During the same scene, the actors were heard to say: 'Turkey will be listed as a country supporting terrorism or as a terrorist state and reports will be prepared to show Turkey aiding illegal organizations which are considered terrorist organizations by the international community, and it will be ensured that the country becomes isolated in the international arena by creating the perception that Turkey is aiding al-Qaeda and illegal Islamic radical organizations.' Afterwards, in his column dated Oct. 24, 2013, Emre Uslu wrote that 'Westerners nurture serious suspicions about al-Qaeda's activities being controlled from Turkey and that MİT's non-systemic activities will lead to Turkey's isolation and Turkey will even be blacklisted as a country supporting terrorism.' ... It is understood that the only purpose of portraying the incidents in this manner is to 'make sure that Turkey is blacklisted as a country supporting terrorism and isolated in the international arena by creating the impression that it supports terror organizations,' as noted in the TV serial 'Şefkat Tepe.' In this way, they are trying to make the international community declare Turkey a terrorist state."

Where shall I begin with this nonsense?

1. Is it a crime that there are similarities between an article by a columnist and the dialogue in a TV serial?

2. Is it a crime for a columnist to contribute to public opinion? Which law details such a crime?

None of the charges mentioned in the police's nonsensical and unlawful summary has any presence in criminal law. There is no crime as "creating perceptions" or "parallelism between a column and a TV serial."

Suppose such a crime is manufactured. Aren't you supposed to be a bit more careful with your fabrications? The police's entire theory is this: "First, Fethullah Gülen makes a speech. Then, this speech is turned into the script for the TV serial ‘Şefkat Tepe' to manage public perception. In parallel to these developments, Emre Uslu writes an article. Thus, he contributes to the organization's perception-engineering efforts. All these relations reveal the relationship within a crime syndicate."

If, taking into consideration this manner of reasoning, I prove that I wrote the ideas, quoted by the police above, long before those dialogues in "Şefkat Tepe," what will the police do? I don't think they will apologize. This is because like the investigation, this summary was drafted upon instruction. This is why this enforced fabrication does not go with the facts; it is all in tatters. I made the warning even before Fethullah Gülen did...

Before disclosing my column that will refute the police's thesis and its date, let us remember the date when Gülen gave his speech: Sept. 25, 2013. If I say I wrote my article on Sept. 19, 2013 (given the fact that I sent the article one day before it was published in the paper), i.e., one week before Gülen's speech, saying that it was bad for Turkey to give the impression that it was supporting terrorism, what will the police do?

On Sept. 19, 2013 I wrote an article titled "Who backs al-Nusra?" In that article, I wrote the following: "Turkey and the Turkish government have been turned into state which is accused by the West of aiding al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (al-Qaeda). Turkey's credibility is undermined. For this reason, the public in the West is asking: ‘Would it be better if we had left the region to the Kurds (Kurdistan Workers' Party or the PKK)?' Having received this message, [Democratic Union Party (PYD) Co-chair] Saleh Muslim, sent harsh messages to [President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan, saying, 'You talk to us on one hand, but you send your jackals to us on the other.' Thus, he gave the message to the Western public, 'Support us instead of the Turks, who are aiding al-Qaeda.' Who has put the Erdoğan administration in this situation?"

It wasn't only me who made similar warnings. Moreover, none of these views were original. All critical media outlets in Turkey and the Western press were replete with news reports about how Turkey had turned into a country that supports terrorism. Similar reports can still be found in the media. If a prosecutor brings an action with these charges, I can supply him with hundreds of news stories from The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the newspapers Yurt, Sözcü and even Hürriyet.

If it is a crime to give the warning “Do not collaborate with terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda,” then you should go and try the journalists who wrote similar articles before or after my article in a number of newspapers including Yurt, Sözcü, Birgün, Hürriyet and Taraf. On Sept. 8, 2013 -- i.e., 10 days before my article -- Tolga Tanış wrote in Hürriyet that US intelligence was extremely concerned about Turkey's support for al-Qaeda and ISIL. Here is the quote from Tanış: "According to US military intelligence reports, there are about 1,200 different organizations which tout themselves as dissidents in Syria. Turkey's approach to al-Nusra has created great concern. This applies to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Arms shipments and the deployment of hundreds of foreign jihadists to the region are tolerated."

A week before I wrote the article in question, the German government had answered a parliamentary question as follows: "We have received intelligence that Turkey is lending support to al-Qaeda and al-Nusra, but we don't have concrete evidence." Where should you put these statements in this picture? Is there room for them in your summary? Will you issue an arrest warrant also against Tanış and Oda TV on charges of creating the perception that Turkey aids al-Qaeda? I don't suggest you should do so; I am just giving
an example to show you the nonsense...

I again commit the crime of saying "Don't help al-Qaeda."

If it is a crime to say "Don't aid al-Qaeda or pro-al-Qaeda radical terror organizations," then yes, I have committed that crime. I commit it again. It runs counter to Turkey's interests to cooperate with terror organizations like al-Qaeda and ISIL. It is wrong even if you adopt it as a state policy, and I have the right to criticize it. Criticizing it is not creating perceptions. Given the concrete evidence and evidential documents, you make courts release the people who conducted bargaining for arms smuggling (How was Heysem Topalca released and why?) and then you accuse a columnist who wrote "It is wrong to support terrorism" of creating the perception that Turkey is aiding terrorists with fabricated crime definitions. Is that it?

Do you think Western countries are stupid?

No one but your trolls accepts this Eastern guile. Are Westerners stupid and silly? Do you think Germany, which acknowledged it had wiretapped your communication, does not know what you are up to? Do you think the United Nations, which examined arm shipments and drafted a report about it, does not know what you are doing? Former US Ambassador to Turkey Francis J. Ricciardone openly said: "The [Turkish] government was supporting al-Nusra. We warned, but they didn't take heed. They continued to work with al-Nusra." The US already knows what you are doing, so they don't need the perception-engineering efforts of mine as you claimed. In the White House, US President Barack Obama once accused Turkey of backing al-Qaeda.

Now do you think you can feign stupidity and hurl accusations at me so that you can create the perception that you actually don't help al-Nusra? Who whispers this advice into your ears? Yesterday, you wrote that Sümeyye Erdoğan will be assassinated. Now, you come up with such a ridiculous police summary. I don't have to do anything to put you in a ridiculous situation. Who is making you perform these stupidities? Fuat Avni?

Published on Today's Zaman, 27 February 2015, Friday