October 11, 2015

Before and after the carnage…

Nazlı Ilıcak

A cortege that gathered at Ankara’s main train station junction for a Peace Rally was bombed. It is a terrible event, similar to what happened in Suruç. The same dark actors were involved in the blast, at HDP’s Diyarbakır rally on the eve of the elections of June 7th. Thanks to citizens’ prudence in Diyarbakır, terrorists’ vile ambitions were frustrated then.

People with consideration and comprehension were aware of the fate Turkey was facing. Everyone was sensing the disasters that can be caused by the hunger for power. However, Ahmet Davutoğlu sadly failed to step in and take initiative; he surrendered. The coalition should have been formed after June 7th. It wasn’t, because AK Party offered the CHP a 3 months government. It couldn’t be formed, because the MHP did not want to be on the same page with the HDP.

Security forces were scattered. Anti-terror specialist police officers were removed from duty. They were condemned. With the help of the pro-government media, intelligence surveillances were declared criminal, despite the knowledge that for Turkey, like any other country that faces imminent threats of terrorism, intelligence is crucial for the prevention of acts of violence. Indeed, intelligence surveillance is also known as preventive surveillance. Even if there is no concrete suspicion of a crime, any information is closely monitored and a connection is sought for the person in question with an organization.

Before Tayyip Erdoğan began the “parallel myth”, police officers – those who are in prison now – had caught several suicide bombers. A tale about the “Fethullah Terrorist Organization” was made up. Using that lie, they tried to cover up graft allegations, claiming they were part of a “coup” effort. Experienced and well-equipped police officers were removed; their replacements were mobilized to pursue the Hizmet Community, instead of truly surveilling terrorists. Before the courts, Hidayet Karaca, Gültekin Avcı and Mehmet Baransu are now terror criminals. Similarly, Mehmet Boydak has been taken into custody. The police raided community-affiliated schools, even nursery schools. And don’t think they were looking for weapons… They checked whether dustbins were plastic or metal, or if signs were written in accordance with regulations. There is a terror investigation even against the Doğan Media Group. People are being provoked against each other. The same thing has been going on since the Gezi Park protests. Any dissident voice or action was denounced as the enemy’s subversive effort so masses that supported AK Party could be consolidated.

But they went on… The Suruç massacre, which is still unsolved, and the following hideous murders of the two police officers resulted in the shelving of the settlement process; the PKK headquarters in the Kandil Mountain were bombed. Davutoğlu yielded to that plan as well. He raised no objection to the breaking of the Dolmabahçe arrangement.

On the way to the November 1st elections, the objective was to push the HDP below the election threshold. The aim was to raise tensions in a polarized environment where the electorate would blame the HDP for the increase in terrorist acts.

Since June 7th, 150 security officers have been killed. The HDP’s call for peace recently seemed to be achieving its goal. Co-chairs Bese Hozat and Cemil Bayık issued statements suggestive of a unilateral ceasefire. And just as we were thinking in relief that peace may prevail until the elections, there came the Ankara blast. It is not easy to establish who is behind the explosion and what their real intention is. The aggressors in the Suruç massacre are still unknown. So are the actors behind the Diyarbakır explosion. Such incidents benefit neither the opposition, nor the ruling party, but it is clear that it does great harm to Turkey.

The bulk of responsibility lays with the government, which is to be blamed for creating so much tension and polarization, and for its divisive policies that pitch people against each other. The reason for the current volatility is the hunger for power and the fear for having to account for corruption, which in turn make for the present unlawfulness and arbitrariness. Everyone is anxious and nobody feels certain about the near future.

Tayyip Erdoğan or Ahmet Davutoğlu may use their proponents to propagate the idea that “the June 7 elections did not allow for a single-party government, hence the instability”. That claim may be countered with the following question, as voiced by Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, more or less along the same lines: “What measure do you want to take against terror? Tell us, and we will give you the support.”

I believe the starting point should be the reinstitution of the disbanded police staff. The approach that ignores merit and appoints proponents should be left behind.

Published on BGNNews, 1 October 2015, Saturday