October 31, 2015

Nov.1: No security of life and property, but there is hope

Ali Yurttagül

Today is Nov. 1. It is a historic day for Turkey.

The people went to the polls for a second time in five months. We are having this general election because a tiny minority of people facing corruption investigations ignored the popular will after the June 7 election. It is not an ordinary process; and it is not based on a decision by Parliament. The worsening political and economic crisis, the corruption and escalated terror is not a problem for them. They fight to stay in power. It would be naïve to expect them to respect the popular will and democracy. They consider democracy and elections as a tool. And they use religion to justify doing everything as per their wishes.

We all know that following the massacres of Suruç and Ankara, and this week's media takeover, there is no life and property security in the country. The state is unable to protect the lives of its citizens. Pro-government figures were appointed trustees to Koza İpek Holding and its publications and TV channels. Turkey is now a banana republic. Arbitrariness is everywhere. What we have is a repressive regime. The president defends the decision. He argues this is a terror operation. There is no terror organization, there is no court decision, there is no legal basis. He defends the appointment of trustee as follows: “Number one flees. Then he says, ‘there is nothing wrong.' So why do you flee?” But this is the case everywhere: people run away from repressive regimes where there is no legality. For this reason, millions of people around the world have to run away from their countries. Turkey has seen this in times after successful government coups.

They had respected and visited Fethullah Gülen until the Dec. 17 and 25, 2013 operations, yet he is now referred to as a leader of a terrorist organization. It has only been two years since then-Foreign Minister and current interim Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu visited Gülen. Now he is listed alongside members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C). Last year, the government even issued an arrest warrant for him. Koza İpek Holding and its publications have been looted for allegedly supporting terror. When will they come after the thousands of people who are sympathizers of the Gülen movement? Why are the Cumhuriyet, Zaman and Hurriyet dailies due to be next, but only after the elections? Why not now?

Well, the mask is down. It is evident that even if you, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) are elected, you are not democratic. A regime that ignores rule of law and press freedom and confiscates the properties of the opponents cannot stand and survive. That is possible in Russia and Iran where it is possible to generate economic wealth by relying on oil. But it is not possible in Turkey where the economy depends on the fruits of hard work. This is why military regimes did not survive, and why you will become lost in the dark pages of history. The public will recall your corruption. This country will not carry you anymore.

Are you not aware that this political crisis is so deep? We have seen classical, modern and post-modern coups. And we are now experiencing a civilian coup under this administration.

The state exists to protect lives and property. But we see that the threat to the life and property comes from the civilian coup makers. A review of the identities of the people who were targeted in the Suruç and Ankara terror attacks is sufficient to see who exactly is under huge threat. Please take a look at the identities of the people who were killed in these attacks and of the people who were brought to trial after the Gezi protests just because they joined a demonstration.

Today is Nov. 1. This is the day to respond to those who are responsible for this coup period and process. Nobody can take the will of the people hostage. It is the day to say no to the civilian coup makers. It is the day to prove that Turkey has a rich political, social, ethnic and religious identity. This is Nov. 1.

Published on Today's Zaman, 31 October 2015, Saturday