October 22, 2015

Public servant asks Erdoğan for promotion after ‘cleaning up members of parallel structure’

A letter addressing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been published by a daily showing how a public servant working as an auditor/superintendent at the Aydın Mufti's Office described to the president his efforts to “fight against the [so-called] parallel structure” and asking for an appointment to a post at the presidential palace.

According to a report by the Sözcü daily, the auditor/superintendent, identified only by his initials, S.A., wrote a letter to Erdoğan in which he asked for a promotion as he said he had “cleaned up members of the parallel [structure].” Sözcü says the letter was then sent to the Religious Affairs Directorate by the Office of the President, asking the highest religious body to do “what is necessary.”

In his letter, S.A. described how he fought against the so-called parallel structure by saying: “The inquisition and investigation of 26 officials who associated with the parallel structure and worked under the Provincial Mufti's Office where I was occupied have been carried out by myself. A few of these officials were dismissed while the rest were reshuffled inside or outside of the province along with other various [disciplinary] punishments.” In his letter, S.A. also noted that he would “continue fighting this [parallel] structure everywhere and at all times to the end based on his authority."

The term “parallel structure” was coined by Erdoğan two years ago after his inner circle was implicated in a graft probe that went public on Dec. 17, 2013. Erdoğan was prime minister at the time. He accused a faith-based civil group, the Gülen movement, of attempting but failing to overthrow his government through the graft probe carried out by the movement's sympathizers. Erdoğan, however, still lacks evidence to explain how police officers and prosecutors who were only investigating a corruption case as part of their duties attempted to overthrow his government.

The letter by S.A. is the latest instance of how Erdoğan's hate speech has led parts of society to feel enmity towards sympathizers of the Gülen movement and to create a so-called duty of fighting it. In his self-declared war against the movement, Erdoğan went even so far as to say on one occasion, “If reassigning individuals who betray this country is called a witch hunt, then yes, we will carry out this witch hunt.”

Published on Today's Zaman, 22 October 2015, Thursday