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NURAY MERT > ‘Failing state’

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I don't know which is the best way to put it; is it “Turkey is going to be a failing state” (if not a “failed state”), or “Turkey’s politics are in a failing state?” Until recently, I termed it “sliding toward authoritarian politics,” “a democracy deficit” and "a governability crisis"; but nowadays, it seems the problem is more grave.

The Gezi events showed us the extent of social polarization and of increasing authoritarian measures, but also the enforcement of an authoritarian understanding of politics. After all, the permanent narrowing of the limits of freedoms and rights, as well as the imprisonment of journalists, demonstrators, civil activists and the like, turned out to be the rule rather than the exception. In addition, the debate on “the trust concerning the impartiality of state institutions” has been intensifying for some time, and includes trust in the justice of the judiciary.

Nevertheless, it was only after the emergence of the clash within the ruling coalition among “the conservatives,” namely between the Fethullah Gülen movement and the ruling party, that the outline of authoritarian politics has become more visible and undeniable. The exposure of a secret document from the 2004 National Security Council (MGK) by a journalist (close to the Gülen movement) not only further ignited the fight among the conservatives, but also revealed (or confirmed) that “security,” “intelligence” and indeed “the judiciary” were mere tools of political control, and that the fight was all about the control over these power centers.

As they accuse each other, following the arguments of pro-government and pro-Gülen journalists and supporters, we have started to face up to the unabashed revelations of “arbitrary rule” and injustice in this country. Responding to accusations from the Gülen movement that “the government agreed to suppress the movement by signing a MGK document in 2004,” government politicians have confirmed that the Gülen movement monopolized some sections of the security services and judiciary with the government’s approval. Just a few years ago, those who claimed that the Gülen movement had a monopoly over the security services (namely journalist Ahmet Şık and ex-intelligence member Hanefi Avcı) were arrested. The latter is still in jail. Moreover, the recent fight and debate invoked a controversy over the Ergenekon trials, especially in the case of ex-Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ, who is also in prison.

Furthermore, as the fight went on, it was revealed that when a journalist feared for his judicial security after hearing that he was going to be detained, the way forward was to play the role of a pro-government journalist. Then, it was revealed that a prominent journalist could “interfere and rescue” his friend from a possible judicial assault (see Hayko Bağdat, Taraf, Dec. 10 and Cem Küçük, Yeni Şafak, Dec. 2). No worries, says the pro-government journalist (Cem Küçük), adding that the present state of the judiciary is problematic (supposedly because it lacks universal norms and is partisan) and “it is a must to deal with this after local elections” ("yerel seçimden sonra mutlaka yargıya el atılması şart"). Still, he does not need to say “who will deal with the judiciary and how.”

On top of everything, the government is proposing a new “State Security Law Draft,” according to which it will only be the prime minister and his team of five who will decide on "what is a state secret." Even the judiciary will not be able to access information concerning state secrets for 50 years. Last but not least, reports by the Court of Accounts were not submitted to the Parliament during the annual budget talks this past week. Moreover, the government prepared a draft law to abolish all auditing, which means no financial accountability.

No transparency, no accountability, no wisdom, no shame: Call it a portrait of “a failing state” or “the failing state of Turkish politics.” It is up to you.

December/16/2013

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mara mcglothin

12/21/2013 4:41:40 PM

Great writing TEKION That pretty much sums it up.

Tekion Particle

12/17/2013 12:05:23 AM

I have been saying it since I have joined the forum here that economic success (if you consider it that) has very little to do with AKP or the dictator himself. Kemal Dervis is the real architect for which AKP has been taking credit for. If they were not so corrupt and polirising things could have been much better. While AKP lined up their pockets with untold billions over 50% of the population barely have enough to eat. Draft law to make themselves impervious to prosecution & steal all u can

Murun Buchstansangur

12/16/2013 9:32:01 PM

Heh Oz-(Dawah Grapes Down Under)-Man. Which part of the State Security Law draft and the forthcoming abolition of auditing in Turkey do you agree with? Have you stuck your head up again just to remind us of how infantile your Islamo-voyeur comments can be? Get someone to sit down with you and help you read the article again.

Red Tail

12/16/2013 9:27:36 PM

Dogan. The real econonomy (inflation adjusted) has not quadroppled. You got the facts wrong. Since you decided to live in Europe for 50 years, I guess you also realize that the argument "He built high ways" usually makes Europeans less enthusiastic since there is one polititian who is more associated with "building auto bahns" than any other. And he is not very popular among regular Europeans.

Tekir Feline

12/16/2013 8:43:27 PM

@KM, "Islamic Democracy" in reference to states like the former GDR - German Democratic Republic - probably with politicians of the same efficiency and of course the same kind of surveillance society.

mara mcglothin

12/16/2013 8:08:49 PM

DKI All these advancements, and some I would argue had nothing to do with any grand idea of the AKP, and at what cost???

Soap box

12/16/2013 5:44:28 PM

Oz_man: Isn't it horrible? When the unquestionable truth bites you on the arse it hurts doesn't it? Your rights and liberty in Oz is unquestioned, it is ours that are being stripped in Turkey. Walk a mile in our shoes then perhaps you might rethink your position.

Soap box

12/16/2013 5:40:42 PM

Dogan: Just how confused are you? You need to make your mind up or change your password 'cos someone the other week used your name to 'slam' the Government!

dogan kemal ileri

12/16/2013 2:48:36 PM

leader who has quadrupled the wealth of this country, increased exports by 7 fold, created a very good arms procurement companies, managed the economy exceptionally during the worst global recession in living memory, built 14,000 km of double lane roads, created network of airports,tunnel under the Bosphorous, 600,000 new homes,more metros in the big cities,high speed trains,stopped PKK wars, and the real people called Muslimans love the AKP and RTE in particular.and opponents made no impact

Oz_man .

12/16/2013 2:40:09 PM

Nuray this article is horrible to say the least and displays sour grapes. How can you possibly call your own country a failing state? Even if you didn't vote for the AKP this sounds very tragic to me. I voted against the current government in Australia and wouldn't call it a failed state just because I didn't he my way. Maybe you need to reassess what you stand for.
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