A pinch of fear in every Turkish citizen
Russian Ambassador to Ankara Andrey Karlov was the victim of a hateful assassination. May the ambassador who we know was a very good person rest in peace. My condolences and regrets to his family and the Russian people.
The assassination against the Russian ambassador is not just a crude attack; it is a well-calculated, finely tuned professional assassination.
So professional that even if the cold-blooded assassin Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş may have not considered it, whoever led him obviously took into consideration the psychology of Turkish society.
We know that the murderer was a policeman. We know he entered the Çankaya Contemporary Arts Center where the exhibition was organized by showing his police ID. Apparently, those who planned the attack calculated the effect of being a police officer on society.
If the assassin were not a police officer – if his police ID had been fake, he would again have been able to easily enter and take his place behind the ambassador. As a matter of fact, he would not even have needed to show a fake ID; he could have verbally said, “I’m a policeman” and with the help of that attitude, he would have passed the entrance and gotten in.
If he had been a soldier or showed a fake military ID, that could also have worked; he could have said “I am an officer” and gotten in; he could have taken his position behind the ambassador.
The reason is that in our society, you do not ask for the ID of a member of the military. You can’t, because our citizens do not question the police or the soldier. This is a psychological state. Our education system does not raise a person with the “courage” to ask questions to the police officer, the soldier, actually to the uniformed guard or even somebody wearing a private security uniform. This is because the civil servant, especially the uniformed one, is acknowledged as sacred. Our society is educated to obey the state with a culture of submission to the police, soldier and civil servant.
Being an individual and using the rights of a citizen and the right to question the state and the civil servant are not taught. They represent the state authority and cannot be questioned.
A pinch of fear is planted into our people when they are very young. Respect, mixed with that fear, blocks us from asking for the identity of the police or member of the military. It deems it unethical to suspect them. This education system translates into a social deficiency.
Because this is so, the assassin police officer, Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş, I am sure, added a mysterious air as he showed his ID and easily found his way in. Nobody at the entrance asked him, “Let me take a look at your ID; are you assigned here and on which duty; are you guarding the ambassador?”
Those who planned this assassination calculated using the superiority of being the police and the military in our society.
There is also the oriental negligence in this incident. In the oriental person, there is always the belief, “Well, nothing is going to happen.”
Because of this culture, we applaud and appreciate the leader or the politician who goes without guards. Because our leaders and politicians know this, they please people by mingling with the crowds, risking their lives. They even scold the police trying to protect them, drawing applause when they tell them to withdraw.
This is oriental business…
A similar negligence is observed in the Russian ambassador’s assassination. He has reported to have had a modest personality, going to places without guards. As a matter of fact, this is not correct behavior.
Especially after the Syrian incident, at a time when protests were being held in front of the Russian consulate, for him to wander around without protection is serious negligence.
Of course, it is a separate issue of negligence for the Russian embassy not to have asked for protection from the Ankara Police Department. Likewise, it is serious negligence that the Turkish police was not able to provide security at the most critical area where dozens of uniformed and civilian officers were on duty, where the United States, Germany and Austrian embassies are located as well as other official institutions.
Another serious point of negligence is that the police department which has fired or suspended thousands of police after July 15 was not aware of a policeman such as Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş in the heart of Ankara.
There is a Western saying, “Trust but check.”
This is what we lack. We immediately trust the person we come across.
You cannot see a U.S. ambassador or an Israeli ambassador without protection. Even if they want to, their guards do not allow them to go free.
The difference lies there.