‘Let it be for the best’
The prime minister is being criticized for his remarks after the court ruling concerning the Sivas trial. But I have been nearly persuaded to accept Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s advice of “Let it be for best” – a Turkish phrase that he used in remarking on the ruling.
After all, one is easily accused of being a part of the “Ergenekon plot” if he/she has criticized governmental policies. The logic behind this is that if one criticizes the government, one deliberately helps or unconsciously plays into the hands of the Ergenekon terror organization, which is aiming to take down the government.
Similarly, if one talks of civil authoritarian politics, he/she is thought to be preparing the way for military intervention or recalling military hegemony over civilian politics. Being critical of present policies concerning the Kurdish problem is even a bigger crime, that of supporting “PKK terrorism.” Since the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fights against not only the government but also against the Turkish state, one who does not agree with official politics is not only the malicious opponent of the government but also a “public enemy.”
According to this logic, there is in fact a grand coalition of “evil forces.” Those Turkish secular nationalists who seem to be in the opposite camp from the Kurdish radical political circles are in fact friends with a common cause; that is, weakening the present government. Besides, their survival depends on each other, since if the tension between Turks and Kurds comes to an end, both parties would lose their raison d’etre.
In fact, it is not even possible to defend the rights of believers any more than governmental policies allow. Defending the right of female MPs to wear headscarves in Parliament has recently been seen as a move “to put the government in a difficult position” or “provoke a sensitive issue.” This is the only time that I cannot defend the right to wear headscarves not only in universities but in all public spaces. I did it even during the “Feb. 28 Process” but not now as I have been accused of being a “white spy” by an Islamist writer who is supported by others.
Then there comes the talk of the “foreign evil forces” or “plot against Turkey from outside.” It is often claimed in the “Old Turkey” that “Turkey is surrounded by enemies” and that the PKK is a tool of foreign forces. There is nothing new in this respect in the “New Turkey.” It is mentioned that Iran and the Bashar al-Assad regime are ready to support PKK as tensions have been growing between Turkey and these countries, but now “the center of conspiracy” has turned out to be Washington and Tel Aviv. After the infamous National Intelligence Organization (MİT) crisis and then the Stratfor controversy, “The Fitna” was the headline of one of the pro-government journalists’ column which claims that Washington is the center of conspiracies against the government.
On top of everything, journalists who criticize current policies in the foreign media are being accused of “complaining to foreigners” and are being seen as traitors. Under the circumstances, it turned out to be “a big deal” to be able to make any comment on politics in Turkey. One can be labeled as an Ergenekon or PKK supporter or both, and worse, one can be seen as a tool or extension of foreign countries.
Even those who criticized the rulings in the Hrant Dink and Sivas trials are being accused of serving evil causes. That is why I started to think that perhaps it is better to take Erdoğan’s advice and only say “Let it be for the best,” whatever happens, instead of making any comment. After all, this Turkish phrase means “no comment,” in fact.