The latest signs of the coming catastrophe
Finally, the crackdown on the Gülen movement has been extended to the Gülenist media, and 16 people, including two editors-in-chief (of daily Zaman and Samanyolu TV), were detained on Dec. 14. The timing was also very symbolic since it was the anniversary of the Dec. 17-25 corruption probes against the government last year. The government insists that it is a judicial affair which is nothing to do with political revenge, but it does not sound convincing. In fact, pro-government media could not hide the link and reminded everyone of the “Dec. 17-25 coup and treason” as they call it, along with the trial news in a decidedly revengeful tone.
The government portrayed the corruption allegations as “a coup attempt against the government by the Gülen movement” last year. Again, a year-and-a-half ago, it was the Gezi demonstrations (May and June 2013) which was defined as a coup attempt against the government and was crushed brutally by the police. As an unhappy coincidence, on Dec. 16 last week, 35 football fans went on trial accused of “attempting to stage a coup” by helping Gezi protesters. The political suppression of critics of the government is not a new thing in Turkey, especially after the government took hold of total “state power,” following the 2011 general elections, yet it has intensified every single day since then. Moreover, now “a totalitarian ideology” has started to be shaped that those who are against the government are “the enemies of the nation.” In this view, Turkey under Erdogan’s rule is challenging “the global unjust order under the leadership of the West” and therefore is the target of all “dark forces.” Those who are critical of the New Turkey and its “historical mission” are pawns of internal and external enemies.
Unfortunately, there is no serious political response against this growing totalitarian ideology and politics for various reasons. Most recently, even some leftists and so-called democrats celebrated the trials of Gülenist journalists as “the fulfillment of justice” since they were “bad guys” anyway and, in fact, some had suffered from the injustices of Gülenist judges and prosecutors. In fact, the Gülen movement was in a strong alliance with the government until very recently, and can be held responsible for the undemocratic practices of the government and for the unjust rulings of the judiciary in that respect. Nevertheless, this is supposedly a democratic state and we are not in a position to inquire what the deal between the government party and this movement was; we can only question the government, which is politically responsible for everything that happens when it is in office. Even this basic principle of “a democratic system and the rule of law” does not seem to be comprehended well, even by many intellectuals in this country.
Moreover, some of the most aggressive theorists of the New Turkey are yesterday’s celebrated, pro-Western, liberal democrats. In a TV program a few days ago, one of them accused the West that “they have failed to understand Erdoğan properly and are struck with ‘clichés’ like ‘the rule of law and separation of powers.’” One of these “liberal democrats,” is an adviser to the prime minister now. They underline the fact that Erdoğan has a unique and genuine link with a “majority of the society” and this is his “miracle.” They also accuse the critical intellectuals as “losers” who fail the grasp the reality of Turkish society and “the spirit of the time.”
Indeed, modern history has witnessed such “miracles” before, and there have always been those who “understood” the “genuine leaders” who seduced masses and grasped “the spirit of the time and history.” The end of such stories have always been sad and humanity paid high prices for such wimps. Turkey is not supposed to follow similar dark steps and pay similar prices, but it seems that it is too late now to avoid the coming catastrophe.