The Sledgehammer hits back
Once upon a time, a man with big eyes and an endless oratory capability was shouting at every square of the country: “They were going to bomb our mosques … They were going to provoke a war with our neighbor Greece … They were going to provoke martial law … Using the powers imbued by the martial law, they were going to overtake the government … The plan was foiled!”
Those were the times of “thriller democracy,” when through scaring the Turkish public the tall, bald and bold man was trying to consolidate his power, walk towards becoming an absolute ruler. In that march he was using the Islamist Fethullah Gülen fraternity as a multi-purpose swordstick.
The conspiracy system or the coalition of the evil was a perfect one. First, affiliates of the fraternity in police, intelligence, judiciary, bureaucracy – including the military – were collecting or often concocting evidence. Then either through “deep throats,” or directly in suitcases, these evidences were provided to the embedded journalists – who were as well either members of the Gülen clan or had “purely emotional” affairs with the fraternity. Reports in the media were then used by the prosecutors – who were indeed very much aware if not pre-informed of what was developing – as sufficient reason to investigate the alleged crime. Thus, eventually, under orders of the prosecutor, selected policemen ambush residences, offices, military installations and even a museum in the middle of night. If newspaper reports were not enough, then the police intelligence would concoct an alleged tip that a deputy prime minister would be assassinated or such, and using such an ambiguous tip, ambush the top secret military war preparedness center and expose all of the military’s secret documents.
The end result? A massive purge happened in the country: the military, intelligentsia, academia and media were all wanted to be domesticated. The era of pluralist democracy – which was deficient anyhow – was gradually replaced with the era of an “allegiant democracy.” Some would perhaps prefer to say the “democracy with boots” was replaced by a “democracy with almond mustaches” or “democracy with slippers,” whatever!
It was not, of course, solely the undertaking of the Islamist fraternity, but nowadays with the top court declaring the government-coup Sledgehammer (Balyoz) Case devoid of valid evidence and thus there ought to be a retrial, the ruling party and its allegiant media has established a chorus of cacophony, all placing the entire blame on the fraternity. For God sake, was the fraternity in power? Was it the fraternity who ordered the purge of officers? Did it banish all those academics, journalists, businessmen and of course retired and on-duty officers to concentration camps? Who was the justice minister? What were the decisions of the government during those years? Does anyone remember what the tall, bald and bold man was violently screaming at rally grounds with fire in his eyes?
Of course, the Gülen fraternity was responsible for being an accomplice of the government in that physical, as well as psychological campaign of pogrom against the military, university, business world, media and virtually everyone refusing to engage in an allegiance relationship with the government.
Does anyone remember the notorious tax fraud allegations and billions of dollars penalty imposed on the Doğan group at the time? Does anyone forget published claims in allegiant media, as well as in the Gülenist media – as there was no difference in those times and they were all in one bed – that top Doğan members were “media legs” of the “Sledgehammer gang”?
Now the government is pointing at the Gülenists and trying to dump whatever the fault was on the fraternity. The government is clever, it started hitting the Gülenists with the Sledgehammer, the former “alliance of evil,” it was using against the Kemalists, nationalists and secularists.
The sledgehammer has crashed into the head of Gülenists, some say… Really? Was there not a government in charge of that smear campaign? Will they get away with it?