Third parties need not worry: Two sides will tackle the crisis
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan talked about the issue of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) for the first time Sunday.
He said, “No one should dream of chaos and conflict… There is no dispute either among the institutions of the state or among the sons of this nation and there cannot be.” Before this, all of the spokesmen of the ruling party had also emphasized that there was no crisis. Moreover, names such as Hüseyin Çelik, Ömer Çelik, Bekir Bozdağ and Yalçın Akdoğan insisted there was no problem between them and, citing the name, the Fethullah Gülen community. They also blamed third persons (centers), which they were not able to define clearly, for trying to sow discord among them.
It is apparent that those who do not like or even bear hostility against the government and/or the Gülen movement (domestic and abroad) are extensively content because of recent incidents, and they would do whatever they can to widen the fracture between them. However, trying to prove that there was no dispute between the sides, based on the fact that both sides (the Justice and Development Party [AKP] and Gülen community) are losing, and to put the responsibility on third parties (Mossad, Ergenekon and others) is far from being credible.
As a matter of fact, the most striking sentence from Erdoğan’s speech on Sunday, claiming “We will never enslave those who have been elected under the appointed ones,” shadows his own words that there is no crisis. When he said “the appointed” it is obvious he refers to the prosecutors, but who are the “elected”? Of course neither Hakan Fidan (the current head of MİT) nor the other four former and current MİT executives. The answer to this question is AKP and the government it has formed, moreover, President Abdullah Gül, who was elected by the votes of the deputies of this party.
Let’s remember when Fidan and others were summoned to testify as “suspects” and it was learned they were going to be interrogated about the talks with Öcalan and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), there were comments such as the real target here was the AKP government and primarily Erdoğan. Considering that most newspapers made this sentence their headline, we can conclude that Erdoğan has adopted these comments saying he was the real target. Accordingly, it is no wonder that some names we know who are close to the political power have been conceptualizing “judicial coup, judicial tutelage and Feb. 7 intervention,” and moreover some of them have been comparing the last crisis with the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) intervention attempt of April 27, 2007.
The prime minister defines the latest incidents as “isolated,” but until today nobody has put the responsibility personally on the prosecutor, Sadrettin Sarıkaya. Those trying to do so somehow developed conspiracy theories that he must have been steered by some domestic and international centers.
It was not at all surprising to associate this crisis immediately with the conflict between the government and the Gülen movement because for a long time there were claims that some sort of a police/prosecutor/judge triangle was formed with the Gülen movement’s full knowledge, especially on the axis of courts with special authorities, and that this situation was gradually annoying the government. As soon as the crisis erupted, even before anything happened to the prosecutor, the fact that three police chiefs in Istanbul were put on the shelf (later, this continued) has strengthened this theory. More importantly, there was a remarkable partition between some media organs and journalists who had been walking hand in hand on many topics up until a short time ago.
Despite the sedate sentences of the spokesmen of the ruling party and despite the warm “get well” message Fethullah Gülen conveyed to the prime minister, the literates from both sides were involved in an intense fight as if they were waiting for this moment for a long time.
With the cracking of the “spontaneous alliance” that has marked at least the last five years in Turkey, we are witnessing one of the most striking examples of the power wars of the new era.
Third parties need not worry too much; the future of this crisis will be determined again by both sides. We will see whether they will do it through peace or through fighting. At this point, I think there is higher probability that the Gülen movement will take a step back. However, it is also not realistic to expect them to abandon the positions they have achieved after years of hard labor without gaining anything.
Ruşen Çakır is a columnist for daily Vatan in which this piece appeared on Feb. 20. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.