Corruption can be whitewashed at the ballot box

Corruption can be whitewashed at the ballot box

Will corruptions be whitewashed at the ballot box or not? Here is my answer to this most controversial question of these days: they can be whitewashed. Yes, they can. 

Well… But… On the condition that some things are done, for instance, as such: First of all, people will not be prevented from being informed of claims. No censorship, blackout, closing, covering up, hiding, threatening and blackmailing operations will be conducted using the extraordinary power of the state. 
Then an open, transparent, honest accounting for the process will start. 

For example, former Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım will appear on any TV channel and answer these questions: What do you say to those transcripts that opposition leaders Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Devlet Bahçeli read out at Parliament? Did you impose a special “AKP tax” to businessmen or not? Did you create a pool for the purchase of daily Sabah and ATV? Those contractors who gave $100 million for Sabah and ATV, how many tenders did they take from you? Which tenders did you promise these contractors? This effort to build a pro-government media, doesn’t this constitute a crime? 

For example, the “villas” issue will be discussed in detail. On TV channels, there will be panels discussing the “villas.” Those involved will have to answer these questions: What is this villa business? What kind of a relationship is there between the appointment of the İzmir governor and the villas? 

For example, former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan will appear on any TV channel. It is acceptable even if it is a pro-government one. He will explain to the people in front of cameras about the $700,000 watch that was given to him as a gift. 

Who did he take it from, in return for what and how, etc.? 

For example, Muammer Güler will appear on TV. He will explain it to us, to you, to everybody, why he warned his son, who was in jail within the scope of corruption operation, saying, “Son, talk carefully; the phone may be wiretapped.” 

For example, businessmen named Mehmet Cengiz and Celal Koloğlu will appear on a TV program. The will explain why they have unwillingly poured millions of dollars into a pool. Not only these two, but all “pool-related” businessmen will make a special appearance on TV in a show called “Pool Exclusive.” They will explain to the public all the claims, accusations, phone conversations and transcripts the opposition leaders read out in Parliament. 

For example, former EU Minister Egemen Bağış will explain on TV to us, to all of us, to all of society, his relationship with the person named Reza Zarrab, and what happened to the suitcase that went into his office. 

All, but all of them will appear on TV and answer questions: They will explain their relationship with Reza. They will explain the shoeboxes. They will explain what it means, “Süleyman, send me 2 million dollars.” They will explain the tenders, the special “taxes,” the villas and the donation of land to the foundations they have founded. 

After doing all this, if they are able to get the vote of 50 percent, then they will have been whitewashed at the ballot box. Otherwise, even if they receive 90.8 percent, it will not be enough… 

Ahmet Hakan is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published on Feb 6. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.