Give the account first in your consciences

Give the account first in your consciences

Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbaş after a long term of silence came back “enlightened” and said, “Even if a bus stop’s location is to be changed, we will ask the public.”

I don’t know if that much is necessary but I should say this: If local administrators or those who live in Ankara and make decisions for certain regions of the country, if they knew that their deeds cause a lot of change in the lives of the people who live in those regions and if they can develop some empathy, then there will not be any need to ask anybody anything.

Topbaş said four municipal officers were suspended and contracts of three temporary workers have been cancelled. In other words, seven people have lost their jobs for a wrongdoing which was not their decision.

They have families, children. It is impossible for them to gather at a coffeehouse and say, “Let’s go and torch these tents.”

Somebody instructed them. Under police surveillance, they collected the tents and burned them. The necessary flammable material to burn the tents was provided from municipal stocks. Or do you think they all chipped in to buy material to burn the tents? No, such a thing did not happen; it is impossible for it to happen. Those people followed an order given to them.

If you think there is misdemeanor, then you should punish the person who gave the orders; not the poor guys who need to keep their jobs.

The same goes for police officers.

They have been kept standing for long hours. They had to obey orders to protect their three-penny salaries. Even though there were some who showed sadistic behavior, still those responsible for their behavior are their supervisors, the police chief and the governor.

Now, to calm down the public, just for show, you will punish some of the policemen; that’s for sure now.

But the offense is not theirs. The offense starts from the prime minister then goes on to the interior minister, to governors and police chiefs.

First give the account to your own consciences and don’t forget punishing a poor officer would make that load heavier.

Making an illegal organization out of Çarşı

Now it has become apparent that there is something called the “reflex of the state” and those who claim to have changed “the Turkey under military tutelage” cannot save themselves from it.

We had listened to the stories of the external powers, lobbies and terrorist groups; we are listening again.

We continue seeing the same picture in the investigations carried out related to Gezi Park incidents in the one about the Çarşı group. Apparently, our public prosecutors are trying to find an illegal organization in Çarşı; the investigation is carried out in this way.

Allegedly, in some house searches of some members of Çarşı, several weapons including an antiaircraft shell and smoke bomb were seized.

It is worth asking what good is one antiaircraft shell if you do not possess the equipment to launch it. Most probably it is one of those “memorabilia” that the majority of Turkish men collect while doing their military service.

Questions asked at the prosecutor’s office to these people consist of the Twitter messages sent, the ads given as a joke and where they have purchased their gas masks. The office of the prosecutor is trying to create an illegal organization but concrete evidence to prove this organizational connection does not exist, as in similar cases in the past.

We have seen many examples of that in our justice system; people have been jailed for years, are still in jail, without evidence, just based on opinion.

Those who say “Turkey has changed; it has demilitarized itself, become civilian” should also note these facts.

Mehmet Y. Yılmaz is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this piece was published June 21. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.