Yılmaz Özdil
The polls were opened; Mehmet Haberal, Mustafa Balbay and Engin Alan, all under arrest at Silivri Prison, near Istanbul, as well as six candidates arrested under the KCK investigation were all elected as deputies. They all had the right to be Members of Parliament. Their rights were seized; they were not released.

The Parliament was blocked, was not able to work because the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) did not take the oath; it started a boycott. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which looked like a fierce defender of democracy, was cramped at a corner. Separately, the Deniz Feneri (Lighthouse) scandal had erupted; its Turkey leg has been exposed; the “little ships” belonging to the son of the prime minister were on the headlines.


Aziz Yıldırım was jailed, the head of football club Fenerbahçe.

Well, this is football; it is a matter of life and death. Not only a few deputies, even if the entire Parliament were arrested, nobody would have moved a finger, folks… With splendid timing, the agenda was changed. Now, the front pages were all full of Fenerbahçe; so were prime time newscasts. Every talk show was non-stop Fenerbahçe. Only 24 hours after Aziz Yıldırım was arrested, in no time, Zahid Akman and the owner of Kanal 7 Zekeriya Karaman was arrested in connection with the Lighthouse.

Aziz Yıldırım’s arrest had covered the newspapers and the TV screens so much; it camouflaged all the other news, so much so it was not even newsworthy that there were arrests in the lighthouse investigation. When stories about Aziz Yıldırım were pouring out one after the other, politics were out of sight. CHP’s guard went down; they went to the Parliament and took the oath. From AKP’s point of view, all problems were solved.

One year later, the country was again upside down. Tayyip Erdoğan, shouting with all his might, was saying “Ya Beshar, Men dakka dukka [An Arabic catchphrase meaning ‘Who hits a door, his door will be hit.’]” However, Bashar al-Assad himself made “men dakka dukka;” he hit our Phantom. The country as small as Syria, has intimidated the leader of the century! The Turkey which was on the bullying side of the equation was humiliated. Pilots were missing. Besides not knowing how they were hit, we could not even find where they were. AKP was again cramped.


Aziz Yıldırım was released.

He was both found guilty, convicted and released at the same time. It was a perfect verdict, perfect timing. It was like medication to our pro-government media who was pondering hard on how to make people forget the Phantom. The play was on in headlines, on TV screens for days; the stands were kept busy. Meanwhile…

The officers who were arrested six years ago with a lot of fuss on grounds that they were planning an assassination on the prime minister were acquitted. Because there was no assassination whatsoever, all were palaver; the officers were all slandered. Despite that, they were all dismissed from the army.

While stories on Aziz Yıldırım were all over the media, it had such a camouflage effect that not even one column of a story was published for these officers whose lives were made miserable. Our people, who normally forget what they ate last night, were a reliable source. Our people did not disappoint the expectations; they forgot! From the AKP’s point of view, all problems were solved.

One year later… Shoe boxes, money counting machines, watches worth $700,000, Bilal, brother-in-law…


Aziz Yıldırım, Council of State, etc…

If others are meaningful…

This must be the joker of all “meaningful things”…

Wherever there is a need, it fits right there…

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