Building skyscrapers from hay and matches

Building skyscrapers from hay and matches

For a few moments, I thought I got it all wrong throughout the past several years; and the Justice and Development Party’s usual chorus of cheerleaders had been right that Turkey really was a first-class democracy. 

Something “Nordic” had happened in the Crescent and Star – the police have arrested, along with nearly 50 other high-profile suspects, the sons of three cabinet ministers, including the interior, on charges of corruption. A few hours later, everything was back to normal: five police chiefs in charge of the operation along with dozens of other officers who the government bigwigs thought may have been their accomplices were removed from duty. 

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his nomenklatura never disappoint. After the first shock, they announced their verdicts: innocent before trial. They had not even examined any of the prosecution’s evidence which, by law, must be secret until court proceedings open. They are certain the investigation is the work of clandestine networks hoping to tarnish the government; that this is a “very, very dirty operation;” that the plotters are trying to darken Turkey’s future; that this is carefully-planned psychological warfare against the government.

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said, “We know who the conspirators are,” but, for some reason, refrains from naming them. Mr. Arınç hinted that this is a continuation of the same plan that sparked Turkey’s “freedom summer,” or simply Gezi, in which case we should suspect, revisiting the government’s list of culprits back then, intergalactic forces, the interest rate lobby, the Jewish diaspora, foreign intelligence services, financiers, Lufthansa, BBC, The Economist, Reuters and CNN. Is it not amazing that bad men had successfully infiltrated the high ranks of the Turkish police and judiciary? 

Since Gezi, Mr. Erdoğan has been swiftly building, from hay and matches, a skyscraper, thinking he could live on its penthouse happily ever after. He does not understand that it is not safe to build a skyscraper from hay and matches. He keeps adding one floor on top of another. 

But whoever those intergalactic forces are, they look like they are playing a smart set of chess while, challenging them, Mr. Erdoğan is playing a very tempered, uncontrolled set of backgammon. Apparently, Mr. Erdoğan thinks he can prevent further damage by suspending dozens of suspected police chiefs or putting pressure on the prosecutors. 

Could it be the law enforcement officers have launched possibly the boldest ever graft probe in modern Turkish history without calculating Mr. Erdoğan’s next backgammon move? Is it possible that any police officer could have been shocked at the news of his suspension? Could it be that they are not prepared even for prosecution? And could it be that they do not possess other inflammatory material? Which they could now more easily make public since a number of news outlets traditionally loyal to Mr. Erdoğan have now become just “normal” news outlets. 

Ironically, the exact same prosecutors whom Mr. Erdoğan’s cheerleaders hailed as heroes when they indicted coup-plotting generals a few years earlier are now, “traitors who want to darken Turkey’s future,” because they are now investigating Mr. Erdoğan’s friends, not foes. You are either with us, or against us. A few years ago it was, “Everyone must be patient and wait until the end of the legal proceedings; we have an independent judiciary.” And today, “Clearly, this is political engineering; they want to tarnish our government.” Men of principles. 

Allow me to help you understand, prime minister: All of your men, their friends and relatives and next of kin are perfectly clean since Muslims don’t cheat. Thousands of evidence allegedly the police have produced, after several months’ of technical and physical surveillance, are all bogus plotted by dark forces by means of telekinesis. The United States, the EU, Russia and China one day secretly convened and discussed plans to stop the inevitable rise of the Turkish Empire which, in a few years’ time, would dwarf all of them combined. Helpless, they resorted to telekinesis. 

Never mind, the plot has been thwarted now. You can peacefully go back to your ambition to raise devout generations. But remember to keep the devout kids from stealing aggressively.