Who will punish the inflictors of the smear campaign

Who will punish the inflictors of the smear campaign

I wrote the following about the despicable smear campaign against the participants in the Gezi movement on July 4, 2013:

“If a veiled sister has really been beaten in the middle of the city.
If she was dragged around and her honor attacked,
And if this women cannot come to spotlight, because she feels so ashamed.
I am calling upon you dear, almighty state of this country,
The all mighty new owner of that almighty state.
I call upon you... you who are able to come up with a criminal without a crime,
You who are mighty enough to stick your nose into our bedrooms,
So deep to create unknown culprits to real deeds and so capable of conspiracies to create open culprits
To unknown deeds, find the mobs that committed this cruelty on that veiled women.

Find that cruel clown, said to be half naked; find and bring him in front of justice and convict him. Then back down, leave the rest to us. I swear upon the Qu’ran. If there is such a creature that has kicked that women, I would be a dishonorable man if I, if we, do not spit on his face...”

* * *
The date was July, 4 2013. Eight months have passed. And Kanal D has broadcast the video recordings of that day and place. There is neither harassment, nor a half-naked, leather gloved creature.
There is no harassment on a pregnant woman. No kicking around, no swearing.

What is going to happen now?

* * *

I’ll tell you. I, we, were ready to spit in the face of those who had committed this despicable act.

Together with the smear campaign that Gezi protestors drank alcohol in the mosque, this was one of the two most disgusting lies of the Turkish Republic. It was one the most dangerous provocations. This lie was told to the citizens of this country.

Now I am asking. What will happen to the people who made this provocation? Now it is the turn of this country’s honest, moderate conservatives, the Muslims with a conscience. They should find them and spit on their faces. They should do so, so that they no longer repeat these types of disgusting acts.
[HH] They were all there, but we chose not to see

The picture was taken by members of the Istanbul Security Intelligence Department. Those sitting next to each other on the boat were the actors of one of the most debated periods of Republican history. The date was September 2008.

Two months prior to the day that picture was taken, the indictment of the Ergenekon case was made public. In a month’s time, the trials would begin. Right at that time, a crowded group of officials took a boat together from Beşiktaş pier. They crossed the Bosphorus in laughter to Kandilli and broke their fast in the place that belonged to the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce.

* * *
Who are these in the picture?

Let’s start from general category – the police who took part in the Ergenekon investigation, the prosecutors who opened the case and the judges who would conduct the trial.

In other words, the executive and the judiciary is hand-in-hand, shoulder-to-shoulder.

Among them was the notorious prosecutor of these trials, Zekeriya Öz, the senior judge of the Ergenekon trial Hüseyin Özese, and the head of the judge’s team in the Ergenemon trial, Köksal Şengün. There was also Fikret Seçen, Ercan Şafak, and Murat Yönder, who were sent there with the argument that there is a parallel structure. But most important were those organizing the fast breaking dinner.

The team that prepared the Ergenekon case. The team that gathered the evidence that sent the late İlhan Selçuk and Türkan Saylan down.

Everyone that the government accuses of being “parallel structure” today was there on that evening, next to each other, shoulder to shoulder. They were laughing jovially.

* * *
In no country in the world with the rule of law do the police-prosecutor-judge trio undertaking such an important case enter the picture. That photograph meant the collapse of the case.

They were all there that evening. This photograph went to many newspapers. No hear, no see, no tell. It did not suit them. Some were frightened. There was such terror in those days that anyone raising an eyebrow was labeled a supporter of Ergenekon.

Journalists waited in their homes with their luggage. In other words, we were all there that night. Some of us became part of the crime by not seeing it, by supporting those teams. Some of us supported that crime by remaining silent due to fear.

* * *
Now the zeitgeist has changed.
The sons of ministers have been detained.
Do you get it now?
Everything started with that photograph.
If we have to make accounts, let’s start with that photograph.

*Ertuğrul Özkök is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this abridged piece was published on Feb 15. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.