Attention to Turkey’s self-declared guardians
What was expected has happened and a state of emergency has been declared. All officials, from the president to the interior minister, say this will not affect the life of the ordinary citizen.
Indeed they say so. But I don’t know to what degree they can succeed in this. Actually I do know, but I want to trust them.
Normally, whenever power and authority is transferred to the governor or commander of a unit in our country, the life of the ordinary citizen is affected.
Have no doubt, in our country the population of self-declared guardians is equal to the total population. And if you give extraordinary powers to these self-declared wardens, it’s easy to predict what will happen.
Stopping people in the middle of the street and asking for identity cards, carrying out body checks, demanding smartphones to check posts on social media… None of this can be prevented, even if governors issue instructions to the contrary.
If you are to challenge the request from these guardians, asking why they want to see these things, you will be sent to a jail cell. And because the permitted amount of time spent in detention has been prolonged due to emergency rule, you will have a hard time getting out of jail.
Worse could happen to us journalists. Personally I’m not too worried. When I started this profession I knew that I could get into trouble one day for what I would write. That is a personal choice.
But in general the current situation will have negative results on freedom of press, despite the fact that it has been only a week since we saw how important the free media was in averting the coup.
I’m curious about one point in particular: If the daily life of the average citizen is not to be affected, then why was the need felt to declare a state of emergency?
Everyone knew that the struggle with the Gülenist gang was already top of the government’s agenda.
Everyone knows that more than 50,000 state officials were suspended even before the declaration of the state of emergency. A quarter of judges and prosecutors have been suspended or detained. Two members of the Constitutional Court have been arrested. There are no deans left in universities.
All this happened without emergency rule. So there was likely no need to declare a state of emergency to cleanse the Gülenist gang from within the state. Yet according to officials, the state of emergency will not affect the average citizen.
This is where I get confused. If our daily life is not going to change and the Gülenists can be cleansed without emergency law, why the need for a state of emergency now?
The list of those who visited Fethullah Gülen
Back when the Gülenists were at the peak of their strength, using the power of the government, Pennsylvania, where Fethullah Gülen lives in the U.S., was almost like a holy destination for many in Turkey.
All those who wanted to get employed, who wanted to solve their legal cases in court, who worshipped power, and who wanted to advance their personal political and bureaucratic career, used to fill Turkish Airlines planes and head to Pennsylvania.
Some would donate money to Gülenist foundations, others would take out a subscription of 10,000 for daily Zaman and distribute them in their neighborhood free of charge...
And the majority of these people were not members of the Gülen brotherhood. Being a member of the brotherhood was enough for Gülen and you did not have to do any extra work.
I am extremely curious who these people are who sought to help the Gülen movement. Who are those who went to Pennsylvania to kiss the hand of Fethullah Gülen? We would have a lot of fun if a list of names was revealed.