Sever’s memories and popular TV serials

Sever’s memories and popular TV serials

There is a section in journalist and former president’s press advisor Ahmet Sever’s new book, “12 years with Abdullah Gül,” about the events on the night of April 27, 2007, when an infamous memorandum was posted on the chief of general staff’s website. If Yasemin had not reminded me, I would have just read it and moved on.

Sever explains the moments after the memorandum was posted on the military’s website: 

“Right at that moment, the television serial “Hatırla Sevgili” (Remember Darling) depicting the Adnan Menderes era was on air. Hayrünissa Gül was watching the hanging scenes of Menderes with tears in her eyes. As soon as she heard of the memorandum, she went to Abdullah Gül and asked, ‘Is history repeating itself, Mr. Abdullah?’

“Gül said he would adopt a determined stance against this declaration of the military and that one should be ready for everything. He gave the names of two of his friends to his wife, adding, ‘If anything happens to me, you can trust these two friends. They would take care of you and the children.’

“These words that gave a shudder to Mrs Hayrünissa came from him: ‘There is no return from here. I am determined to face my death.’”

There is more than one serious factual mistake in this section.

The date of April 27, 2007, was a Friday, and the memorandum was posted on the website toward midnight. 

First of all, the TV serial “Hatırla Sevgili” was aired on Saturdays, not Fridays. 

Second, the episode when Menderes was hung was the 12th episode and aired on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007. 

Third, when the 22nd episode of the serial was aired on Saturday, April 28, 2007, the serial’s timeline was not at 1961 when the executions were carried out but, rather, at the end of the 1970s. 

What I am saying is that on the night when the April 27 memorandum was posted, Mrs Hayrünissa could not have been watching the episode when Menderes was hung with tears in her eye, unless she was travelling in time or unless she was watching the same episode over and over again on the internet. 

This can only be a “lapsus,” an involuntary mistake made while writing or speaking, representing a bungled act that hides an unconscious desire.

We know that this political stream is over-enthusiastic to draw victimization from the tragic end of Menderes. For this reason, even when they are writing their memoir, they make such an obvious mistake so that our eyes will water together with Hayrünissa Gül. 

When we read that section, we should be saying, like the character Aunt Vasfiye on another TV serial, “Yalan Dünya” (World of Lies), “Oh, what a pity, poor you my darling...”

Contemporary interpretation from the Constitutional Court 

The Constitutional Court contemporarily interpreted the usage of the right to hold assembly and demonstration.  The high court has decided that the five month sentence of an applicant on grounds that he was resisting security forces and preventing them from doing their jobs during his reading of a press release was a violation of the constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. 

The Constitutional Court ruled that holding assembly and demonstration was a fundamental right and even if the assembly and demonstration were “illegal,” as long as it was peaceful, it should not be obstructed. 

It also stated that intervention of the assembly and demonstration should be restrained.

This decision is one that governors, heads of security, prosecutors and judges should read carefully.

Let us see whether this contemporary interpretation of the court finds itself administrated. 

Or are we going to circle and arrive back at the same place?