The consequences of tolerating jihadist terrorists
It has recently been revealed that the terrorist who featured in a propaganda video for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Hasan Aydın, who was seen with two kidnapped Turkish citizens, of which one was a soldier, was caught on April 2, 2012 and was released after eight months in prison.
Aydın was tried together with İlhami Balı, the person in charge for borders for the organization, in an al-Qaeda case involving eight other defendants. The case, which opened in 2012 and ended in 2015, ruled Aydın should be sentenced to six years and three months in prison.
It was determined that Aydın was running a mobile dealership in the southern province of Adana and had obtained phone lines using other peoples’ identities to use for the communications of ISIL.
In the same case file, there is information that Aydın had met Al-Qaeda’s Syria administrator Marouf Ossi in Adana and had picnicked together.
What I’m trying to draw your attention to here is that, while his trial was ongoing, Aydın was released at the end of eight months, on Dec. 3, 2012.
Al-Qaeda is a terror network and it has carried out atrocious massacres in Turkey, and Aydın is a person who is known to be a member of this terror organization, who has forged telephone lines under other names so that members of the organization can communicate easily, and who has been able to meet the group’s Syria commander in Turkey.
Somehow the court had not taken into account his membership to a terrorist organization, and released him at the end of his eighth month in prison. This ruling was done in a country where people could be held in jail for years for even the most minimal of crimes.
This is not the only time Aydın has been protected by invisible hands. Mind you, these are happening in a country where even elected deputies are being arrested and put in prison while their trials are still ongoing.
He is known to have entered Syria with his family four months after his release.
On the other hand, there is the fact that ISIL’s Syria emir is able to enter and exit the country easily, and meet with members of his organization in Adana and have picnics with them. These guys would easily walk in and out of Turkey and carry out activities in Turkey.
The terrorist, who was apprehended, had managed to be released in a very short time and was able to cross into Syria.
All these point out to the era that this country had gone through; for the sake of “toppling Bashar al-Assad,” the activities of jihadist militants were tolerated. During the same time, these terror organizations were able to set up their cells in Turkey, were able to recruit new militants and gain new sympathizers.
If today we have a damned ISIL terror hanging above our head, one of its reasons, date back to those days.
Like an opposition party
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has decided that a serious Bosphorus law should be issued. He said contractors betrayed the city by making basements their ground floor and said they have paralyzed Istanbul.
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also said he supported horizontal architecture in Istanbul.
If a foreigner read these sentences, he or she must have thought, “Look, there is a new administration in Turkey. They are making decisions to correct the mistakes of the Mayor of the Istanbul Municipality.”
However, we, the citizens of this country, know that Istanbul has been ruled personally by Erdoğan since March 27, 1994, for 23 years. Even after he formed his political party and became prime minister, we know that every important decision concerning Istanbul was consulted to him and that he was the one who made the last decision.
Thus, they have made wrong decisions for 23 years. They have tolerated the acts of contractors seeking more profits. And now, they are talking like an opposition party, that as if they have just stepped into power.
The danger of the presidential system
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said if the result of the referendum is a “yes” then it would also mean supporting the fight against terror. A “yes” vote, he said, would mean a yes to a more effective fight against terror.
As a matter of fact, the opposite is more of a possibility. If the outcome of the constitutional referendum is a “yes” and the changes are introduced, then we have reasons to think that Turkey will turn into a party state, increasing the tension in communal fault lines.
The only place where the presidential system functions well is the United States. They have strong checks and balances mechanisms, their judiciary is independent, and the legislative organ is not dependent on an executive body. In the U.S., nobody is able to transform the state into a party state. But the Turkish-type presidential system we will be voting for has no resemblance to the successful example of the U.S.