The just and the unjust alike

The just and the unjust alike

Complaints and news stories on the apprehension of the innocent alongside the real suspects are increasing. The issue is growing into a social victimization dimension. Students, civil servants, journalists, businessmen, academics, judges and prosecutors are being detained, so much so that the prime minister feels the need to make frequent warnings. 

My colleagues, journalists such as Nazlı Ilıcak, Şahin Alpay and Ali Bulaç, and several of the like, have been arrested. 

Those who only wrote for the “Fethullah community” media professionally and some of them just because they were criticizing, have been arrested on charges such as “being a member of the organization, aiding and abetting and attempted coup.” 

Ilıcak defended former President Süleyman Demirel during the time they were banned from politics; she fiercely fought against all coups. She defended headscarf-wearing deputy Merve Kavakçı in parliament when the latter was disrespectfully chanted at: “Out, Out.” For the 35 years I have known her, she acted with the same motive in all her moves. She would not have any criminal relationship with the dark “Fethullahist Terror Organization” (FETÖ) side of the Gülen community; she cannot be imagined as a follower. She was arrested because she “may have escaped,” but she was on her way to the police station to turn herself in. 

Bulaç is a writer who defends that the concept of “Islam” should be far from the concept of the “state;” he is known for concepts such as “civilian Islam, cultural Islam.” He cannot have a connection with the dark side of the community trying to seize the state. 

Alpay, in the correct sense of the world, is a “liberal.” He is one of the few names in the country who introduced liberal philosopher Karl Popper to Turkey. He cannot be a member of any community let alone FETÖ, except for professional authorship.  

Tens of thousands of people have lost their jobs in the judiciary, the business world, governmental positions and universities; many of them have been arrested. 

What is important legally is to determine whether these people had a criminal relationship such as stealing questions, money laundering, taking orders from the organizational hierarchy, staging legal conspiracies or using public powers to serve the community. 

At this point the rain falls on the just and the unjust alike and many people are prosecuted because of some kind of social relation, even though there is no criminal association. In this confusion, we see that leftist academics and judges are also “rained upon.” The cancellation of the passport of Dilek Dündar, the wife of journalist Can Dündar, is a symbol that shows this mentality. 

July 15 was a savage coup attempt. They killed civilians, bombed the parliament. A broad wave of detentions and dismissals may be understandable for a while. But we have reached the place long since where law, wisdom and commonsense should prevail. 

Those statutory decrees (KHK) the government issues during this state of emergency are not above the law. Those decisions to remove people from their jobs based on KHKs, when things go back to normal, will be taken to courts, or the European Court of Human Rights. 

Since the judicial system is being cleansed of FETÖ, with the principle of the just and the unjust alike, the government should be confident in the courts after this operation.  

Dear prime minister, I believe you are a moderate person with a conscience. The warnings you make in your speeches should not be just verbal. Not only a few, but a lot of “justs” are being rained upon.