The eavesdropping scandal
The eavesdropping scandal that became public earlier this week would indicate, at the very least, two things. Firstly, the revealed list is clearly intended for more than just wiretapping. Secondly, the list offers the world a better understanding of the chaotic and naive world wherein the Gülen network operates as a neo-tutelage actor. The list of names that went public simply shows that the perpetrators grouped together thousands of people as part of a grand design.
The long list fits into the broader set of investigations that began on Dec. 17, 2013 as a guideline for widespread arrests, as there seems to be no clear reason why such unrelated people would end up in a fictional “terror organization” together. The list’s diverse nature, therefore, points out that the individuals behind this activity share considerably more overlapping perspectives compared to those featured in the list. So, we must ask how the aforementioned perspective emerged, given that it would be ridiculous for the prosecutors to eavesdrop on so many people as part of a routine investigation.
We must question how a list that lumped together these individuals - who, even if they committed crimes, would never join forces or commit the same crimes - came into being.
Clearly, a clique within the judiciary and the police opted for a supposedly complex tutelage regime instead of getting tangled in the troublesome and risky world of politics. The group abused historic events such as the Ergenekon, Sledgehammer and Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trials by watering down the truth with inaccurate elements. As such, members of this network wrongly assumed that it had eliminated various similar groups that sought to establish their guardianship over the nation, while conveniently exploiting Erdoğan’s steadfastness for their own experiments. The ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) thus represented a necessary evil that would either destroy itself or would be forced out by the movement. Misguided by massive abuses of power over the past few years, this clique lost touch with reality and established a hit list, including numerous targets and highly institutionalized structures, as well as individuals that barely pose a threat to the network’s interests. Amid all this, the Gülen network remains obsessed with the “crime scene” of neo-tutelage. On Dec. 17, they continued their efforts, which went public (on Feb. 7) when they attempted to arrest Turkey’s intelligence chief for establishing dialogue with Kurdish militants two years ago.
The list of individuals whose phones were tapped would indicate a rough road map. Unsurprisingly, the road map almost entirely corresponds with the Gülen group’s political priorities, including the Iran obsession, the Kurdish question, and business and the media. These three broad categories, of course, come with numerous subgroups that become meaningless in the face of the predatory instincts of the judiciary and the police that draw ridiculous road maps only comparable to the Middle East maps of the neo-cons.
The fact that a covert group violated the privacy of thousands of people and accused them of belonging to fictional “terror organizations” represents but a minor part of the big picture. The true disgrace relates to the judicial authorities that authorized such a mass wiretapping. To be sure, it would only be possible to get a warrant to eavesdrop on such public figures if the police, prosecutors and judges shared a certain vision.