When this article was written, the death toll of twin blasts in Istanbul was at 38 and the entire country was praying it would rise no higher. Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu had confessed in front of TV screens that he was having difficulty explaining to people in senior positions of government in other countries how Turkey had become a target of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the “Fethullah Gülen Terror Organization” (FETÖ) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The country has indeed become a battle ground for various terrorist groups. Soylu forgot, for example, to cite the names of those urban guerilla organizations that according to intelligence reports are often contracted by either ISIL or the PKK to undertake heinous acts across the country.
Well, as the saying goes, “The bravest of the gypsies lists his crimes while boasting what a great man he is.”
This country has an intelligence chief who failed to gather information about and alert the state security apparatus regarding a planned military coup, an attempt to murder the president and the prime minister.
After the coup, the interior minister was replaced without explanation. The new minister has been making bold statements since he came to office but there has been no decrease in terror attacks. Why? Is there no government or state official paid by this nation to provide better security? If the security apparatus has been badly failing, is there not an option to replace them with people who might be more effective? Or should we just make the president into the country’s most senior spy, chief cop, and head guardian? Will that work?
With a closed conscience, deaf brain and blind common sense, it is easy to understand how and why Turkey has become not just a target, an open arena for all kinds of terrorist attacks since this country’s vote for a change in governance was held hostage to an obsessive conservative Islamist political fight for dominance.
It feels like several centuries ago, but it was only June 2015 when Turkey denied the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a majority in parliamentary elections. After that vote, the country plunged into a devastating whirlwind of terrorism, losing hundreds of sons and daughters and surrendering to the uncompromising will to stay in power at any cost.
How many loved ones have been murdered in cold blood by terrorists hired to blow up cars, pull triggers or explode themselves in front of train stations, in parks, in crowded bazaars, or in front of stadiums?
And now the country is set to be asked to hand super-presidential powers to President Erdoğan. This will allow him to stop having to “remote control” the AKP, but rather become its boss. In the name of better governance, a higher level of security, and effectiveness in justice, all powers must apparently be given to the super-president. The super-president will be the prosecutor, judge and the executioner, while at the same time the country’s legislative is busy making laws to define what is crime and what is not crime. Naturally, a security-thirsty nation - which has just been reminded what great risks it faces with the twin blasts and the death of so many people - will succumb to the push for “secure governance,” ignoring its bitter authoritarian aspects.
Of course, nobody should draw a parallel between the catastrophe in Istanbul and the timing of the presentation to parliament of the constitutional amendment package by the AKP and its political crutch the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), crafted to give Erdoğan super president powers.
The nation is fed up. Enough with the lofty statements that the culprits will be punished, justice will prevail and the state waill do everything necessary to bring the culprits to justice. Our people continue to fall pray to dirty games of thrones. If Turkish cities are turned into a playground of Big Brother, with cameras placed at each and every corner, if the state is capable of collecting and putting behind bars tens of thousands of people in one night immediately after a coup attempt, perhaps the state should concentrate on intelligence-gathering, evaluation and development of stringent programs to battle terrorism more effectively – rather than profiling writers, intellectuals, academics, and political opponents.
Enough… Enough with the president, prime minister, interior minister and others only delivering empty political rhetoric vowing revenge campaigns against terrorism. It is time for action. Those who have proven incapable and unqualified must step down or be relieved of duties.