It was a great disappointment for the segment of the society that had pinned their hopes on getting rid of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, if not his Justice and Development Party (AKP), with the release of one last “great radish” (tape) on March 25; no tape was released. Still, early in the morning of March 26, a tape, from a different source than the other “radishes,” was released implicating Erdoğan personally in the tape that produced the end of Deniz Baykal’s leadership of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), but that was not what the tape-lovers were expecting to see. They hoped to witness the last nail in the political coffin of the man they hated, and that was not delivered.
This great disappointment led to widespread claims that perhaps the Fethullah Gülen brotherhood and Erdoğan and his political gang managed to strike a truce, if not a peace agreement. Indeed, it was no secret to anyone that both the government and the Gülenists possessed the required ammunition to score a decisive victory in this war of attrition between themselves, the last battle of which has been fought since the Dec. 17, 2013, graft operation. Well, the government has closed the operation with a court turning down the indictment on the issue, but the government has been sentenced in the hearts and minds of a large segment of the society, and the sentence will be executed this Sunday, March 30, in the mayoral polls.
Could it be real? Could indeed the two sides of this war realize they are both being hurt in this war and before they reach the point of no return, they should have a moment of recollection, a lull in the fighting, a temporary truce to provide a breath of fresh air to the “troops?” Well it won’t be surprise if the two sides indeed came up with such a rational idea, but in the view of the intensity and character of fighting we have been witnessing – particularly with the government ordering police and tax-men to unleash a series of ambushes on pro-Gülen companies this week – the probability of such a development cannot be high. It might be good that both the Erdoğan and Gülen clans are staying so far from using their last card against each other, allowing the prospect of a truce to survive for now.
Still, it is obvious as well, that if not impossible, the antagonists of today in becoming brothers once again in any time soon will require at least a “rejuvenation” of leadership in both clans. If either goes and the new “spring” emerges with the other in its place, that would be clear victory of the one that survived the mayhem.
Whatever the “great radish” might be, clearly the losers of this battle include all of us. The AKP lost with its intransigence, arrogance and dictatorial behavior. The death of Berkin Elvan, the premier booing Elvan’s mother will never be forgiven. The ban on Twitter with the order of the premier indeed demonstrated that Erdoğan has lost his touch with reality; no longer able to resolve crises, but indeed is the problem-maker. The Gülenists lost because, not only all was their dirty laundry exposed by Erdoğan through the release of tapes, they tarnished their reputation. How could a religious society respecting moral values become distributors of pornography? The opposition lost because they could not capitulate in the battle between the AKP and its former ally, the Gülenists.
The real loser was the media… Why we have such low distribution figures, such bad TV stations, was demonstrated vividly once again. It was so sad to see how many pens, brains and consciences were put on sale in this period.
Who will win Sunday? Hopefully not antagonism, arrogance and greed.