Politics based on lies

Politics based on lies

MEHMET Y. YILMAZ myy@hurriyet.com.tr
When the incident occurred, I thought the woman who said she was sexually and physically attacked in Kabataş may have been hallucinating.

In E.M. Forster’s novel “A Passage to India,” cultural prejudices separating people of different cultures are depicted. In it, there is a young British woman who, with the effect of the heat, travel and prejudices, hallucinates that she was attacked.

However, I now see that this is a situation much more than a hallucination. We are face to face directly with a lie that aims to create revenge and animosity among people by provoking religious sentiments.

The biggest regenerator of this lie, unfortunately, sits in the seat of the prime ministry of this country. 

If the prime minister was truly able to act with humanitarian motives, he would have cared for the very young people who were killed during the Gezi protests. He would not have said, “Four, five of them died while attacking the police.”

He would have shared the pain of the young woman who had a miscarriage through being kicked by the police. He would not have disregarded teenagers who are in a coma because tear gas capsules were fired targeting them, or the people who lost their eyes.

A person with human sensitivity would not have cared whether the victim was veiled or not. While these naked facts are standing right in front of our eyes, he would not have reiterated the lies that “They have attacked our veiled sister and they drank alcohol in a mosque.”

What kind of an advantage does the prime minister hope to gain from these lies? This is the topic we should focus on. According to his supporters, he is a world leader. He is so strong that he produces crazy projects nobody has ever thought of. 

I don’t know if there is a psychological theory that explains why such a strong leader clings to and does not let go of two lies. But I know there is such a political stance that provides the platform for the ambition to build an autocratic administration. Just as all the past dictators in the world played with such lies, he is also playing with them. 

The reason he is trying to create animosity among people in the country he rules can only be this: The possibility of instigating clashes from these animosities would provide him the ability to achieve authoritarian rule. 

Will the president resist the coup?

In the end, the government’s “coup attempt against the constitutional order” has become a law. Once more, eyes have turned to Çankaya’s presidential mansion.

I call it a “coup” because, in its essence, the situation is exactly that. The constitutional order is suspended not through the power of the army, but based on the majority in Parliament.

It is a suspension because the moment this law is approved by the president and goes into effect, the government will be able to do anything it wants to in the judiciary until the law is taken to the Constitutional Court and a verdict is reached. Even if the high court annuls this law, because it is not irrevocable, the practice will remain for a time.

In a way, this law, at the same time, is able to by-pass the Constitutional Court. The only thing that separates this coup from the coups we have seen up until today is it is not the soldiers who are staging it, but it is the civilians who are doing it now.

Mehmet Y. Yılmaz is a columnist for daily Hürriyet in which this abridged piece was published on Feb 18. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.