Monday, July 21, 2014

Yet another “terrorist organization” delusion

One of the main topics of the country’s agenda last week was an order sent by the Bureau of Crimes against the Constitutional Order at the Ankara Public Prosecutor’s Office to the police departments of 30 provinces.
The media coverage of this order created a great deal of debate in the country. Many people, including retired judges and prosecutors, lawyers, columnists and intellectuals, as well as civil society organizations, have reacted to the order. Deputies with legal expertise made remarks criticizing it. Atilla Kart, a member of Parliament’s Constitution Commission, said this order aims to “create terror suspects.” Sezgin Tanrıkulu declared that the instruction is “an unlawful order” and that it should be returned without being implemented. Oktay Vural described it as an effort to “declare people who engage in benevolent or educational activities as [members of] a terrorist organization.” The main thesis of these reactions and debate was: The order in question seeks to create an armed terrorist organization out of a civilian community.

New Turkey: A republic of fabricated crimes

This is not the first time Turkey is watching this movie. The people have seen it many times before. Five decades ago, many false reports alleging that students were murdered and cut into many pieces were made.
The reports were a deliberate act of the military junta that took power in the aftermath of the May 27, 1960 coup and part of a plan to imprison the members of the Democrat Party (DP) through methods of psychological warfare. Likewise, newspapers ran headlines such as, “Fethullah’s death commandos,” “Reactionary movements are more dangerous than PKK,” during the Feb. 28, 1997 postmodern coup process. And now, a “coup investigation” has been initiated against the Hizmet movement after the publication of numerous false reports. The methods used in the past to topple governments are now being implemented by the political administration to eliminate the Hizmet movement. While the goal is different, the method employed is the same. Illegality is the common feature in both instances. Given that even flawed judicial processes need to rely on basic legal principles, it becomes evident that the

Hizmet without borders

sevgi_akarcesme  Sevgi Akarçeşme

Even for perpetual pessimists, it was impossible not to hope for a world where peaceful coexistence can exist while watching the finale of the 12th Language and Culture Festival, previously known as the Turkish Olympiads, in Germany.
It naturally sounds odd that the Turkish Olympiads took place in Germany. But some are familiar with the Turkish government’s efforts to obstruct the activities of the Hizmet movement — which means “service” movement and was inspired by Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. Nothing more than a one-man show, the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blames the Hizmet movement for anything that goes wrong in Turkey without any concrete evidence. It is not surprising that his petty followers have followed suit and taken his instructions to deal with the Hizmet as if they were orders. Consequently, Erdoğan “succeeded” in preventing the Turkish Olympiads from taking place in Turkey mainly by not granting visas to the foreign students who were expected to come to Turkey for the Olympiads.

Fethullah Gülen’s message for the iftar dinner by the Journalists and Writers Foundation


Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who is also honorrary president of the GYV, delivered a message for the iftar dinner:
June 2, 2014, Pennsylvania
The message for the Iftar Dinner of The Journalists and Writers Foundation-2014
Valuable president, his colleagues at the Foundation, distinguished representatives of intellectual, political, art and business worlds…dear guests, the pioneers of philanthropy and altruism.
If you allow me I will address the audience as “we” counting myself in: We, while embracing our faith most sincerely on the one hand, accepted and respected the presence of other religious traditions and philosophies as the reality of life and started our journey saying “accept everyone for who they are and show respect”. Following this principle, we never looked down or offended anyone on the basis of racial, religious, secterian or ideological orientation and always looked for ways of peaceful coexistence and getting together on beautiful humanitarian grounds.

Inability to generate values


Those who cannot generate values will consume up existing ones. This is because generating values is a demanding task which requires profound contemplation. In addition, it entails labor and endeavor. Even this is not enough, as the process of generating values also calls for individuals who would not easily give up when faced with tests and ordeals, and who are not dissuaded by reprimands coming from the people. Short-sighted people cannot see the call of the colorful rainbow on the horizon.
The choices for value-consumers are obvious: They will be remembered either as spendthrifts who waste everything at hand or as the sons of thieves jealous of value-generators and whose reason is clouded by anger.

Fethullah Gülen’s lawyer denies any link with bugging probe suspect


Fethullah Gülen’s lawyer has denied that the Turkish Islamic scholar has any links with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s former chief bodyguard, who was detained in an investigation into covert listening devices found in the prime minister’s office in 2012.
The lawyer, Nurullah Albayrak, said that pro-government circles are disseminating the slanderous claims as part of an anti-Hizmet movement propaganda campaign.
Albayrak released a written statement on responding to claims in media outlets close to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government suggesting that Gülen was linked to the detained bodyguard, saying the stories are run with juxtaposed photographs of the men. Calling the reports slander, Albayrak said: “A group of media outlets that declared my client Fethullah Gülen guilty without a trial months ago continue their slander over the bugging investigation of June 17, 2014. The attempts to link a team of Prime Ministry bodyguards — one of the most prestigious units of the state — with my client is Wednesday either lawful nor ethical.”

The tragic end of the witch hunt


How could government yes-men do nothing when the prime minister of a country launches a witch hunt? Naturally, yes-men and low-caliber meddlers sprang up after the prime minister launched the witch hunt.
Moreover, some of these yes-men and meddlers are presenting themselves as journalists and politicians. In such times, some people voice baseless accusations about their rivals in order to eliminate them. The only thing that is obvious is that those who unconditionally obey, fawn before and flatter the powerful can label anyone a “witch” and “hunt” innocent people to earn favor. The result? In fact, the result of this action is obvious, because the results of witch hunts have never changed throughout history. Unfounded accusations and lies hurled at the outermost circle of society gradually close in on the innermost circle, and the chaotic environment engendered by the witch hunt deeply wounds the collective conscience.

A legal guidebook for ‘perception engineers’


The campaign to manipulate public perceptions of Fethullah Gülen and the Hizmet movement which is inspired by Gülen’s ideas is stepping up pace once again. The “wag-the-dog” strategy is wielded once again in an effort to distract public attention.
The fact that the circles looking to manipulate perceptions of the movement parrot the same old arguments indicates that they lack any strong evidence to support their case. The funny thing is that the illusion show betrays the perception engineers’ sheer lack of knowledge about laws. Another absurdity is that they rely on some prosecutors for their scandalous moves or claims about the implementation of laws. They ridiculously suggest that experienced prosecutors make technical errors even first-year law school students wouldn’t make. Government newspapers have for a long time paid no heed to professional ethics. However, I am not inclined to believe that prosecutors do not know or care about written legal texts. So it is best to believe that such simple mistakes are made by journalists.