Κυριακή, 19 Ιανουαρίου 2014

Gul makes his move in Turkey – the voice of ‘dialog and empathy’


pressealTurkey’s President Gul is making a bold move to calm the political chaos in Turkey.   Will he succeed or will the paranoid Prime Minister Recep Erdogan decide that Gul’s efforts are part of the conspiracy to remove Erdogan from power? (Image: Turkish Presidential Seal)
Since December 17, scores of Erdogan cronies have been arrested for graft and corruption.  This included his hand picked ministers and key political supporters.   The Prime Minister found this intolerable and began firing prosecutors and police.  Dismissals are now in the hundreds.  The PM maintains that a state within a state is attacking him.  Supposedly masterminded by Fethullah Gul (no relation to the president), a Muslim scholar residing in the United States, the plot explains the corruptions charges.
PM Erdogan is assuming dictatorial powers.  Turkey’s Constitution has clear rules about the separation of the judiciary and law enforcement from the executive branch.  Erdogan doesn’t care about the rule of law.  He made sure that prosecutors and police, many from his AK Party, were summarily dismissed after they brought corruption charges against Erdogan appointees and cronies.  He said he’d like to prosecute the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors when that group questioned the legality of the mass firings of prosecutors.  The council makes “decisions on appointments, promotions and assignments of those working under the judge class,” which includes prosecutors. 
Prosecutors and police involved in the December 17 charges and those that followed are ” “the illegal gang within the state.”  Defending his actions, Erdogan said
“If you take pity, you’ll become pitiable,” Erdoğan said in an address to his parliamentary group Jan. 14. “Our democracy escaped the largest, heaviest and wickedest coup attempt ever. Dec. 17 passed into history as a black stain on Turkey’s democracy and rule of law. The coup attempt of Dec. 17 has left all other coups of the past behind.” Hurriyet Daily News, Jan 14
In 2010, Erdogan strongly supported one of the prosecutors he recently fired when that prosecutor brought charges involving a coup attempt against many in the Turkish military high command.  These trials, known as the Ergenekon case, were well publicized and exposed an illegal military “gang within the state.”  Now, Erdogan believes that the Gulen faction within his own party is another gang fighting against him.
Enter President Abdullah Gul
The president of Turkey is the head of state but not the chief political actor.  That function is reserved for the Prime Minister, elected by parliament.  There are certain key powers that the president holds including judicial appointments, the ability to “promulgate laws,” and certain other functions with the support of the PM or Council of Ministers.
President Gul is a trained economist, a founding member of the AK Party, and a long-term ally of PM Erdogan.  Gul also has strong support from the Gulen movement, the “illegal gang within the state” that the PM claims is trying to take down the nation.”
With that in mind, Gul’s statement on January 14 is a bold one:
“The key for the settlement of both internal and external issues is common sense, collective mind, dialogue and the empathy.  I am of the opinion that we should re-calibrate our diplomacy and security policies given these facts in the south of our county and given the threat perception of (political) centers around us,” [President] Gül advised.  Turkish President Gül urges gov’t to re-calibrate Syria policy, Hurriyet Daily News, Jan 14
“Dialogue and empathy” are antithetical to the Erdogan approach over the past weeks.  He’s dictatorial and insensitive.  Gul is clearly offering a “common sense” alternative to the erratic attack and victim role offered by Erdogan.
The comments on “facts in the south of our country” are likely a reference to the back and forth struggle between police and prosecutors in the south versus the Erdogan government.   On two occasions, police have stopped trucks headed for Syria, claiming they were weapons for rebels fighting the Syrian government.  On both occasions, Erdogan’s intelligence forces stepped in to reverse the searches and the trucks proceeded to Syria.
“I always say we, and other friendly countries, should tidy their houses and those who will do that will be more powerful.”  Hurriyet, Jan 14
The Assumption behind this statement is devastating.  Turkey needs to “tidy” its own house rather than meddle in the affairs of others.
“Facts in the south of our country” (Syrian border)
PM Erdogan’s support for the attack on Syria has never been popular in Turkey.   Despite the PM’s high approval rating, he was not able to persuade the people to follow the support for rebels, particularly extremist groups.  A strong majority oppose the effort.
Hurriyet reported this, also on January 14.
Turkish police have detained at least 23 people in an operation into al-Qaeda held simultaneously in six provinces on Jan. 14, followed by the dismissal of a senior police officer in Kilis following raids on a local Humanitarian Relief Foundation (İHH) branch.  Hurriyet, Jan 14
The 23 detained were said to have links to Al Qaeda and its operations in Syria.
The Erdogan forces quickly reversed the actions of the police anti-terrorist units.   Those detained were freed.  As in the prosecutors and police conducting the corruption arrests in December 2013, there were mass firings of those initiating the actions.
The allegedly Al Qaeda aligned charity gloated:
HH Syria coordinator Serkan Öktem, however, said the police returned the computers it seized from the branch after examining them in the police department.
The press coordinator of the NGO, Serkan Nergis, also commented on the raid via his Twitter account, saying that police forces had been conducting a search that was against the law.   Hurriyet, Jan 14
It appears that the sane faction of Turkish politics, the vast majority, is fed up with the dictatorial moves, the paranoia, and the self-protection of Prime Minister Erdogan.
The alternative has emerged, President Abdullah Gul.  Not it’s up the Turks to figure out how to retire Erdogan and replace him with someone with the stability to end authoritarian rue at home and aggression to the south in Syria.
END

Δεν υπάρχουν σχόλια:

Δημοσίευση σχολίου

Παρακαλούνται οι φίλοι που καταθέτουν τις απόψεις τους να χρησιμοποιούν ψευδώνυμο για να διευκολύνεται ο διάλογος. Μηνύματα τα οποία προσβάλλουν τον συγγραφέα του άρθρου, υβριστικά μηνύματα ή μηνύματα εκτός θέματος θα διαγράφονται. Προτιμήστε την ελληνική γλώσσα αντί για greeklish.