How was Erdoy-an deceived?
Referencing the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer court cases, in which alleged attempted and planned military coups were being tried, he said he had been deceived by those who conducted these investigations and cases. If you are following developments in Turkey, you can easily guess that on the deceiving side he was referring to the so-called "parallel state," namely the GE-len movement and its involvement in state structures.
Listening to Erdoy-an's speech, you get the impression that he was a passive observer during these trials; there were some cases taking place and he was merely watching. Very recently he realized that the conductors of these trials had deceived everyone, including himself.
What I found amazing is that Erdoy-an has an unshakable confidence, wherein his followers never question his consistency: never ask him why he was behaving one way in the past and in a completely different way now. And somehow he is able to avoid any criticism from his supporters; he has never been questioned about this by his followers.
Even if you have very little knowledge about the recent past in Turkey, you would be astonished at how easily Erdoy-an can come forward to say that he was deceived by those who conducted these cases and trials. We are talking about court cases that go back to 2007-2008. During these cases hundreds and hundreds of military personnel were being arrested. Erdoy-an, once upon a time, was so possessive about these cases that he even declared himself as their "prosecutor." He literally used that word.
If you are a regular reader of mine you will know that I supported the substance of these cases but criticized human rights violations and some divergences that took place during them. While I was criticizing these wrongdoings, Erdoy-an and the journalists close to him wholeheartedly continued to support every single aspect of these cases.
When, for example, journalist Ahmet E[currency]yk was arrested, which was the point at which the Ergenekon cases took an extreme turn by criminalizing the writing of a book, Erdoy-an took the floor and backed the prosecutors by comparing a book to a bomb. He said, "It is a crime to use a bomb, but it is also a crime to use materials from which a bomb is made."
It is obvious that Erdoy-an, by completely discrediting trials in which an alleged coup attempt is being tried, aims at discrediting corruption cases. He basically wants to say that the "same gang" that set a trap for military personnel also targeted his government, that they fabricated evidence, incriminated innocent people and so on.
However, the manner of speech of the president, and of his followers within the government, is fascinating because they are so sure their supporters will never question their consistency, and because they have never been labeled incompetent for being so easily "deceived."
I believe that Erdoy-an's enormous freedom to speak in one manner in the past and in a completely different manner in the present tells us a lot about the tragicomic state of Turkish democracy and the possible direction this country may take.
ORHAN KEMAL CENGyZ (Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN
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