By Bulent Kenes, Today's Zaman
The Web site of the Turkish military, www.tsk.mil.tr, which has recently become the determining factor with regard to Turkish politics and security, deserves a good analysis. This new means of communication, which the military employs to manipulate politics, define its boundaries and narrow its sphere whenever necessary -- I should confess -- is in perfect harmony with today’s technological trends. However, it is of course impossible to say that this method being in accord with today’s trends doesn’t bring with it a propriety of purpose in its usage.
They avoided defining Feb. 28 -- during which great pain was suffered, certain segments of society were subjected to the worst kinds of discrimination in the country’s history, everyone was reduced to silence, and transparency and accountability were shelved -- directly within the conventions of a normal military coup and called it a “post-modern” coup. It would probably be appropriate to call the efforts of the military to give a whole new direction to Turkish politics and society using www.tsk.mil.tr a “cyber coup.”
The attribute of “modern” suits this means of communication used by the military as much as its use to depose democratic civil politics resembles the most primitive guardianship and intervention methods of the military. Maybe the contradiction generated by the advancement of the means better exposes the primitiveness of this interventionist mindset.
The Turkish military, which has long been endeavoring to perpetually control civil politics, which it has been unable to trust using its self-declared authority, the legitimacy of which is highly controversial, and to thus control the whole nation, to which it owes its existence, sends signals through the self-justified actions it perpetrates with www.tsk.mil.tr so that it can manipulate Turkey’s internal politics as well as its international policies.
New statements are made one after the other on the Web site. These statements sometimes try to influence the judiciary, sometimes try to form de facto security zones without informing the government, and sometimes invite people to evince a social reaction against those who act in the name of liberties and democracy with their “crooked mindset,” which, it is claimed, supports terrorism. The open-ended statements, using broken and besmirching language, allow all sorts of interpretations and therefore are in need of being clarified by newer statements.
The insufficiency of the language of the first online statement made on April 27 convinced a majority of Turkish intellectuals of the possibility that these statements are issued on the Web site in great haste without the General Staff’s chain of command knowing about it them Particularly the fact that the first one and some of the following statements were put on the site at nearly midnight provides the chief support proving these doubts right.
Despite the doubts in question, the April 27 statement produced all the results we assume it had targeted: ANAVATAN and the DYP, which were claimed to have been informed of the statement beforehand, did not participate in the first round of the presidential vote; the allegedly necessary quorum of 367 couldn’t be reached, and therefore the Constitutional Court, appealed to by the CHP on grounds that the quorum for the session to be opened was 367, cancelled the first round under the shadow of this statement.
While this situation made it impossible to elect a new president under current conditions, it made it possible for President Sezer, with whom the military has been on very good terms, to occupy the post of the presidency for an undetermined period of time. While the government saw the way out as heading for early general elections, to which it had up until that day objected as if it were a matter of honor, the merger scenarios on the right and the left started to be staged, scenarios that are commonly thought of as having been designed from outside the political sphere.
However, all recent polls indicate that these interventions have increased the votes of the AK Party since they have caused a sense of victimization to form in the minds of voters, to say nothing of having a negative influence on them. However, since the opposite had been targeted, it is again commonly doubted that the interventions are changing and attempting to create an atmosphere where the elections won’t be able to be held. And at this point, they are trying to capitalize on the fear and hatred spread by security concerns and the heightened terrorism alongside the online statements.
When we look at the developments through the perspective of the PKK issue, while our soldiers are martyred every day in terrorist attacks, which are perpetrated with a timing that serves a purpose that is hard to understand, it is a must to note that these attacks are gravitating toward urban areas with a visible change of methods and are carried out with remotely controlled mine-traps.
In this case, as terrorism escalates, the possibility of an intervention into northern Iraq, where terrorism is aided and abetted, is getting stronger, and it is feared that such an intervention might interrupt the election process and furthermore could devastate Turkey’s established system of international relations.
The General Staff is putting up the harshest opposition against the government with the statements it issues on its Web site and with verbal statements that aim at portraying the government as having a weakness against terrorism by not giving the green light to the northern Iraq intervention, which could turn into a great unpredictable adventure, thereby trying to corner the government by using the issues of terrorism and security. The military is hoping that its accusations against the government -- that it is keeping quiet in the face of terrorism -- and this method of dragging the government into a deadlock over an unpredictable intervention into northern Iraq will produce a certain result in the elections.
Some are even predicting that in the event it is clearly understood that the AK Party will never be debilitated to the desired extent, the northern Iraq adventure can be started through a fait accompli, and since this will trigger a war, the elections will be delayed until an unknown date.
I personally seriously fear that I may encounter an early-morning or a late-night online statement on www.tsk.mil.tr, which I check every day first thing in the morning, a statement that announces the decision to intervene in northern Iraq -- a decision that should normally be made by Parliament.
Last Mod: 11 Haziran 2007, 10:44