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Old 26th March 2009, 23:38   #1 (permalink)
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Interesting Article

I came accross an interesting article (in Turkish) yesterday, and wanted to share it. The original (in Turkish) may be accessed from the link below:

Serdar Akinan - '...' - AKŞAM - Türkiyenin Haber Sitesi - Son Dakika Haberleri - Güncel haberler


For those who do not read Turkish, here is a quick English version:


[Quotation Mark]

by Serdar Akinan


Signs suggest that the AKP has replaced the old Deep State with a new one of its own.

Rather than get rid of Turkeys shadowy Deep State, the Islamists, who are pulling the strings, are placing their own Deep State into the front.

In any other Western society, such incoherent accusations would be dismissed as fantasy.

Yet in the seven years since, rather than get rid of the shadowy power brokers, the AKP has used cases like Ergenekon -- which seems to have involved a genuine plot to overthrow the government -- to attack Turkey's secular judges, media, its military and practically any political opponents.

The tragedy here is that the AKP is not just using Ergenekon to rid Turkey of the old Deep State, but to intimidate its legitimate opposition ahead of nationwide local elections on March 29. As the last elections suggested, more than half the population still opposes the AKP, but many are now afraid to speak out due to signs that the government is monitoring its enemies.

While still using the ghost of the previous establishment to conduct a witch hunt, now the Islamists are pulling the levers of power. The Deep State may have once functioned to intimidate communists and Islamists, but today it is used against secular, liberal and nationalist Turks in order to crush dissent.

*****


The Spelling Guide describes the following mark () as Quotation Mark.

What is that? Quotation Mark.

Where can it be used?

1- At the beginning and the end of a sentence that belongs to someone else.
2- Quotation mark can also be used to emphasize a word or a term specifically.

The sentences presented (above) in quotation marks do not belong to me. They appeared [in an article] with the signature of Soner Cagaptay.

I have [choosen] to give them within quotation marks. Within quotation marks.

Why not without?

Because I can find shelter in the rights granted by the Spelling Guide rather than those (basic) rights granted to me by the Constitution.

Last edited by Hector; 26th March 2009 at 23:44..
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Old 27th March 2009, 00:38   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Interesting Article

Hi Hector

Thanks for posting the article, I read the same or similar article in Newsweek a few days ago.

The Shadowy Turkish Deep State | Newsweek International Edition | Newsweek.com

Theres loads of comments at the end of the article as well, Heres one persons comments which in some ways helps balance the article:

Quote:
I am not a 'hired pen of the AKP' but I am still going to attack Cagaptay's article. I don't have time to completely dissect it but I will put holes in a couple of key places.

1. It is internally inconsistent - in his third paragraph he talks about the unlikeliness of the Susurluk connections and implies that you couldn't make it up if you tried and then attacks Ergenekon for being implausible because it is so far fetched.

2. The Ergenekon is not really based on evidence given by Gunay - that is a fabrication of the press. Reading the indictment (which I have done) is enough to tell you that.

3. His implication that İslamist are anti-semitic while the secularists are not is bull****. The most anti-semitic writer in Turkey is probably Ergun Poyraz and he writes for secular-types.

4. He claims that 'liberals' have been attacked. This is bull. Not one liberal has been arrested.
Apparently theres a Turkish saying with regards to Turkish politics (and probably true the world over) which I quite like He who holds the honey jar ends up with sticky fingers
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Old 27th March 2009, 03:26   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Interesting Article

Quote:
Originally Posted by geordie_nev View Post
Hi Hector

Thanks for posting the article, I read the same or similar article in Newsweek a few days ago.



The Shadowy Turkish Deep State | Newsweek International Edition | Newsweek.com
Thank you as well. It must be the same article from which the author (Serdar Akinan) quotes. I read it somewhere else from where i also took the quotes for the quick english version i made.

Perhaps I should have said this earlier, my aim in posting the article was not to question the Ergenekon case -and I believe there is a core group that is guilty- but to point out the atmosphere of intimidation and pressure created by the goverment by using this case as a pretext. It is in a sense upsetting that while Soner Cagaptay (a US based analysist) can speak out freely wheras a Turkey-based journalist (whose article posted above) feels intimidated to do so and chooses to quote the former.


Quote:
Theres loads of comments at the end of the article as well, Heres one persons comments which in some ways helps balance the article:
I did not bother to find the original of the comment made by "that person" from the original page, and I assume that what brought here is complete. So i'll judge it on the basis of what appears under this thread. I should say, at the outset, it is far from balancing anything. And It is sheer demagoguery.


Quote:
1.It is internally inconsistent - in his third paragraph he talks about the unlikeliness of the Susurluk connections and implies that you couldn't make it up if you tried and then attacks Ergenekon for being implausible because it is so far fetched.

The below is the 3rd paragraph from the article in question that this person refers:

The old Deep State surfaced at various times in Turkey's history, stepping in to remove elected governments that strayed too far from the secular legacy of Kemal Atatrk, modern Turkey's founder. The sometimes corrupt and cozy links built by this establishment came to light most spectacularly in 1996, when an unlikely foursomea politician, a police chief, a beauty queen and a drug lordgot into a car accident. Only the politician survived, and the ensuing embarrassing press coverage allowed Turkey's increasingly robust middle class to push back against this corrupt elite that had long limited their freedoms.

I am sorry to state that in reading this paragraph I do not see any phrase or comment, implying or indicating anything concerning the "unlikeliness of the susurluk connections" to ergenekon. What the paragraph says or suggests is that the deep state and its dirty links came into light with the famous susurluk incident (ie 1996 car accient) and that subsequently people start to question its existence/activities and legitimacy.

Speaking of internal consistencey, Perhaps you should Gareth Jenkins' comment about the famous indictment:

Sener Eruygur who is being associated as a member to the claimed Ergenekon organization (and who is currently under arrest) is also mentioned in the indicment on page 400s as one of the respected public figures whom Ergenekon organizations seeks to assasinate (to create uproar). BBCTurkish.com | Haberler | 'Ergenekon soruturmas znden uzaklat'

And now is this enough to trash a whole case? (like the author of the above comment that you posted attempts to do without any actual justification.) He may or may not be guilty, and this is besides my point. What the author of the comment does is to seek for any defect to discredit the main message of the article and this is a totally stupid and dangerous approach. One can use his tactic for the above case of indicment's internal consistency and declare that all of it is unfounded and there is nothing wrong. Now tell me how tenable would it look? To me, it is nonsense.


Quote:
2.The Ergenekon is not really based on evidence given by Gunay - that is a fabrication of the press. Reading the indictment (which I have done) is enough to tell you that.
The name is actually not Gunay but Guney. And a great many arrests were made on the basis of this obscure guy's testimony, and the initial explanations and descriptions made about this guy seems to be unfounded (like him being a Rabbi).

Quote:
3. His implication that İslamist are anti-semitic while the secularists are not is bull****. The most anti-semitic writer in Turkey is probably Ergun Poyraz and he writes for secular-types.
Again I see no such implication, namely that there are no anti-semite among secularists. However, it is usually the secularists that express concern about the anti-semitic sentiments expressed in Turkey. And "Secularist" is too a broad term to be used. One can be liberal, atheist, seperatist, nationalist and still "secular", yet none of these groups totally overalp in their political views. Likewise there are different factions of islamists but compared the above groups they probably share more with each other, anti-semitism is more prevalent among them and with the newspapers like Vakit being in the forefront, which even made its way to some human rights reports.


Quote:
4. He claims that 'liberals' have been attacked. This is bull. Not one liberal has been arrested.
It's quite ridiclous to read what this guy understands from being "attacked", he does not consider anybody attacked, unless he/she is arrested. The liberal journalist Ertugrul Ozkok, the editor in chief of Hurriyet, has been undergoing a smearing campaign for quite a long time, with absurd connections to this organization which are being circulated by the media organizations close Govt. Here is one of his response to one such absurd allegation (sorry that the links are in Turkish):

Medya etesinin son ismi - Erturul ZKK - Hrriyet

Sabih Kanadoglu, a liberal person and a very respected jurist as well as a secularist, who earlier prosecuted those criminals involved in the infamous susurluk incident and had notorious people like Ibrahin Sahin arrested. He was also taken into custody and is now being prosecuted along with people whom he earlier prosecuted and had arrested.

You can also see the latest victim of this trend, Ugur Dundar, a respected journalist, complaining rather harshly about those parts from the latest indicmetn from the link below (please do watch the video if you know Turkish):

Uğur Dündar isyan etti / Türkiye / Milliyet İnternet

I wish i had the time and energy to translate the whole of it, I will only translate a few excerpts:

"the prosecutors who prepared this indictment has fired a bullet to my honor, goodname and my family's honor.

[the indictment records] for example "Ugur Dundar's family relations. His wife's continuous visits to Brazil"

Since we got married, my wife has never been abroad alone herself, and she has never set foot to Brazil throughout her entire life. If someone can come forward and prove that she has been to Brazil during our marriage, I will leave my post and resign at that very moment. I may even commit suicide. This is an issue of honor... what does this has to do with ergenekon case? ... If someone plays with our honor, we would go and try to seek redress from the the court/judgement. But if its the legal system doing this, what are we to do?..."


I should add that Mr Dundar himself earlier had been blacklisted by the deep state and its instruments for being overly critical of the state, (as he himself says at the video in the link above). It is also rather strange this allegations come after Mr Dundar had voiced criticism against AKP on several occasions and had been at odds with AKP's Mayor candidate for Ankara, Melih Gokcek (who by the way even threanted Ugur Dundar and Mehmet ALi Birand., another journalist), after a live tv program.

now if you still believe that no liberal person has been attacked or the comment you posted do really "balances" the things, you are of course free to do so. Now I rest my case, it took me enough time and I will not writing anymore on it.

Quote:
Apparently theres a Turkish saying with regards to Turkish politics (and probably true the world over) which I quite like He who holds the honey jar ends up with sticky fingers
And there is a phrase in English that i also like a lot "setting up a straw man" to knock down and this is exactly what the author of the above comments practices. Throughout his comments, he either takes the points in the artilce out of their context or jumps to an irrelevant issue. In the end he fails to understand and misses the main message in the article or he does so delibrately to deflect the attention from the fact that AKP has created an atmosphere of intimidation and this severely hampers the free debate and expression.

After saying this much, I should add that i do not totally endorse Cagaptay's article (which in any case i did not posted in the first place) but if there will be a criticisim to balance it, this has to be logical, not demagogic.

My aim in posting the article was not to endorse Soner Cagaptay but to note that due to the atmosphere created lately, the journalist in question hides behind quotation marks rather than expressing himself freely and it is tragic.

Last edited by Hector; 27th March 2009 at 03:29..
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Old 27th March 2009, 09:06   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Interesting Article

Western governments have use the 'War on Terror' to increase their power and control on the population by using that excuse, so could it be Ergenekon = War on Terror?
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