The things you own end up owning you.

Abdüllatif Sener and Hürriyet Newspaper – A Strange Relationship


Dogan Media Group’s so-called “Admiral Ship” Hürriyet Daily Newspaper, visibly changed its attitude towards the AKP during the last months. We can trace back this change to the debates on the “Presidency” which took place during the second half of the 2006. In one of his articles, the captain of the Admiral Ship, Mr. Özkök, openly declared that they (The Dogan Media) wished Tayyip Erdogan to be the president, whilst Mr. Gül would be the Prime Minister and continue the path to economic liberalisation and world market integration and the Europeanisation process. However, the election of Mr. Gül as the President, and Tayyip Erdogan’s success at the elections and the consequent change of appearance along the lines of the AKP pushed the admiral ship to distance itself and take a critical stance towards the AKP’s highest echelons. In this change of winds, one important figure needs attention, Mr. Abdüllatif Sener.

If we check Hurriyet’s search option, we will see that Mr. Sener is nearly a daily quoted figure. He is elevated to the position of a political guru, a dissident voice coming out from the ranks of the AKP. In this gloomy atmosphere, also many scenarios about the fate of the AKP’s closure trial circulates in the national media. In most of these we can see the importance given to Sener. We can term it as a psychological imagined leadership building process. Of course Sener lacks Erdogan’s charisma, or his touch with the people, however this is no reason to sideline him.

Mr.Sener originally belongs to Erbakan’s academics group, or the technocratic – brain class. Mr. Sener was born in the Anatolian city of Sivas in 1954. studied in the high-burg of Turkish official stratum, the Mülkiye or the Ankara University Faculty of Political Sciences. This school can be taken as the “Science Po” in France, or other elite institutions such as the Cambridge-Oxford, Harvard, LSE and others. The fundamentals of the school traces back to the Tanzimat era of the late Ottoman Empire, and the movement of the kalemiye – the scribal service – to Mülkiye (the administrative service). It is an elite institute, and institute educating scholars to the membership ranks of the Vanguard State Class. In the aftermath of his graduation. as a functionary and auditor started academic studies in Bolu University faculty of economics and administrative sciences. Mr. Sener Earned his PhD in finance at the Bolu University and served as the vice-Dean in the same faculty. He earned the associate professor title following a move to Hacettepe University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences. He became a Sivas MP from the lists of the Refah Partisi – Welfare Party in 1991. Served as the ministry of finance in the 54th cabinet between the years 1996 and 1997 and been Sivas Mp for the 19th, 20th, and the 21st parliamentary terms. Along with Tayyip Erdogan, Abdullah Gül, and Bülent Arinc, Abdüllatif Sener was one of the founders of the AKP. between 2002 and 2007 he acted as the Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister. Following the announcement of Abdullah Gül’s candidacy on April 24, 2007, Sener began to distance himself from the highest echelons and before the 2007 elections, he refused to be a candidate and chose to go back to the Academia.

Mr. Sener began to differentiate himself within the AKP first during the “Galataport” issue and his reservation to die-hard privatisation and most visibly during the “Debates on the Presidency”.  He also played the card to be the candidate of all parties and his frequent visits to classical music concerts, connecting the creme de la creme of the old elite, his ideas on wine agriculture, his critics on the AKP’s national vision… An important detail about Sener, is that he openly declared in 2007 that he is an Alevi and belongs to the way of Prohopet Ali. This is of course a rare phenomenon in a leadership elite which mostly comprises of members of the Naqshibendi brotherhood, including the Prime Minister himself. The closure of the AKP may mean the kick-ban of the Naqshibendi elite within the AKP and passing the ball to moderate elements within that organisation.

Hurriyet newspaper and the Dogan Media group is playing the Abdüllatif Sener card in case of the total closure of the AKP and the purge of its leaders. Sener is nevertheless a moderate figure and seems to play this role, lets wait and see…


May 5, 2008 - Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics

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