The things you own end up owning you.

and the AKP saves its neck

In a recent opinion piece, we have mentioned that there are indeed two clashing alternatives for the future transformation of the Turkish state/society complex. The first option was that of the territorial option which would take the upper hand in case of a ban on the AKP and its highest echelons. The second was that of the transnational option that would manifest itself in case of AKP’s saving its neck from the Constitutional Court. By now we can say that the second option prevailed for Turkey. The purges of the “nationalist-leftist” so-called red apple coalition and its complete removal from the Turkish Armed Forces, in case of a legitimacy source also means the normalisation of politics for Turkey.

Now the ball – using the Prime Minister’s favourite terminology of “football” – is on the side of the AKP and we will see if  short-passes in the narrow field would continue or a systematic attack would take place. The new epoch can be both the same old game up-loaded or a genuine change in the AKP’s former pattern of behaviour and politics. I am not sure the second option can take place, because change albeit possible takes place drop by drop. I await a short-time honeymoon which will erupt with the decision on the DTP. In my opinion, AKP will be forced to back up the DTP and put an end to its closure in terms of being loyal to its cause and sympathising with the European Union and the ‘Empire’. The ancient coalition of the MHP and CHP would fuell the discussion by pumping populist nationalism into the veins of their supporters and constrain the relations once more.

We will see, at least this scene is closed, it was really getting bored and banal…


July 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Ergenekon 27/7/08

And a rabbit came out of the hat. This is the psycho of many nowadays in Turkey. They are disappointed that the “Ergenekon” trial did not touch upon the memoirs of coups! We can go back to the agreement between the Yasar Büyükanit and Tayyip Erdogan, that took place in the Dolmabahce office of the Prime Minister. Nobody managed to figure out what that meeting was about because both parts kept their silence up till now. However, we can see that in the aftermath of the meeting, General Büyükanit, who has a hard-line critic of the Presidential Elections began to remain silence. And during the Ergenekon trials, the army did not involve nor speculated about its former members.

By now we also know that the AKP knew these plots long time ago. They could have intervened and stopped this organisation to get active before the Danistay attacks. In my opinion, Mr. Erdogan simply showed the General the direction of the trial and that it will touch some former army men.  General Büyükanit, reached a deal to stay silent but in exchange of military immunity. The active officers will remain intact and untouched. We can see that the ‘memoirs of a coup’ are indeed left intact and untouched.

In the broader context, this is the purge of a “covert” adventurists who still intersubjectively live in the days of the Cold War. Theirs is a failed attempt at coup. The Kizilelme Coalition which began after 2001, the ultra-nationalists, the Labour Party and other raudies, such as ex-Pashas, ex-intelligence men. But there is an Ergenekon which is greater than these, which are behind the Dink assasinations, and many others, that remains intact. And this is a first step, but without the big problem solved, I am sceptical.

July 27, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

Trying to understand and explain the transformation in Turkey

In short time, the Constitutional Court of Turkey will make its decision whether to ban or not to ban the governing AKP Party.  The rule, whether for the ban or against the ban, will open a new page in Turkish history. As we are no magicians possessing beyond human forces, we are just in a position to speculate and try to sketch the upcoming future.

Transformation can take two diverse directions. The first direction I call ‘the territorial’ and the other ‘transnational’. The first dimension, is the reminiscent of the ancient regime, that of the ‘national security state’ that was superimposed upon the Turkish state/society complex in the very aftermath of the Second World War and the beginning of the Pax Americana. The Cold War and American hegemony meant for the rest to adopt policies and guidelines in line with the hegemonic discourse. The ‘national security state’ was one of the most important concepts in this process. Accordingly, in the Cold War atmosphere, all member and ally countries should protect themselves from the imagined ‘communist’ threat. This entailed the establishment of military-bureaucratic regimes which would rule their people from above in exchange of a protecting shield of hegemony and financial-military revenues, gains, or name it aids. The state/society structure was indeed territorial, because the most important purpose was to demarcate one’s own territory.

For this purpose, establishments such as NATO’s secret armies, stay-behind forces mostly summouned through extreme-right wing elements who will be ready to attack their ‘communist’ enemies with cold blood. The economic dimension was that of ‘import-substituting’ or ‘welfare-liberal’ systems. One for the core and one for the periphery. There was a tacit alliance in the core between the state, the industrialists and the working class in the name of corporatisms. The periphery or the weaker members were to abide with the rules and try to hodl their societies impact and rule from above, and facilitate a smooth working financial market, which will be ready to interlock itself with the outer system.

In Turkey this system was institutionalised in my opinion in the very aftermath of the 1960 coup d’etat, with the establishment of a new political system and a new constitution. The makers of the coup, in line with the Third World, elevated themselves to a privileged position vis-a-vis. the elected actors. The ‘National Security Council’ established by the 1961 Constitution was the supreme body of the ‘national security state’. In time, with the 1971 and 1980 coup d’etats, the relative autonomy of the perceieved Vanguard reached its apogee. During the 1980s, with the Turgut Özal, this relative autonomy was at least stopped and began to erode as witnessed in the case of “Generals crisis” in 1987. With the inability of the Turkish intellectuals and the rulers, the rise of the PKK and the emergence of a ‘low intensity’ zone, paved the way to the re-establishment of this autonomy. During the 1997, this autonomy once again reached its apogee, but thereafter began to fade.
The second option, that of the ‘transnational’ one in my opinion began with the Ecevit government of 1999, and continued with the AKP following the 2002 elections. This option, is that of the dismantling of the ‘national security state’, integrating Turkey fully into the European Union structures, which also means the ‘transnational economy’. It is aimed to overcome the characteristics of the ‘national security state’, and replacing it by a pluralist – European style democracy. The emergence of ties between the transnational business class and the Turkish bouegeoisie, the intensifying relationships with the education communities of Europe and Turkey, and many other examples which are written in the Accession partnership documents shows the roadmap to ‘transnational’ option.

We will see which way the ship will go. up till now this is what comes to my mind.

July 21, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

Ceyhan Mumcu and the AKP

Yavuz Donat in his latest column commented on his dialogue with Ceyhan Mumcu, brother of Ugur Mumcu and in his words someone who gave his life to illimunate his brother’s assasinaiton. Donat asks Mumcu,  whether someone from the government ever invited him to hear his ideas. Mr. Mumcu answers: “Hayır… Olmadı… Danıştay saldırısını bile önceden öğrendim, gereken uyarıyı yaptım, yine davet edip nereden bildiğimi, neler bildiğimi soran çıkmadı.” “no, nobody came to ask me, I even know the attack on the Danistay before hand, i made the required warning, but again, nobody invited me, asked me how I knew this and what I knew.”

This is a serious allegation, and it puts a question mark on AKP’s attitude on the Ergenekon case, is it a trumpcard against the Constitutional Court, or is it aimed to make a new democratic opening? I tend to beleive the former following Mr. Mumcu’s remarks.

July 16, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

The Machiavellian Mentality of the Turkish Ruling Elites

First of all we have to clarify what we mean of the Machiavellian mentality. This is an ideal type used by Michael Foucault smybolising a state/society complex which is ruled by an extra-territorial monarch. This mentality, can be taken as a complete rule from above, because the ruler is the head of the masses and his decision is the divine one. This mentality is in the Turkish version can be named as the Sultanist mentality. Accordingly, mixed up with patrimonial images, the sultanist mentality builds itself upon the judgement of the ruler. This can be seen in the family level, the all mighty father figure, and it is projected to all other segments of the society which nevertheless sustains the durability of the system itself.

An example will clarify the mentality. Accordinlgy, the Turkish media touches the topic of informal meetings between all segments of the society during the last years in order to organise a plan to counter the rising AKP threat. It was aimed to bring centre-right and centre-left parties together in a bloc and to stop the AKP’s rise. The ‘Republic demonstrations’, the organisation of civil society and grass-roots organisations was a part of these schemes. The Machiavellian mentality shines in the midst of these developments. It clearly illustrates the Turkish elite’s perception of democracy. It is Machiavellian in the sense that, it takes the “people” the very ground of the state/society complex as givens. They are just there, manipulative masses, with no inner coherence or idea. This mode of politics is as a logical consequence one from above, and social engeneering motivated.

The success of the AKP lays int he different usage of the Machiavellian model. By stressing the organic ties to the civil society, the images of virtue and brotherhood, and most importantly by having a leader which comes from the debths of the counter-current to the ancient version we tried to explain above. However, this is also the AKP’s shortback. Mr. Erdogan’s Sultanist image and his single-handedly organising of the Preisdential debate is one example. His attitude of keeping quite till the end and as he announced taking the decision solely alone illustrates this Sultanist mentality.

It at the end cuts its contacts with the roots by delegating power solely to the leader. This is nevertheless the reason of the end of the age of the Machiavellian politics. In Turkey a Lockean version lacks and it also illustrates the lack of participant democracy but th existence of a polyarchic one.

July 16, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Ergenekon 16.7.08

After 13 months, first time, the chief prosecutor of Istanbul came in front of the cameras and made a brief statement. He talked about “disinformations” and the pressures on the prosecution process. What made him say this? one day before, some information on the case leaked to all sides of the Turkish media. the spindoctors began to produce their written materials. the idea was that we were facing an organisation which claims to be at least 600 years old, going back tot he myth of agartha and responsible of many atrocities in Turkey.

Ergenekon, is what they call themselves tells the chief prosecutor. So we have the name. Ergenekon. In Italy it was called the Gladio. But i think, to uncover Ergenekon, is to uncover the fog above the Turkish state and its development during the Cold War. We by now clearly now that the NATO helped to establish such organisations in NATO members. It was a part of the Cold War strategy of protecting the allies from within. Fikri Saglar, former MP and Minister, says during the Susurluk case we clearly found out that such an organisation was financed directly from external forces and installed in the very heart of the Turkish state.

If Ergenekon really opens, and if it really goes on the way through it will unravel a dark history. However, up till now, it seems to be a politicised case.  AKP’s Constitutional Court trauma, and the Ergenekon case. I wont be shocked if the Constitutional Court rules out the banning of the AKP cools down the Ergenekon. The other option will be a total purge of Cold War remnants, through a collaboration with the Turkish Army, and the abiding with the NATO rules. This can be followed by the ban on the AKP which will evidently pave the way to the rise of Abdüllatif Sener’s party, or in case the AKP organises its own, a rupture in its votes. It can be forced to achieve a coalition with the CHP. No body knows.

But the Ergenekon case should be faced with its Cold War past. therein lies the secret of the organisation. however an operation to such an extent will reveal that many top post bureaucrats – both civilian and military, various politicians, journalists, industrialists, academics, and people from the other segment of the society took part in this organisation. this will mean the end of a long duree in Turkish politics, the unravelling the myth of the ‘national security state’.

Because it will leave just a small segment untouched, the conservative forces in play would do their best to leave this side in darkness. but without coming to terms with this darkness, there can be no real democracy in Turkey. these elements will further their existence, albeit silently. The Cold War did not end for Turkey, it continues, its structures are not dismantled, its power is not curtailed, its relative autonomy is not terminated.

Chief of Staff, Org. Yasar Büyükanit’s comments on the case, that it should be continued to the case it is revealed, should touch all even himself if found guilty. This is one important comment. It is not rhetoric, it is a green light. Turkish Army’s one segment have always been against the coup d’etatirsm, and pushed for stability and aloffness from politics. It is clearly known that everytime it becomes politicised, it leads to a disorganisation which like the 1960 coup takes 20 years to go off the turbulance. This segment is directly connected to the NATO strategy.

so long for know

The video document of the Istanbul’s chief Prosecutor’s briefing and the full-document can be find:

July 16, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | 1 Comment

Edward Said on Orientalism

July 14, 2008 Posted by | Critical Theory | Leave a comment

Get to Know Bernand Lewis

This is the front page of the Atlantic Monthly, published in 1990, written by Bernard Lewis. The picture itself tells all. But if you wanna read and see how the Huntingtinian idea on the so-called “Clash of Civilisations” origined.

July 14, 2008 Posted by | Critical Theory | 3 Comments

Edward Said’s “The Myth of Clash of Civilizations”

July 14, 2008 Posted by | Critical Theory | Leave a comment

Modern Day Slavery : the Case of Cristiano Ronaldo

Fifa president Sepp Blatter commenting on Mancherster United refusal to sell C. Ronaldo to the Spanich club Real Madrid termd the incident as “modern-day slavery”. C. Ronaldo responded, yes I am a slave. But these slaves of the modern day world order, is the top-echelons of slavery. They are professional football players, earning bucket full of dollars or pounds and utilised by the sport clubs, media, and multiple resources. They are modern day -icons, like the Gladiators of the ancient Rome.

They have fame, they have money, they have all but they have to serve some body a la Bob Dylan, and once you dont resist, then you become aware of yourself being a meta, that’s what happens nowadays in the incident of C. ronaldo.

July 11, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

And Abdüllatif Sener Resigns

At last, Sener resigned from his party AKP and came one step forward for establishing a rival power bloc vis-a-vis the AKP.

July 11, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

Abdüllatif Sener moves one step forward to establishing a new centre-right political party

One of the architects of the AKP, academist and former MP – Minister Abdüllatif Sener announced his intention of establishing a political party to overcome the problems of Turkey.  Of course this move will be quite in vain if the Constitutional Court’s process on the AKP was not around. Mr. Sener in my opinion critically sees the end of the AKP and the need to re-organise with a possible coalition with older elites.

for more information check the article on Turkish daily Radikal

Watch his remarks on-line, from the NTV-CNBC Turkey

July 6, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | 1 Comment

Darbe Günlükleri – Diaries of a Coup

here is the full text of the diaries which put an end to the NOKTA-weekly, re-published by the Turkish daily TARAF.


July 6, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

Notes On Ergenekon/4.7.08

According to Erol Mütercimler, the secret army established during the Cold War in Turkey was called “Ergenekon”. Ergenekon as a word terms the “myth” of the Turks. Ergene means the mountain-pass and kon the steep. Accordingly the Turks were defeated and retreated to this mountain passage imagined land in which they stayed 400 years and once there was no place to sustain the civilisation, they melted the mountain to open a passage and once released defeated the enemy. However, Ergenekon in today’s world, connotes the secret-operations, or the deep-state which was behind military coup’s during the Cold War and which today continues to manipulate politics from above in an active sense.

Daniele Ganser, a Swiss academic, opened a long-going debate again into public consciousness. His book and articles on NATO’s Secret stay-behind armies, such as the Gladio in Italy shed light to this phenomenon of the “covert world” in Coxian terminology. Robert Cox and Ganser in a way  points that during the Cold War, to sustain the hegemony of the Pax Americana, the US secret agencies deliberately established stay-behind forces in NATO members in face of an immenent tcommunist threat both from within and outside.

furthermore the rhetoric was that the NATO alliance can be threatened within if leftist and communist elements within member states reach a level to question the very existence of the alliance itself. in order to undermine such a situation, the NATO shall organise a secret stay-nehind armies, mostly picked up from extreme right elements, potential or active members of the covert world of drug smuggling to assasinations. For this purpose, a secret network was established and the secret-army operated full time around the Atlantic Pact and its prize areas.

In Turkey this organisation came into being in 1960s, played its main role in 1971 and then in 1980, all paving the way to coup d’etats. Once the Cold War is over, these force was no more in need, and many elements went into underground and became members of the covert world. Some were used against the ASALA and the PKK in and outside Turkey. The Susurluk incident showed that this organisation was still active and the tip of the iceberg illustrated a complex relationship of ex-hitmans, politicians, police chiefs, prostitutes, arms trafficing, drug trafficing and vice versa.

The recent incident in Turkey and the trial, bases itself on the “Ergenekon” and claims that this group’s latest incident was to organise coup plans to topple the AKP government and pave the way to a military takeover followed by a civil strife. The assasination of Hrant Dink, and the information we have that nearly all new that the assasination was coming within the security members strengthens this kind of thinking.

Unfortunately these all take place during the process going on in the Constitutional Court about the fate of the AKP. Many assume that the AKP was not willing to take these issues to the forefrong but hold the Ergenekon as a trump card in case of an attack on itself. Accordingly, nowadays, we see that the AKP government pushed the issue forward which is a historical milestone for the Turkish democracy. To examine a possible coup plot, which reflected itself to the NOKTA Weekly’s “DArbe Günlükleri – Coup Diaries”.

Unfortunately, the AKP’s timing stresses the doomday scenario in Turkey. Both parties have long lost ground to reality and retreated back to their trenches. The President of Turkey, Mr. Gül is virtually non-existent, and cannot play the role he has to play as an interlocutor. His highly politicised appointment to the Presidency is per se important. Furthermore, there is still no valid allegation towards the detaines. This is the crux of the point, AKP’s strange attitude to judiciary. The idea of creating satelite institutions within the existing ones which are not yet taken from inside. This is unfortunately the bureaucratic mentality of the AKP. There have been a heavy clientalism and opening up of new cadres to loyal not compotent figures.

We are faced with two bad alternatives. But the power lies in a civil society movement, like the one after the Susurluk incident, which will protect Turkish democracy, which means putting the plotters in to trial, and changing the form of state projected by the AKP with a bottom-up movement. Many segments could be taken together in such a situation.

The headscarf issue can be solved with this coalition as legalisation in the Universities but a ban in other administative spheres. A counter-movement towards the covert world which includes the gangs-cetes, the neighbour bullies, the thiefs and the rising criminality would unite the people. this should be united with social projects at the local levels, organised by all segments of the political panaroma, to help the members of the space, to find a way to sustain his-her life outside the confines of the cover world. Turkey by aligning itself more with the European Union and by embracing its social democratic values, egality and the European capitalist at the first stage would be another alternative. Instead of the hyper-liberal Empire version of post-fordist beggar-me-death capitalism this would be an option in line with the communitarianism of the Turkish culture. Furthermore, a reconciliation should be reached between all religious groups, beginning with the rights to be given to the Alevis, Yezidis and others, and creating a multi-religious Pious Affairs, embracing all schools with the same distance.

This would revive the Ottoman civilisation’s multicultural paradigm which exists in the intersubjectivities of the people albeit the heavy propoganda of the last century in nation building and myht establishings.  The mutual acceptance of different ways of life, would be the first step to create a plural Turkey which would in the long-run would play a middle power in pursuing a peaceful transnational coexistence, like Canada.

July 4, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

Latest Incidents Concerning the “Ergenekon”

July 3, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment

As the Circle Tightens: The Last Salvos of the AKP

This morning, we woke up again with taking into custody of public figures associated with the “Ergenekon” dossier. The most impiortant figures are the two former Army Commanders – the creme de la creme of the Turkish Armed Froces, the leader of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce and prominent journalist such as Mustafa Balbay and others.

This is the last stage of the fight between the two sides, my law versus your law, my men vs your men. we will continue to comment on this topic as the day progresses.

July 1, 2008 Posted by | Turkish daily, Turkish Politics | Leave a comment