The things you own end up owning you.

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