Recently, the courtrooms emerged as the battleground and ‘legalities’ as ammunition; more recently, spying and spies in official or unofficial attire
Burak BEKDİL It was the Italian unification of 1860 which dissolved the Kingdom of Two Sicilies after its 52-year existence. A Turkish Garibaldi and a Turkish unification may be required to dissolve the Republic of Two Turkeys. That may be bad news for local and international manufacturers of personal jammers and other spy gadget as the Republic is becoming an increasingly lucrative market for all such equipment – both to attack and to defend.
Too bad, several ‘secularist’ columnists jumped into CHP’s claims that its secretary-general had been tapped by the government itself or by government-friendly security personnel. They should have waited to see how this thriller episode would have to end. It is always dangerous to draw easy conclusions when any intelligence-related warfare is at stake. Naturally, it’s always safer to avoid any early conclusion no matter how convincing it might look.
Not talk too much:
Binali Yıldırım, transport minister, has a point when he suggests it is best for everyone “not to talk too much” these days. The Republic of Two Turkeys is much less private than at any time before both because of technological advancement and ideological wars.
The fact that the CHP’s secretary-general is a techno-peasant does not mean that the party is just too paranoid or that a bunch of ‘devout Muslims’ disguised as security/intelligence personnel are not at all engaged in wiretapping anyone of their choice with the aim of collecting ammunition that can be used in the ‘Battle of Ankara.’ For sure, there will be many more mysterious episodes falling into the public domain in the days ahead – targeting men from both sides of the ideological line that divides two Turkeys.
That is just too normal. When there is a war, warring men tend to pick up anything that comes handy in order to throw at the enemy. Recently, the courtrooms emerged as the battleground and ‘legalities’ as ammunition; more recently, spying and spies in official or unofficial attire. All because there is not one but two Turkeys.
One day we hear conservative Muslims discriminating against less conservative Muslims; the other day we learn how secularist Turks discriminate against observant Turks. There are already ‘conservative’ and ‘secular’ neighborhoods, just like the ‘leftist’ and ‘nationalist’ neighborhoods of the 1970s. Conservative and secular restaurants, conservative and secular grocery shops, cafes, hotels, hairdressers, stores, condominiums, boutiques, shopping malls and even computer shops! Conservative and secular newspapers, TV stations, schools, universities and even butchers!
Talking about ‘your media vs. my media,’ the contract between a secularist TV station, Kanaltürk, and the CHP, is a more serious breach of political ethics (and possibly the political parties code) than this party’s secretary general’s techno-peasantry. Channeling party funds into a TV stations in order to “buy politically-biased broadcasting” may be a reality, but a disgusting reality and, if the document published by a government-friendly –and government-owned—newspaper is genuine, the CHP has been caught red-handed.
So far we have seen the universities, courtrooms, the security establishment and the media as leading battlegrounds in this increasingly unpleasant war in which everyone is forced to take sides. There will certainly be new arenas, the most dangerous being any public sphere where ordinary Turks from both sides must mix up as a necessity of daily life. That is called a civil war.
At times like this, good news is that the Religious Affairs Directorate, or Diyanet, has set to open an office in the heart of Europe “in order to promote Turkey’s EU membership bid.” Diyanet’s Brussels office will also be tasked with “contributing to interfaith dialogue.” But bad news is that Diyanet happens to be the official religious authority in a country that is ideologically divided along religious lines.
Perhaps Diyanet should first try to establish dialogue between Turkey’s more and less conservative Muslims or, for that matter, between the country’s two different Muslim sects one of which faces “discrimination” according to various reports with ‘EU seal.’ It just looks amusing when the Turks are divided among themselves but claim to build a peaceful co-habitation among the world’s believers of different faiths. Blame it on Turkish humor!