Ankara: The Folly Of Ergenekon


Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey
Dec 17 2012

Send to friend ” Share on linkedinThe Ergenekon investigation was
expected to open a way for democratization in Turkey. It was assumed
that the so-called “deep state” would be deciphered and eventually
eliminated by this investigation. Even the famous Gladio case in Italy
could not realize such a result, as the Swiss historian Danielle
Ganser stated in an interview (Taraf, Aug. 2, 2010). Nonetheless,
the democrats of Turkey chose to believe in the fairy tale they
had written.

In fact, the Ergenekon case still could pave the way for more
transparency and democratization in Turkey, since any move for the
elimination of the previous status quo promised new chances. Yet,
it became clear from the beginning that the Ergenekon court case was
directed against only the guards of the previous status quo who posed
a threat to the political power of the conservative government. The
elimination of the previous status quo and the chance for more a
democratic system could only be achieved if Turkey could be reloaded
along new lines, altering the rotten status quo politics concerning
Cyprus politics, the revision of the official view on the “Armenian
genocide” and most importantly serious policy change on the Kurdish
issue. In the beginning, the Justice and Development Party (AKP)
government seemed to consider such a transformation but failed
to engage in, let alone to realize such a troubled mission for
various reasons, be it ideological or practical. As a result, the
investigation case turned to be a sham soon after it was opened. Yet,
the democrats of Turkey who invested all their hopes in this case
refused to recognize the fact that the wrongs of the investigation
process were not exceptional or pardonable, but vital. That is why
the case could easily be turned into a political tool to silence
dissent and criticism.

In fact, the starting point of the case was misleading since it defined
the roots of authoritarianism and/or the democracy deficit by a narrow
understanding of Turkish politics or of politics in general.

It turned out to be that the root of the political problem in Turkey
was military coups motivated by Kemalism and/or the whims of military
men. Recent political history was revised along these lines and an
instant new history was written, that the good forces of democracy
eventually won with the rise of the AKP and defeated the dark forces
of Kemalism, as if history jumped from the ’30s and ’40s to the 2000s
with emphasis on the Kemalist postmodern coup of February 28.

Those who were not disturbed by the shortcomings of this political
and historical discourse nowadays seem to be disappointed by the end
of the story. Nevertheless, it was a story that they contributed a
lot to by labeling all sorts of political criticism as “a defense of
military coups” and by permanently congratulating themselves for being
“uberdemocrats,” rather than considering the dark side of the process.

Now they complain about “civil tyranny;” once they claimed that it
was nonsense, a few years ago. Still, nobody deserves to be condemned
for their folly or arrogance (of claiming to know the ultimate truth).

Finally it is the governing party that is responsible for today’s
rights and wrongs.