Arrests made this week in the Ergenekon case – the shady organisation that was planning to overthrow the government – are causing fiercely emotional reactions. Democracy is at stake! –everybody is saying. The Opposition says the Ergenekon investigation is a purely political process which shows that democracy doesn’t mean much anymore under the rule of the AKP, while the AKP says that a complete overhaul of Ergenekon is of vital importance in making Turkey more democratic. I agree with the latter. On the other hand, I wonder what the charges against the newly arrested people will be. What legally defines membership of Ergenekon? Who will be let off without any conviction, who will turn out to be the really bad guys? At some point will everybody, or at least a lot of people from every political persuasion, agree that this investigation was necessary to get rid of the deep state once and for all? And that, dear readers, is why I long for a unifying figure in this country. Somebody who is above all parties, who is widely respected, and who can ease the tension. President Gül can’t be this person, because he has AKP roots and is not seen as impartial by the opposition. And Prime Minister Erdogan could never fulfil that role since he is so deeply distrusted by so many people in this country. I remember him saying that he would try his very best to be Prime Minister for all Turks. I don’t see any of that, I see an AKP (lead by Erdogan, and in Turkey MP’s don’t do anything without the consent of their leader) that is a heavily blinkered participant in the debates, even accusing the opposition itself of having ties with Ergenekon. And I am just as shocked, by remarks made by the CHP members, who shamelessly said in parliament that they see similarities between Turkey under Erdogan and Iran in the early days of Khomeini and Germany in the early days of Hitler. Isn’t there any common will here to to get rid of the deep state? Is there no one who can take the bitter party politics out of this and find some common ground?
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Podiumbouwer Maaike van Kempen made this website.