Emre Uslu is no more convincing in English than he is in Turkish

11 Ocak 2011

GENEL, IN ENGLISH

We see that Zaman, which has consistently published one-sided, misleading, and often downright wrong articles on the Sledgehammer case, has opened its English-language pages to Emre Uslu, the Taraf columnist. Uslu has recently written a series of columns on the case, pointing to what he thinks is evidence which contradicts our assertion that the CDs containing the Sledgehammer coup documents are fabricated.

For those unfamiliar about the case, the central contention in the Sledgehammer indictment is that the CDs in question are authentic, original CDs that were produced in the 1st Army back in 2003. We have documented in this blog and our book that these CDs contain information from years beyond 2003 – names that companies, hospitals, NGOs, military units, and so on acquired in subsequent years – that could not possibly have been known in 2003. Therefore it is clear that the metadata on the CDs have been tampered to make the dates and the authors of the documents they contain look like genuine military documents prepared in 2002-2003.

No-one has so far been able to produce a coherent explanation that would account for the anachronisms we have identified. So clear and incontrovertible are the anachronisms that it is impossible to deny them. There does not seem to be any other explanation for them at this point than the obvious one: the Sledgehammer CDs were manufactured not in 2003 in the 1st Army, but by unknown perpetrators much later (most probably in 2009) with the express purpose of framing nearly 200 military officers for crimes they did not commit.

Those that continue to claim the CDs are authentic — writers in Zaman and Taraf in particular — simply ignore this central contradiction, effectively looking the other way so they won’t notice the elephant in the room. Emre Uslu’s case is particularly interesting because he is actually on record as agreeing with us that the information on the CDs appear to have been “updated.” We don’t know how he can square this with his contention that the CDs are authentic (that is, produced in 2003 by 1st Army officers) because he won’t tell us.

(For the technically minded, the CDs were produced in one session, back in 2003 if the metadata are to be believed. The names on all the documents – both in the metadata and in the actual files themselves – belong to officers that served back in 2003. Some have argued that the coup documents are genuine, but were updated over time. But it is not at all clear why the documents and the CDs would have been subsequently backdated and their authors’ names replaced by names of officers serving back in 2003. Any way one looks at it, it is clear that the CDs have been tampered with.)

Instead, Uslu accuses us of failing to respond to a charge he has made recently in Taraf, namely that the handwriting on the two CDs containing the Sledgehammer documents (CD no. 11 and 17) belongs to Suha Tanyeri, an officer who served in the 1st Army in 2003. We actually did respond to this, but we gave Uslu’s claim no more space than it needed given the weakness of the evidence on which it is based.

Consider the facts. The handwriting sample on the fake CDs consists of a grand total of 10 (ten!) characters. (One of the CDs has “Or.K.na” on it, the other “K. özel”.) Moreover, all Uslu has are the photos of the CDs, not the CDs themselves. That Uslu or any forensic expert can claim to make a positive and definite identification using just a handful of letters on a photograph is simply ludicrous. We find it incredible that Uslu – trained as a police officer himself – would take this “evidence” so seriously and treat it as if it were conclusive. Let us add that Uslu’s claim does not appear in the nearly-1,000 page long indictment, even though the prosecutors have gone to great (and sometimes absurd) lengths to prove that the defendants are guilty.

Uslu says that he has confirmed his thesis with a handwriting expert. However, Uslu inexplicably (and inexcusably) refuses to name the expert he consulted. (We and a journalist have independently asked.) It is beyond us why we should give much credence to an unnamed expert when commonsense tells us that an examination based on a few letters on a photo cannot be considered meaningful.

The daily Zaman has predictably run with Uslu’s allegation, and in a separate story they do provide the name of an “expert” who has apparently corroborated the handwriting identification. We have no idea who this expert is. He seems to have left absolutely no trace on the Internet – an amazing feat in today’s world for any professional. So we have no clue to his identity, professional credentials, or institutional affiliation. We have learned from bitter experience that everything that Zaman writes on the Sledgehammer case has to be treated as suspect unless confirmed through credible sources.

Uslu further asks why, if the handwriting is a fake (as we surmise), the perpetrators would have chosen to write on the CDs and try to imitate Tanyeri’s handwriting. Once again, we did respond to this question, which we think has an obvious answer. The fake CDs were delivered to the police along with others that appear to be genuine. All those other CDs have handwriting on them. Failure to label the fake ones would have made them look different and suspicious. For all we know, the fraudsters may have replaced two authentic CDs in the batch with two fake ones, and simply copied the handwriting on the original ones onto the fake ones.

Why copy Tanyeri’s handwriting? There is potentially a good explanation for this as well. The documents leaked from the 1st Army headquarters – the authentic ones, that is – happen to contain a notebook with pages of Tanyeri’s (actual) handwriting on it. This provides a rich source of raw material for the perpetrators to draw on for purposes of imitation. The only other samples of handwriting in their possession consist of the labels on the other CDs – which are mere snippets. Perhaps the “handwriting” on the fake CDs was produced electronically through machine copying specific parts of text in Tanyeri’s notebooks.

Besides, it is astounding to think, as Uslu apparently does, that the onus is on us to explain every detail of what the perpetrators did and why, when the evidence of fabrication is so clear-cut. Once the police and the prosecutors turn their attention to the fabrication and apprehend the true culprits in the matter, Uslu can satisfy his curiosity by asking them the question directly.

Wouldn’t it be possible to resolve at least some of these questions about the source of the handwriting on the fake CDs by consulting independent experts? Yes, but here is the thing. The court will not give the defense even copies of the pictures of the CDs, let alone allow the originals to be examined. Yes, you are reading this right. Despite repeated requests, the court has ruled that the defense is not entitled to have even pictures of the CDs! Zaman and Uslu can somehow have access to these photos, and consult their own “experts.” But not the defense.

Such is the state of Turkish justice and (and of journalism) at the moment.

UPDATE (April 18, 2012): The pictures of the CDs were eventually provided to the defense at the end of April 2011.  Two forensic analyses — one by an American expert — subsequently confirmed what we had suspected, namely that the “handwriting” on the incriminating CDs were in fact forgeries, created by machine-copying individual letters from Tanyeri’s notebook.  (Here is the American report, and here are further details in on the forgery in Turkish.)  Emre Uslu, characteristically, has now gone back to arguing that the CDs are not originals from 2003, but were “updated.”

Abone Ol

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

51 Yorum “Emre Uslu is no more convincing in English than he is in Turkish”

  1. fmerakli Says:

    A very well written commentary!

    I firmly believe that a coup targeting the AKP government was in the hearts and minds of a good number of top-ranked army officials including Cetin Dogan, who was also involved in Bati Calisma Grubu during the February 28 Process (also referred as post-modern coup).

    I could understand if the court would have rejected to give the original CDs to the defense, but I can’t understand why the pictures of CDs, which had already been published in a newspaper, were not given to the defense.

    But if the issue at stake is to have the “pictures” of CDs to get an independent expert opinion on the handwritings, I wonder whether it is really important to get the CDs from the court, considering the fact that they are already being published! So just wondering whether a graphology expert could use the images of the two controversial CDs that the daily Zaman published few days ago…

    Cevapla

    • Can Acar Says:

      fmerakli,

      As far as I recall, the pictures were initially requested in order to determine the production date of the CDs in question. It seems the manufacturer needed the pictures to be able to identify the actual manufacturing dates. The court denied this order since the expert opinion report by TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) mentioned that the dates could not be determined. The report does not mention what methods they used for this purpose though.

      Since the request is for handwriting analysis, it is possible that a new request can be made to the court for the CDs. The court will probably choose to do get their own expert opinion instead. Any expert will also need actual handwriting samples from Suha Tanyeri, and not the photos.

      Handwriting analysis not only depends on shape, but also includes the analysis of other factors such as the direction of strokes and pressure. On a hard surface, like a CD-ROM, printed with a felt-tip pen, it is very hard to determine actual strokes or pressure. This will make it even harder to make a positive identification.

      In either case, the pictures published by Zaman would not be suitable. First of all, there is no chain of custody extending to the original evidence. It is very unlikely, but still possible, that the published pictures are not original, but were manufactured or tempered with. Furthermore, very high quality pictures of the CDs would be needed for any type of analysis. Probably pictures of both sides would have been required for checking the production date.

      Many people have strong opinions about this case. There is also a lot of disinformation and FUD. Any opinion not backed by hard evidence should be suspended if we want to reach the truth.

      Cevapla

      • fmerakli Says:

        Can,

        Many thanks for clarifying the technical details, so we need to wait and see what the court will decide. But I also tend to believe that the court will use their own experts, which is the usual procedure that I am not particularly against.

        Cevapla

        • Mehmet Says:

          Tübitak raporlarından sonra hala “mahkeme bilirkişisi bilir” demek de nedir?

          Cevapla

          • fmerakli Says:

            Mehmet Bey,

            TUBITAK raporlarinda CD’lerin ustverilerine iliskin bilirkisi gorusleri yer almakta. Emre Uslu’nun ortaya attigi iddia CD’ler uzerindeki el yazilarina iliskin. Burada Can Bey ile tartistigimiz husus, imzanin mahkemenin atadigi grafoloji uzmanlarinca mi inceleneceg yoksa CD’lerin fotograflarinin sanik avukatlarina verilerek, saniklarin bagimsiz inceleme yaptirip yaptiramayacagina iliskin idi. Can Bey kendi beklentisinin CD’lerin mahkeme tarafindan atanan uzmanlarca incelenecegi, saniklara verilmeyecegi seklinde oldugunu ifade etti, ben de benim beklentimin bu yonde oldugunu ve bunda ozellikle rahatsiz olunacak bir nokta olmadigini ifade ettim. Zira, eger her mahkemede davali ve davacilara kendi bilirkisi raporlarini sunma olanagi taninsa birbirine zit bilirkisi goruslerinin mahkeme onune heyetine gelmesi ozellikle Turkiye’de surpriz olmaz. Baksaniza bugun Haberal’in doktoru bile ayakta teedavi gorebilir raporunu mahkemeden sakladigi icin orgute yardim ve yatakliktan tutuklanmis…

            Cevapla

  2. acracia Says:

    Dear Pinar Dogan and Dani Rodrik:

    Thank you for this insightful commentary on Uslu’s misleading article (which is not a first) as well as for reminding us that justice and law are concrete mechanisms that should solely be based on evidence and not on personal beliefs and opinions.

    Regards.

    Cevapla

  3. Kurmanbek Allahverdiyev Says:

    The certain and definitive fact of these CD’s being fabricated not in the army but somewhere else by some perpetrators is an ‘inconvenient truth’. You (Pinar Dogan and Dani Rodrik) have uncovered this conspiracy with your research leading to undeniable evidence. This has further lead us to see the real face of the so called liberals who were busy filling their pockets and playing ‘three monkeys’. Thank you very much once again!

    Cevapla

  4. trsaby Says:

    “I firmly believe that a coup targeting the AKP government was in the hearts and minds of a good number of top-ranked army officials including Cetin Dogan, ”

    This is not the place to exprress beliefs, trials are not religion. You can express your beliefs in mosques, churchs not in trials, but you can express your evidences if you have any in favor or not. If an expert academician like you is expressing his beliefs rather on evidences, he is biased.

    “February 28 Process (also referred as post-modern coup).”

    You are creating information pollution on this subject. February 28 occurred in 1997. He didn’t do the coup, but he was assigned to inspect the decisoions that has been taken by the coupers. Today we are in the year 2011, you are claming an incident that has not any relation with the trial, that had occured long before from the trial trying to confuse the people who doesn’t know the subject. Shame on you.

    Cevapla

    • fmerakli Says:

      Trsaby,

      You are providing misleading information, and interestingly you do so by saying that I did try to mislead those who doesn’t know the subject. That was a good try, but funny at the same time. But still, some of those who don’t know much about the subject might get persuaded by what you wrote, which is fine. People do provide misleading information for this purpose anyway!

      Lessson 1: freedom of expression naturally includes expressions of beliefs as well. I can express my beliefs freely in private and public spaces including in this forum. If you are against people expressing their beliefs here, you should also raise your concerns to Dogan and Rodrik, as they recently expressed their beliefs in one of the comments they made in this blog that they see the controversial statements made by Cetin Dogan and other army officers in the 2003 seminar such as “thrashing the people” or “bashing Istanbul” as freedom of expression.

      Lesson 2: Not me, but religious people do express their ‘faith’ in mosques and other places of worship. I am, and will be, expressing my beliefs about this trial as well as the army’s undemocratic and illegitimate interventions to the political sphere here and elsewhere, and anyone who knows a little bit about the recent history of Turkey would not need any evidence to be mentioned explicitly in order to make sense of what I am saying. But for the members of minority, who still need evidence to believe that I am not the only one who sees the 28 February process as a postmodern coup, here are some references, which are, I believe, strong enough to illustrate that the 28 February process is referred as such in the relevant literature:

      The rise of political Islam in Turkey By Angel Rabasa, F. Stephen Larrabee

      Legislating Virtue, or Fear and Loathing in Istanbul? by Christopher Houston, Critique of Anthropology December 2002 22: 425-444

      The subsection entitled “1997 – The Postmodern Coup” within the section of “The Role of Military” in Turkey on Global Security portal (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/europe/tu-military-coup-1997.htm)

      But those who know Turkish can actually read the book titled “Generalinden 28 Subat Itirafi: Postmodern Darbe” by Cevizoglu, which can be translated as “The Confession on 28 February from its General: Postmodern Coup”.

      I think there should be no discussion on whether the 28 February should be labelled as postmodern coup, when its perpetrators are defining it as such! And of course, this also shows that I am not the one “creating information pollution on this subject”

      Lesson 3: I found very naive to say that “Cetin Dogan didn’t do the coup, but inspected the decisions”

      We all know that “Bati Calisma Grubu” was the operational arm of the coup – it was like the Politburo of the process, so it doesn’t make much sense to me to say that he was not the executor but the inspector. There is an old Yeni Turku song, remember: Ya disindasindir cemberin ya da icinde yer alacaksin – you are either inside or outside the circle. The Turkish people knows very well where he has positioned himself then and now.

      Cevapla

      • Alakasiz Says:

        Goebbels would have been proud if he had seen how successfully his theories is being used by neo-islamists in Turkey today. To paraphrase him: “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”. The court case here is not about “Post Modern Coup” or “Bati Calisma Grubu”, it is about an alleged sinister plan which involves bombing of mosques and shooting down our own planes. If you have anything concrete to say about the findings that the authors of this blog brought forward, please share with us, otherwise, just stop making blatant propaganda on unrelated subjects and unrelated information. I strongly suggest you to read last chapter Hanefi Avci’s book with an “open mind and heart”. He is the person who suffered most from the events you mentioned and if you have even just a bit of heart and independent mind, maybe even you can start questioning some of the things which are not right in this case.

        Cevapla

        • ihtimal Says:

          Are we still discussing the existence of post modern coup or so called 28 February Process while the head officer Cevik Bir’s interview to the news as it would last 1000 years? You dont Goebbels to realize that fmerakli would make a point!

          Cevapla

          • Can Acar Says:

            Everybody agrees that Feb. 28 was a postmodern coup. Yet, a number of people here keep repeating this over and over again. What is the purpose of continuously repeating something that everybody already agrees on?

            It means they have no other argument.

            It means they are ignoring the whole point of this discussion Blog, which is the fake evidence and gross misconduct going on in this trial.

            They keep pushing their own agenda. Actively trying to distract people away from the obvious injustice that is being carried out. Thus, the Goebbels reference.

            It is like continuously shouting the same thing over and over again, and calling it free speech. I call it trolling and SPAM.

            Cevapla

            • ihtimal Says:

              If everybody agrees that Feb. 28 was a postmodern coup, why don’t we still file a case aganist Retired General Cevik Bir for being head commander in the coupe and retired general cetin dogan for being master mind of coup as he clearly acknowledge in an interview to Aljezeera.net that he drafted rules and aims and terms of reference of Western Working Group during 28 February Process in 1997?

              Cevapla

              • Can Acar Says:

                Still out of topic, but a very good question. Unfortunately, I do not think that the owners of this blog or any one of the contributors is qualified to answer that.

                I am sure you have some conspiracy theory in mind involving the military influence over the justice system. I have an even more plausible one that involves the influence of the ruling government over the justice system. We can keep arguing about this to no end, and it will be completely out of topic.

                So, why don’t you ask this question to some real lawyers instead? I will be happy to hear it when you have an answer that is based on facts.

                Cevapla

        • fmerakli Says:

          Alakasiz,

          What you wrote was a bit “alakasiz” (meaning irrelevant in Turkish) if it was written as a reply to my comment, simply because I am an agnostic not a neo-islamist as you tended to believe.

          If anyone wonders about how Goebbels propaganda techniques has been used in Turkey, they should look at the 42 black propaganda websites such as irtica.org, ozgurgenc.net, pontuslu.com, which were established and maintained by the army. These sites were closed down only when the army’s role behind them became known during the Ergenekon trials. But those who are interested can access the archived pages from the link below, and see how a propaganda machine could be operated:

          http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.irtica.org
          http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.ozgurgenc.net
          http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://greekmurderers.net (advocating a Turkish genocide by Greeks)
          http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://turkses.com

          You are right in saying that the court is not about Bati Calisma Grubu or 28 Subat, but anyone who knows a bit about contemporary Turkish politics would acknowledge the simple fact that the 28 February Process refers to a mindset, which was alive and strong within the army ranks in the early 2000s, so excluding the 28 Feb process from the discussion, is something similar to the exclusion of the Enlightment from a discussion what led to the French Revolution! So it is not meaningful!

          I have also questioned the things that don’t look right in this case by clearly stating that the prosecutors must explain the points Dogan and Rodrik have so far raised in this blog. These are so important which cannot be ignored!

          Cevapla

          • Alakasiz Says:

            I rest my case. It looks like the neo-islamist propaganda has been pretty successful in the end, even the agnostics seem to have been convinced by that. I also suggest you to check how many web sites, newspapers and so called NGOs that are being used at the moment by the neo-islamists pretending to be “liberal” which are all fed from the same source to spread disinformation and with the same ultimate aim, unfortunately, which is not to make Turkey an advanced liberal democracy. Before talking about “enlightenment”, maybe you should start from “magna carta” and understand the concept of “rule of law” which is the starting point for any decent democracy. It seems that Turkey has created an untouchable “religious sect”, which are above the law and undermine anyone who does not agree with them, by abusing their positions in the security services, judiciary and even tax administration. Once again, if you have anything concrete to say about the facts that the authors of this brought forward share with us, otherwise, what you say is pure “propaganda” to distract attention of the followers of this blog to “irrelevant” issues.

            Cevapla

            • fmerakli Says:

              Alakasiz,

              Another alakasiz (irrelevant) comment on what I wrote… You accuse me with spreading disinformation, but tell me which information you are referring…

              Here is the list of information I provided:

              INFO 1: The army established and maintained 42 black propaganda websites in the early 2000s, which were up and running until the army’s role behind them uncovered during the Ergenekon trial.

              Is it disinformation?

              INFO 2: I provided the links of the archived pages of some propaganda websites. Are they fake or broken links? Are you saying that the army did not establish such propaganda websites?

              INFO 3: Did Cetin Dogan and other army officers talk about “thrashing the people” or “bashing Istanbul” in the 2003 seminar? Am I making up all of these? Did they talk about “increasing the wealth of people” or “planting tulips into the gardens of Istanbul”, but I am twisting the truth? Is it the disinformation I provided or what?

              Without complaining about the fact that this country has suffered in the hands of the untouchable elites whom were involved in traditional (27 April 1960, 12 March 1971, 12 September 1980), postmodern (28 February 1997) and electronic coups (the 27 April 2007 memorandum), what you wrote on ‘the rule of law’ does not make much sense to me!

              And besides all of these, why do you think that you have the right to determine the borders of discussion in this blog. From where do you get the authority to assess which issues are relevant or irrelevant?

              Cevapla

              • Bulent Murtezaoglu Says:

                From where I am sitting, what makes what you say look like propaganda is sentences like this:

                Without complaining about the fact that this country has suffered in the hands of the untouchable elites whom were involved in traditional (27 April 1960, 12 March 1971, 12 September 1980), postmodern (28 February 1997) and electronic coups (the 27 April 2007 memorandum), what you wrote on ‘the rule of law’ does not make much sense to me!

                It isn’t an established fact at all that the four interventions/attempts/coups you mention are instigated by the same ‘untouchable elites’ unless it is very carefully qualified in ways I wouldn’t know how. As stated, this untouchable elite rhetoric itself seems more or less manufactured and spread through propaganda. This is what makes people like me uncomfortable. If the typical member of the ‘elite’ is Ecevit, the coup of ’80 jailed him for his attempts to speak up. If the Demirel represents it, he was brought down in ’71 and ’80. If people like Ilhan Selcuk is what people have in mind, he was jailed and tortured. If university professors are the elite, Erbakan was one, and the academia was hit in ’71 and ’80 (think of the story of Mumtaz and Sevgi Sosyal who’d now be pegged as belonging to the untouchable ‘elite’ perhaps). If army officers are the elite, each coup hit their ranks too. In what sense, say, is Kenan Evren, the son of an imam as he made point of stressing, more of an ‘elite’ than Reha Isvan who was jailed by Evren’s regime?

                Alakasiz is alluding to a particular cemaat whose leader publicly supported the coups o ’71 and ’80 as they hit their ‘enemies’ and has taken an ambivalent position during the Feb. 28th ‘process.’ Those people scream a lot how they were unjustly treated by the ever-present and ever-powerful ‘elite,’ but they appear to have been nurtured by the state (across the parties) in many of their endeavors and protected to a large extent. Not that I am categorically against such volunteer organizations [be they religious or secular in nature] but it is becoming obvious now that they are seeking to target people inside state structures and they openly call them ‘those not of this nation.’ That such words can be uttered and go by and large unchallenged [while people pretended to not notice] in an era where everybody is acting all PC and advertising the coming of the rule of law and egalitarian treatment of the citizenry, is, in itself, amazing to me. Doesn’t it strike you as fishy?

                I personally have no horse in this race, I’d probably be no happier under the faux ‘left of center’ or supposedly ‘enlightened’ government than I am under the AKP. We are, after all, talking about people who managed to make AKP look far better than the alternatives. On the other hand, if a political movement is out there and is backed by a semi-secret organization and uses state-power to jail/accuse/try people with fabricated evidence while spreading Orwell-esque propaganda like ‘the elite did such and so’ ‘the elite have always done such and so’ ‘the crowd we are hitting is the elite’ then I think there are grounds for worry. Perhaps ‘the elite’ is really up to something, I wouldn’t know. I just am not convinced ‘the elite’ who can pull off all that you listed is ‘the elite’ that is being hit. This suspicion goes beyond the concerns for due process and justice. We’re being told to think a certain way by the powers that be and an educated (elite!) crowd, but what we are being told doesn’t make much sense to us. It isn’t even clear to me who the sides truly are and what they stand for. If you actually do understand such things, please do enlighten us.

                Cevapla

                • fmerakli Says:

                  Bulent,

                  First I must thank you for such a well elaborated response to my comment, which does not happen often in this blog, so thank you again.

                  You explicitly stated in your opinion about what I wrote looks like propaganda. Even though I don’t agree that it was a propaganda, yet you raised some very important issues in your reply.

                  You stated

                  Well, you are right. It is not possible to say that all coups and coup attempts are instigated by the “same untouchable elites”, but this is normal, because time passes. We are talking about coups and coup attempts taken place between 1960 and present, so the figures behind them change but the mindset stays the same. You mentioned some civilians like Ecevit, Demirel and so on as being “elites”, and rightly questioned whether they belonged to the group of untouchable elites, and if not why.

                  I should have made my point clearer I guess. I referred to untouchable elites in uniforms who have been involved in the coups and coup attempts since the 1960s. My only reservation from the list of names you mentioned could be Ilhan Selcuk, who was arrested and tortured after the 12 March coup. It did happen not because Selcuk was an “elite”, but because he was supporting another junta that was planning another coup. I am referring the Madanoglu junta that was plotting another coup d’etat to be taken place on 9 March, but I am not saying, of course, as a member of the junta Selcuk deserved what he had gone through after 12 March. Nothing can justify torture, which is a blatant crime against humanity. Interestingly those who tortured him never charged for this crime, but more interestingly Selcuk publicly declared that he forgive his tortures after being alleged for a member of the Ergenekon organization.

                  In regards to your opinion on a particular cemaat, I share your concerns, no doubt about it. But this is not my only concern, by using your own line of thinking I will state my other concern below with the hope that it will help you and others to understand what I am trying to say:

                  On the other hand, if a political movement using Mustafa Kemal to create an atmosphere in which they cannot be touched, hence using him as a shield, is out there and is backed by a semi-secret organization (like JITEM or juntas plotting coups like Eldiven, Sarikiz, Ayisigi etc just to name a few) and uses state-power to jail/accuse/try people with fabricated evidence (just think about the assassinations of Hrant Dink and Priest Santoro, the Malatya killings, the Danistay (the State Council) attack or the shooting of Akin Birdal following a fabricated evidence (Andic accusing of him and some others supporting the PKK) by the Army ) while spreading Orwell-esque propaganda like ‘Sharia is coming or traitors did such and so’ or ‘the AKP is transforming the country to a Islamic state or they have a hidden agenda to do so’ then I think there are grounds for worry. Perhaps ‘the reactionaries (murteciler) or traitors (vatan hainleri) or the servants of Soros (Soros’un usaklari)etc’ are really up to something, I wouldn’t know. I am pretty much convinced that ‘the elite’ now sitting on the court ranks shares “the mindset” that is responsible of hitting and/or targeting various segments of the society in various coups and coup attempts in the past 40 years or more.

                  I am not surprised to see some of the accused have nothing to do with the allegations made upon them, especially the lower-ranked army officers, who are bound to follow the orders in a very strict hierarchical regime, but it will not change my point that most of them share the mindset that I stated above. But what I have been trying to say that we as a society need to face and acknowledge the bitter reality that the army’s intervention to the political sphere with coups, memorandums, “Andic”s, black propagandas and so on resulted in nothing but pain, injustice, instability, and gross violations of human rights.

                  I can understand if one says “ok they did happen, but let’s forget about what happened in the past but focus on enhancing the democratic system that would prevent such things from happening in the future” – acknowledgement with leaving old ‘scores’ unsettled.

                  But I believe that those who are responsible for coups and coup attempts, who talked about ‘thrashing the people’ or ‘bashing Istanbul’ should be held accountable.

                  My reply to the upcoming comments saying “the Balyoz trial is not about such statements” is that it should be, so I agree with those who believe that the Balyoz indictment is problematic.

                  Cevapla

                  • Bulent Murtezaoglu Says:

                    OK, we still have disagree but the disagreement is getting more refined and perhaps insignificant.

                    First of all I should admit I was not here in Turkey in ’97 and I didn’t even pay attention from abroad (ignorance is bliss especially for a place like Turkey). To me, it seemed like the die was cast after the municipal elections in ’94 when RP got Istanbul. (I still think we should have runoff elections for municipalities especially if more decentralization will happen. But that’s for another day.)

                    I have two issues with what you’ve said. One concerns the character of the army’s power. They seem to need some support (both domestic and foreign) to act, and the domestic support they get probably isn’t based on propaganda but money. I say support rather than command because it seems like (esp. in the most successful one we had in ’80) it is more like an interacting alliance that pulls these things off than a hierarchy. So if we will sniff out a clique or a class, we probably need to also look at people who don’t wear uniforms or aren’t in gov’t. If we assume an economic dimension in that alliance, then it may become obvious why the coup of ’80 and the partial/flawed liberalization that ensued ensured that no coups with that kind of power to control (though application of naked power) would ever happen again.

                    The second issue concerns how the army behaves when its power is exercised. Despite the 1000-year rhetoric and despite what we are told about how the general staff can shape the army they leave behind, we don’t seem to get truly powerful men with long-lasting power even after coups. Sure enough, if attempts fail, anything from hangings (Aydemir) to evisceration (9 March people) happen, but in case of success the control isn’t or, at any rate, cannot remain absolute. All we see is some subsequent protection for the leaders and the apparatus. So the membership to and the ways of thinking of the ‘elite’ or the muscle part of it seem subject to dynamic change. (Why we see Dogan as opposed to other names from ’97 targeted might itself be an interesting story, but it doesn’t look like anyone is willing to write it.)

                    Anyway, here is the problem I have: when the issue is seen as one of an ‘elite’ or unelected clique and, furthermore, that characterization is made an article of faith, what may well be the real underlying problems are obscured.

                    The state apparatus used in such things seems pervasive (though perhaps not monolithic) and we know very little about it. It is likely that it changes hands, staff and direction but it isn’t dismantled and we have no way to tell whether or not it is. My fear in that regard is that, after all these court cases, we’ll be told that we’re done and it is gone and it will not be. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist as they say.

                    The second issue that’s obscured is the broad tendency towards authoritarianism. This is not limited to the armed forces but it probably explains why this nation can raise large/powerful armies or even militant groups. Blaming a particular set of ‘elite’ in a particular way, I fear, will justify the rise of another authoritarian structure to take them down. It seems obvious what kind of ships RTE and the cemaat leaders are running, for example. Their respective propaganda arms seem fully aware of this. In case of the cemaat they hide what might be called a soft kind of totalitarianism in their ‘volunteer’ rhetoric (though I have seen them gloat about their power over individuals to the foreign press). In case of the AKP, the story we get is the consent of the majority not to the individual decisions but to the power of one person.

                    Both of these issues are far more important — because they enable oppression — than the perceived or real elite problem. In looking at how the society and the visible intellectual classes respond to the court cases, the abject fakery inherent in the liberalism claim of the cemaat’s hired guns and, finally, the inability of those of us who sink time into such things to convince people that due process is advertised but not quite delivered are causes for worry.

                    This is not to say that I am pessimistic, but I would worry far less if I actually saw more people (esp. those with the proper background which I lack) worry and articulate why they worry instead of deciding what needs to happen next (eg purging the elite) and producing prose in support of that.

                    Cevapla

                    • Bulent Murtezaoglu Says:

                      I should perhaps back up what I have said about the kind of control that’s advertised as ‘volunteerism.’ A lot of lies are told about these people, but this appears to come from their HQ. From here:

                      We were clearly disturbing them. When a young man suddenly stood up and whispered something to Aksoy, I could have sworn he was complaining about my presence. Aksoy seemed to admonish him. Later, I asked, “Was that young man upset that I was there?” “Our people do not complain,” Aksoy replied. “They obey commands completely.”
                      […]
                      “He would never tell; he suggests,” Aksoy replied. “And then what do people do with that suggestion?” I asked. “Let me put it this way,” he said. “If a man with a Ph.D. and a career came to see Hocaefendi, and Hocaefendi told him it might be a good idea to build a village on the North Pole, that man with a Ph.D. would be back the next morning with a suitcase.”

                      (emphases mine)

                      This is fine if one considers this kind of control over people as desirable (and we sometimes do, we’ve even seen a former cabinet minister say things like “Başbakan uçurumdan atlıyorsa, bize yakışan onun arkasından atlamaktır. Karar doğrudur, yanlıştır önemli değil. Türk töresi böyle gerektirir.”). My point is that this doesn’t jibe at all with the idea of a crowd who’d either support or protect the values underlying any recognizable form of liberal democracy.

                    • Bulent Murtezaoglu Says:

                      I should perhaps back up what I have said about the kind of control that’s advertised as ‘volunteerism.’ A lot of lies are told about these people, but this appears to come from their HQ. From here:

                      We were clearly disturbing them. When a young man suddenly stood up and whispered something to Aksoy, I could have sworn he was complaining about my presence. Aksoy seemed to admonish him. Later, I asked, “Was that young man upset that I was there?” “Our people do not complain,” Aksoy replied. “They obey commands completely.”
                      […]
                      “He would never tell; he suggests,” Aksoy replied. “And then what do people do with that suggestion?” I asked. “Let me put it this way,” he said. “If a man with a Ph.D. and a career came to see Hocaefendi, and Hocaefendi told him it might be a good idea to build a village on the North Pole, that man with a Ph.D. would be back the next morning with a suitcase.”

                      (emphases mine)

                      This is fine if one considers this kind of control over people as desirable (and we sometimes do, we’ve even seen a former cabinet minister say[1] things like “Başbakan uçurumdan atlıyorsa, bize yakışan onun arkasından atlamaktır. Karar doğrudur, yanlıştır önemli değil. Türk töresi böyle gerektirir.”). My point is that this doesn’t jibe at all with the idea of a crowd who’d either support or protect the values underlying any recognizable form of liberal democracy.

                      [1] Google for the sentence if you wish, I had a link there but the system eats the comment with that in it. I’m trying again.

  5. ihtimal Says:

    Retired General Cetin Dogan was in the top rank officials who set up Bati Calisma Grubu which has always been illegal intelligence organization based in Turkish Military. Bati Calisma Grubu, including pirimary actor Cetin Dogan, forced 54. Goverment of Turkish Republic under Prime Minister Erbakan leave the power after long debated 28 Februart 1997 national Security Council decisions. It is called in Turkish History the first Post Modern Coup D’etat. Beside from Sledgehammer case which is an ongoing trial for the moment, Cetin Dogan has been submersed in crime with his actions in Bati Calisma Grubu.

    Cevapla

  6. acracia Says:

    Regarding “Ihtimal”:

    Considering Ihtimal’s troll-like activity in Turkish (his or her English skills, I must add, are far better than his or her Turkish) in this blog, including creating deliberately misleading information pollution (e.g., trying to make this case about things other than what it is, attempting to personally smearing Cetin Dogan, etc) and posting blog comments that personally target Pinar Dogan (which hints patriarchal and sexist undertones, as Ihtimal’s messages are not directed to Dani Rodrik but at times consist of personal attacks to Pinar Dogan–some of them aggressively and condescendingly so, with explicitly personally smearing and trying-to-provoke intent) this post #5 did not surprise me at all. All I have to say is this: do not feed the troll. And do not take the troll seriously. This is just another post that exemplifies his/her previous behavior with misleading “data” presentation and “deliberate” information pollution.

    Cevapla

  7. ihtimal Says:

    We need to have a global, historical and philosopical view on how military has been effective in the social life through over 1000 years , mostly Ottaman era which is clear indication of nowadays social realities and non-completed transformations towards to the West( please refer to articles of Halil Inalcik), in order to truly understand nowadays Turkish Army and its engagements to politics, social and cultural life in Turkey. The key truth here is that representation of Turkish people has always been (Ordu Millet) Army Nation.Turkish Army’s image has been badly worned by the 1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s “regular”coups (Sounds like a joke but- I was teenager in 1990 and my grand father was expecting another coup sooner to keep the tradition of miltary intervene to life every ten years, but they had to wait seven more years for that) and finally 1997 post- modern military coup. Its role and position to protect democracy and secular state is now being questioned by the people of the Turkey. Especially, after European Union entegration process, its influence has been getting less and less as Turkey becomes a fully involved Western like democracy. In an interview to the news, Israel’s President Shimon Peres summarizes the dilemma of democracy and Turkish Army by saying ‘Turkey is the only country in the world where a nondemocratic institution, the Army, was in charge of preserving democracy’. Interpretation and the rest are all up to reader and his/her ability to do more research on the long debated issue of Turkey, in fact of Middle East and North Africa as well.

    Cevapla

  8. acracia Says:

    The Turkish army’s military coups definitely need to be put into question. And concretely legally so: Nobody denies that. But as any self-reflexive thinker would acknowledge,

    1) an institution is not a monolithic entity, but is composed of various human elements and individually motivated peoples, thus, each case needs to be treated case-by-case basis;

    2) using previous outrageous involvements and policies of the army in various coups to blur the boundaries of justice in the clearly-tampered-with Sledgehammer case is unethical;

    3) attributing an individual, such as Cetin Dogan, a premature “guilty” verdict just because he is a member of the army or any institution, and thus assuming he is automatically guilty due to his position of a historically unchanging status (e.g., an example could be drawn from gender for instance–stating a woman’s position is to give birth because of her child-bearing capacity, attributing her an essence, regardless of individual positions and choices) is nothing but essentialism. It again blurs the lines between an individual’s rights and acts with the institution he has been a part of (i.e., one may not like his personal opinions, his secularist position as a person, or the army, but this is not a reason enough to plead someone guilty in a case like the so-called Sledgehammer, whereby, as Pinar Dogan and Dani Rodrik demonstrate, huge breaches of legal procedures have been committed by accepting documents based on entirely fabricated and anonymous documents and letters to criminalize individuals);

    4) The Sledgehammer case (interestingly) coincides with individual attacks on the army members: a character assassination campaign has been launched at the same time as this case against several army officials on the grounds that their kids are gay, married to Jews, Armenians, etc, demonstrating an incredible homophobia and racism, to create an additional layer of disgrace to such hate-speech campaigns. They targeted the military with their homophobic, antisemitic, racist approaches. These people used private photos of army officials’ family members (how did they get hold of these private photos stored in personal computers???), unsolicited emails, websites to launch this hateful campaign. And, the cherry on the top: even national identification numbers and the passport of some people (passport! How could they reach a copy of someone’s passport??) have been published in the media, circulated widely in the internet.

    How did these people get hold of these documents, if not through a government official’s collaboration? Imagine your social security number published in the media? Circulated in the internet? You get the picture. This is not an innocent case. [Those of you who can read Turkish, check Can Dundar’s “Cocuklari rahat birakin!” (Leave the kids alone) article] Thus, Sledgehammer should be considered as part of a larger picture, with its timing and various attacks, and not just a flat-out “let’s attack the coup-makers” plot; it is far more complex and corrupted;

    5) For the more academically-interested parties, this picture reminds of Foucauldian “governmentality”–using previous allegiances (i.e., the liberals’ position in Turkey as being against the army) to channel them to new positions (i.e., supporting the Sledgehammer case) with all their good intentions.

    Thus, arguing this is simply a matter of historicizing the army’s politics is just another attempt of using the previously methods as described in #5. Because it is far easier to disguise the huge corruption (e.g., publishing images of passports, giving national identification numbers, circulating private photos, fully burst-out hate speech based on racism and homophobia, etc) that surrounds the Sledgehammer case, with all of its other problems, as clearly laid out by the respectable bloggers here. We have Pinar Dogan and Dani Rodrik to thank for that.

    [ps: This said, just a quick note on the so-tired “Westernization” narratives: these are largely outdated and offer a problematic paradigm nowadays debated in cutting-edge social sciences. It brings a meta-narrative explanation to various attempts of transformation and labels it problematically as “trying to be like the West.” And yet, in the Ottoman times, nobody said “let’s Westernize”–they used the term Civilization. Westernization narratives come in much later. So it is very problematic to also use this terminology to discuss socio-political transformations under the guise of “historicization.”]

    Cevapla

    • Bulent Murtezaoglu Says:

      Imagine your social security number published in the media? Circulated in the internet?

      Um. We don’t need to imagine it, since it already happened. Our glorious government printed our ID numbers along with past payroll withholding data in the Official Gazette, and, subsequently, the lists made their way to Rapidshare. (I am not kidding, here: http://www.memurlar.net/haber/116007/ They eventually realized what they had done, though.)

      If you guys are living abroad, lemme tell you: you’re missing a lot. This truly is a fun and exciting country.

      Cevapla

      • acracia Says:

        This was a commentary for those who live abroad to make them realize the gravity of the context. Publishing government workers’ national ID numbers (supposedly by mistake) is not the same as personally targeting and illegally investigating army officials’ children who have nothing to do with their parents activities, and finding *their* passports, national ID numbers, to supposedly “expose” them. That was the point I was trying to make. And it is different.

        Cevapla

        • Bulent Murtezaoglu Says:

          I know, and you are right, it struck me as funny though since it had already happened. (No it was not just gov’t workers. It was all who’d worked for — legal — salary while KEY withholding was in effect. It doesn’t matter, of course, for your point.)

          Cevapla

          • acracia Says:

            This also sounds awful though. There must have been a lot of identity thefts with the Rapidshare distribution. I am really sorry.

            Cevapla

            • Bulent Murtezaoglu Says:

              Well the Official Gazette (Resmi Gazete) site had the pdf files up too from what I understand but the site itself couldn’t handle the traffic. So the info was officially public. Rapidshare just has better infrastructure. I had all the pdf files here at some point (it is like having a portion of IRS’s database for a particular kind of withholding spanning multiple years for everybody it applied to).

              Nobody made much of a fuss about it at the time. You have to have a sense of humor about such things here. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Then again there’s this little matter of East Rome. So, dunno … something like that … perhaps NYC wasn’t?

              Cevapla

  9. acracia Says:

    A quick note: Pinar Dogan and Dani Rodrik themselves have been subjected to #4.

    Cevapla

  10. ihtimal Says:

    Acracia
    1) Of course an institution is not a monolithic entity and so on; but when there is a historical trend and tendencies for centuries, every organization and institution, especially let’s just consider only Army of Republic of Turkey since 1923, who has no civilian control over itself since the beginning will always doing possible coups for whatever threat they see in the future. They just call it “internal threats” and make their own way of getting to control over them. Now the interesting question is that Who has been the “internal threat” ; kurds, alewits,practicing muslims, liberals, leftist liberals and the people who has been favor of entegration with European Union; shortly almost %75 of the people. Can you imagine such an army who can see such a view over its own people?
    2) There is no verdict made for Sledgehammer case, currently ongoing case. It is the first case that takes coup plans to the court in Turkey’s history. You may say whatever you want for the boundaries of the case, but I believe it is a start for strong democracy in Turkey. Is it only a law case? I don’t think so. Is it purely political? I don’t think so either.
    3) As I mention before in my comments and some other tried to touch to the subject, Cetin Dogan has been a very active in the Turkish Army when it sends some “messages” to the government and played major role and acted as a master mind of Western Working Group which has been illegal organization within army up until it was attached to the office of Prime Minister. Of couse, nobody can claim any right to blame them who has been his daugther married to or what their faiths have been. Can you imagine a general in US trying to critize the decision of Prime minister on social and culturel issue, even lets say military issue? We did not need to imagine, we experienced it. They even publicly use swear words against our Prime Minister. And some of them are still working in the army. We, as a nation, were fateless enough to hear from head of turkish army who can be or can not be our president by an election in the parliment , called e-coup in 2007? Which part of these acceptable can you please tell me? Which books, possibly in English, that you read during your education do support these nonsense applications that turkish army has been practicing?
    4) It is totally not acceptable to publish somebody’s personal information on any newspaper. If anybody did against you I would support and encourage you to sue them. But, antisemitism is also not acceptable accusation for Turkish Nation. Which news papers are you talking about? If you are talking about Vakit and other similar minded small news papers, they are not the majority of the newspaper and they, in total, sell %5 of the 5 million daily. But, the fact is the biggest media group Dogan, over %60 of the total media effect in early 2000s, has been in favor of post modern coup in 1997. Dogan Media still has up to %40 percent and pretty much supports to military in Ergenekon case and so some degree in Sledgehammer case . I don’t understand why you are proposing that idea to prove or support your effort to cover up coup allegations! Don’t you even want a trial which has been trying to understand what was going on that seminer in 2003 while we have tons of voice records that can not be denied?
    5) If you want to present and believe the government as Foucauldian, go for it!. I think that government should go further than staying quite and watching what will happen! Well, they have been pretty much scared by the closure case which has been provoked by army against a AK Party while it is in power!
    Ps: People on the the streets do not care about kids and families of Cetin Dogan and Hasan Igsiz, People don’t even care about those generals, all we people want is an army who does not interve our life by regular coups, who does not try to train and form us, who is not into taking our kids under the name of compulsory service for country and making them serve for higher rank army members and wasting their time, who is has no intention to govern to country and so on and on!

    Cevapla

    • Can Acar Says:

      How does this justify the obviously fake evidence that is the Balyoz coup plans?

      How do you accept the fact that the prosecutors knew about the inconsistencies in the coup plans, and chose to hide this evidence. They proceeded claim in the indictment that they checked for inconsistencies, and found none!

      How can you support people being accused of crimes they did not commit, on false evidence, just because they might have done so?

      You really acknowledge the personal attacks against the suspects and their families, and find it acceptable? Because they are done by a “small” media group?

      It is obvious that you do not subscribe to any of the higher ideals of “democracy” and “human rights” that you wave against the army in your accusations. The methods you support are no better than those of an oppressive government.

      Please do not play anybody for a fool by claiming that all this is being done for “democracy” or “freedom”. At least have the decency to admit that you are at war with the Turkish Army, and you are spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt for this purpose.

      Cevapla

      • acracia Says:

        I second Can Acar’s position and statements.

        What is so interesting here, and I find it very amusing, is Ihtimal’s sudden change of tone in front of a supposedly English-speaking audience.

        As we have read Ihtimal’s statements in Turkish as well, I do not take this sudden interest in trying to appear nuanced in tone in English seriously. When we look at his or her Turkish comments giving all sorts of verdicts about Cetin Dogan and his personality, and thus deeming him guilty (even though here s/he says there is no verdict–which is contradictory with his or her comments in Turkish), various statements of essentialism against Cetin Dogan, and disrespectful reproaches to Pinar Dogan (e.g., Ihtimal’s totally misplaced question, out of the blue: “So Pinar Hanim, you think what will save your father is another coup?” which was not a reproach she deserved by any means with anything she said whatsoever, but consists of a personal attack to Pinar Dogan which I find sexist and aggressive. I find it sexist especially because everything written here is written as “we” by Dani Rodrik and Pinar Dogan. Addressing only her as such suggests a distasteful patriarchy).

        It is equally amusing to see people speaking in the “name of the people in the street”–whoever these “people in the street are.” I personally do not care about people I don’t know either. What I do care about is the basic principle of protecting human rights. Using homophobia, antisemitism, racism; using illegally-obtained, supposedly government-protected private information such as passports, national identification numbers, ethnic and religious origins of spouses, sexual orientation of family members as character assassination campaigns to personally target military members’ families through a clear government officials’ collaboration (how else did these people obtain national ID numbers, passport copies?) together with the prosecutors’ deliberate hiding of evidence overshadow real problems with the military, such as the 1980 military coup.

        AKP has had absolute majority for eight years, and they went to the September 2010 referandum with the promises of changing the coup constitution of the 1980s and prosecution of the actual coup-makers such as Kenan Evren. And the public voted a yes on this. What did AKP do? Nothing. They have delayed this process indefinitely until after the elections. If they were going to do nothing, why did they do such a referendum in September 2010, knowing there would be elections in June anyway? One wonders. And they did get a “yes” vote, I repeat. I am sorry if I do not find AKP so “democratic” considering their growing authoritarianism and contradictory statements.

        So, yes, this is not a question about what imaginary “people in the streets” think about. This is about an organized defamation campaign also using government officials’ support and trying to manipulate all the anti-militaristic feelings and positions to mobilize the public opinion against the problems of the Sledgehammer case. And stating that “there is not verdict” as well “military is of course not monolithic” won’t save the basic assumption that has colored Ihtimal’s (and his or her likes’ statements all throughout the public domain) statements:

        So at the end of the day, who cares about the uses of antisemitism, racism, homophobia, illegally obtained private data, right? And we shouldn’t care about these because they should be irrelevant in the face of the military members’ families? Quite contradictory and problematic with the previous statements aren’t they? It is ok to go and try to find which military member’s son-in-law’s grandmother was Armenian and give her national identification number? Labeling Jewish sons and daughters-in-law and revealing their national identification numbers is fine? This blood essentialism is reminiscent of Nazism. Shall we tattoo numbers on them too, now that we are at it? Since the imaginary people in the street do not (should not?) care about individuals/persons involved? This is the scary mentality behind these statements that are clearly blinded by hatred. Making such statements as in Ihtimal’s #1 and #2 won’t save anyone and make them look more democratic. Please. Spare us the lip service.

        I repeat: Sledgehammer case cannot be divorced from such personal defamation attacks. They should indeed be considered together as they offer a larger picture with suspicious coincidences. And I do not take seriously any lesson of so-called “democracy” from people who are incapable to be self-reflexive, who are ready to forgive racism and homophobia, corruption and individual rights abuses because supposedly “people in the streets” don’t care. I think people should care. Those who plotted all these scenarios should be found and exposed and prosecuted. And given Ihtimal’s sudden concern to appear descent in front of English-speaking audiences (one wonders why? what is at stake? Just questions to think about) and continue what I have described as a Foucauldian “governmentality” kind of attitude trying to manipulate the public opinion, I would state that this post was very “performative” as an example of what I was trying to say. For that, I thank Ihtimal.

        Cevapla

        • acracia Says:

          Additional remarks:

          1) Regarding AKP’s problematic position vis-a-vis the Sept. 2010 referandum and the “promised” change of the constitution, I recommend Ahmet Insel’s critique in the Turkish Daily Radikal (for those who can read Turkish). He raises productive questions.

          2) The last sentence in the paragraph that begins with “As we have read Ihtimal’s […]” should read:

          “When we look at his or her Turkish comments giving all sorts of verdicts about Cetin Dogan and his personality, and thus deeming him guilty (even though here s/he says there is no verdict–which is contradictory with his or her comments in Turkish), various statements of essentialism against Cetin Dogan, and disrespectful reproaches to Pinar Dogan (e.g., Ihtimal’s totally misplaced question, out of the blue: “So Pinar Hanim, you think what will save your father is another coup?” which was not a reproach she deserved by any means with anything she said whatsoever, but consists of a personal attack to Pinar Dogan which I find sexist and aggressive. I find it sexist especially because everything written here is written as “we” by Dani Rodrik and Pinar Dogan. Addressing only her as such suggests a distasteful patriarchy), Ihtimal’s statements articulated in #1 and 2 look quite contrary to his or her acts in speech. Additionally, Can Acar’s question crystallizes the monolithic and essentializing approach to the Sledgehammer and the military: “How can you support people being accused of crimes they did not commit, on false evidence, just because they might have done so?”

          3) The defamation attacks are not limited to the military members of Sledgehammer nor the names articulated by Ihtimal. It is a much wider network that targeted against numerous members of the military families. And because it appears to be so organized, it is scary. There are multiple websites with personal attacks on military members and their families–displaying private photos and all kinds of hate speech. These all appear to be part of a larger plot in terms of their suspiciously obtained materials and the timing of launching these attacks. Thus, this is a much wider problem than Ihtimal’s problematic statements suggest.

          Nothing remains hidden. And here too, time will come, and the actors instrumental in this ambitious will be unraveled. The reason why I am writing here and support Pinar Dogan and Dani Rodrik in this case is because I want this to be exposed sooner than later, because of the basic principles of individual and human rights and my discomfort with the gross breaches of these rights at so many different levels, also exposed by the Sledgehammer case.

          Cevapla

        • Bulent Murtezaoglu Says:

          What is so interesting here, and I find it very amusing, is Ihtimal’s sudden change of tone in front of a supposedly English-speaking audience.

          This is rather commonplace, unfortunately. I’ve been looking at these things off-and-on through the ‘net since ’06 or so and what you noticed is very familiar to me. There appears to be a bunch of propagandists with enough of an education to appeal to high-sounding concepts in passable English who take part in this effort. They can and do tune their language, message and tone to their intended audience and seem to have very little in the way of moral compunction or shame. I don’t think you can fruitfully engage such people with reason, you can only hope to engage their audience. The problem is that their audience isn’t what I would consider the most attuned to evidence and reason either. This I say as a techie who’s used to a different standard of truth and reason: there seems to be a lot of social networking, funding, wining and dining that goes on in international interactions among social scientists, int’l relations people and the like which gives rise to a class of people who have trouble discerning the truth from propaganda, are adept at endorsing each others’ nonsense, and, who, thereby, manufacture a ‘narrative’ which they then start using as a backdrop. Loot at how Rodrik and Dogan themselves say they believed a particular democratization and liberalization story until they actually did the work themselves. Unless one reads the papers and even somewhat more respectable journals with a cynical, or, let’s say, curmudgeonly attitude, one will just buy into what’s being peddled and develop an unhealthy respect for the people who’re — perhaps unwittingly — taking him or her for a ride.

          Cevapla

          • acracia Says:

            Bulent Murtezaoglu,

            Case rested. You are right, and I agree with most of what you say (except the wining and dining part–as there is more to social sciences). Just a last note: this is why I don’t find it worthy to address “Ihtimal” in person anymore. This is why I address the general audience, and actually find it quite funny that s/he first claimed s/he was a mathematician and from there we moved to archaic references to Halil Inalcik to even more amusing, Ihtimal becoming a Foucauldian expert all of a sudden. Unfortunately, it is an undigested, and half-baked comment. The only reason why I am mentioning this here is because all these show how Ihtimal and his/her likes are anxious to win over their audiences. This said, again, case rested. For now.

            Cevapla

            • fmerakli Says:

              So a mathematician should spend his/her live by reading calculus or trigonometric books??? What ihtimal wrote in his/her comment will not make ihtimal a Foucauldian expert, but someone who read Foucault’s some works. A mathematician can do that, right? They do not only deal with numbers, they also know how to read and write. Thanks to their highly developed logic skills, mathematicians might even find reading Foucault less challenging!

              Cevapla

              • acracia Says:

                this got posted in the wrong place. here it is:

                fmerakli:

                interesting. i suggest you read the blog comments more carefully: my commentary would not have that tone, had ihtimal been more respectful to kurmanbek allahverdiyev when he said “in order for us to take you seriously, first go and learn that in order to be an assistant professor you need to finish a doctorate first” to which allahverdiyev replied “calm down.” so, i felt no need to return the courtesy for ihtimal and his or her likes. if s/he tries to undermine somebody on the grounds of ignorance, s/he will get the same response from me. and i stand my ground. (not my #5 in the original post: for the academically-interested parties–is what i said. if ihtimal thinks that is addressed to him or her, “academics,” then s/he will get a response in that light. sorry, fmerakli).

                so maybe, before you jump in, and try to pick up the case from a completely different angle than it is, you should think twice.

                on a last note: i have nothing against mathematicians. i like mathematicians who read halil inalcik. and i even prefer mathematicians who read foucault. that would have been a great world! what i don’t like is hypocrites. sexists. racists. and academics who think they can teach everybody a lesson without considering what and who they actually are defending.

                why aren’t you answering ihtimal’s posts (the way you did to me)? for instance the last one in which he clearly thought i was a woman, (and i could have been and that would have been equally offensive but i am not, i am a man–i guess it is hard for the likes of ihtimal to understand that men can also despise sexism) and who tried to dismiss me as a woman simply because i have the sensitivity to see discrimination. what you seem to pick up–a discrimination against mathematicians, is so irrelevant here, in the face of the dynamic i am engaging. but for the sake of clarity, i decided to answer you.

                a higher level of discussion will get the exact same level of reply from me.

                Cevapla

                • acracia Says:

                  i hereby edit and change: “why aren’t you answering ihtimal’s posts (the way you did to me)? for instance the last one in which he clearly thought i was a woman”

                  should be “s/he clearly thought.”

                  Cevapla

            • ihtimal Says:

              Yeter be kizim, dus yakamdan artik 🙂 yazdigim herseye nane oluyorsun. Bu arada kac yasindaydin sen?

              Cevapla

              • Can Acar Says:

                So much for “highly developed logic skills” …

                Cevapla

                • fmerakli Says:

                  well, I should have also added good sense of humor I reckon, it if makes a difference! :o)

                  Cevapla

                  • Bulent Murtezaoglu Says:

                    Yes indeed. I, too, find it humorous to see someone who’s accused of being ‘sexist and agressive’ to personally confirm that assessment with a sexist and aggressive attempt at a retort.

                    Cevapla

                    • acracia Says:

                      Even better: for all purposes, I am a man. Thanks for calling me “gal” and trying to dismiss me that way. You really made me laugh.

                    • acracia Says:

                      fmerakli:

                      interesting. i suggest you read the blog comments more carefully: my commentary would not have that tone, had ihtimal been more respectful to kurmanbek allahverdiyev when he said “in order for us to take you seriously, first go and learn that in order to be an assistant professor you need to finish a doctorate first” to which allahverdiyev replied “calm down.” so, i felt no need to return the courtesy for ihtimal and his or her likes. if s/he tries to undermine somebody on the grounds of ignorance, s/he will get the same response from me. and i stand my ground. (not my #5 in the original post: for the academically-interested parties–is what i said. if ihtimal thinks that is addressed to him or her, “academics,” then s/he will get a response in that light. sorry, fmerakli).

                      so maybe, before you jump in, and try to pick up the case from a completely different angle than it is, you should think twice.

                      on a last note: i have nothing against mathematicians. i like mathematicians who read halil inalcik. and i even prefer mathematicians who read foucault. that would have been a great world! what i don’t like is hypocrites. sexists. racists. and academics who think they can teach everybody a lesson without considering what and who they actually are defending.

                      why aren’t you answering ihtimal’s posts (the way you did to me)? for instance the last one in which he clearly thought i was a woman, (and i could have been and that would have been equally offensive but i am not, i am a man–i guess it is hard for the likes of ihtimal to understand that men can also despise sexism) and who tried to dismiss me as a woman simply because i have the sensitivity to see discrimination. what you seem to pick up–a discrimination against mathematicians, is so irrelevant here, in the face of the dynamic i am engaging. but for the sake of clarity, i decided to answer you.

                      a higher level of discussion will get the exact same level of reply from me.

                  • acracia Says:

                    i wish anti-semitism, racism, sexism, etc and such organized discrimation that i have called attention to earlier when speaking about military (extended) families had equally moved fmerakli as much as a “perceived” discrimination against mathematicians.

                    and no, ihtimal’s situation is funny and humorous, but not because s/he has a sense of humor as fmerakli claims. finding a sense of humor in sexism and aggressive behavior makes me wonder about why, actually. perhaps fmerakli also thought i was a woman?

                    this would have been irrelevant, had it not made me rethink some of the earlier posts and discussions with fmerakli: perhaps we need to face our own prejudices against “who” is doing the talking or “who” is the object of discussion as the seemingly different but telling dynamics of our little exchange here demonstrates with an entirely different category (gender and sexism).

                    and the reason why i find this point relevant to make is precisely because it was the same type of prejudices we (some of the blog commentators) have been trying to address in relation to the military. some people bring in 28th of february, which no one denies should be tackled, or make their point about generalizations on the military. hence, it becomes harder to address sledgehammer as a very problematic case surrounded by various character assassination campaigns, again because of the “who is involved” question. the examples are different, but the attitudes are comparable.

                    as i said numerous times, no one needs to like the military. no one needs to like anybody, personally. but there are basic principles that should be respected regardless of “who” is involved. (e.g., trying to dismiss me thinking that i am a woman; trying to dismiss state officials’ collaboration in disclosing private information–such as passports and national id numbers, violating privacy and launching antisemitic, racist hate speech campaigns of which pinar dogan and dani rodrik have also been targets–on very, very grave and problematic grounds.) so i hope this exchange can at least provide a productive opportunity to make us rethink certain positions and approaches.

                    Cevapla

                    • fmerakli Says:

                      Acracia,

                      I am sorry for taking your time in writing such a long commentary, but I am afraid you misunderstood me.

                      I did not find ihtimal’s comment funny or humorous, quite the contrary it was I believe inappropriate. My “good sense of humour” comment was a cynical one, but I reckon you took it seriously and believed that I found it funny!

                      There is no way for me to assure you but I must say that I am against any type of discrimination regardless of its source or target. I am saying with my all honesty that I am entirely against and condemn any attack to the family members of the Balyoz defendants. They should be on trial for their alleged actions in relation to plotting a coup, and their private lives as well as the private lives of their family members have nothing to do with this trial.

              • acracia Says:

                amusing. ihtimal is saying: “enough you gal! you put your nose into everything. by the way, how old are you?”

                sure, by all means: i am in my early 50s. and i have a beard. so, sorry, ihtimal, but i am not your “gal.”

                Cevapla

                • ihtimal Says:

                  A very bad translation! I can not believe you made such a mess out of a joke that was just meant to point that discussing 28 February Process with you will lead nowhere!

                  Cevapla

Bir Cevap Yazın

Aşağıya bilgilerinizi girin veya oturum açmak için bir simgeye tıklayın:

WordPress.com Logosu

WordPress.com hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Twitter resmi

Twitter hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Facebook fotoğrafı

Facebook hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Google+ fotoğrafı

Google+ hesabınızı kullanarak yorum yapıyorsunuz. Log Out / Değiştir )

Connecting to %s

%d blogcu bunu beğendi: