A sledgehammer blow to Turkish democracy @ Financial Times

04 Mart 2011

GENEL, IN ENGLISH

Dani’s article in the Financial Times:

“Turkey is a rare Middle Eastern success: a predominantly Muslim country with a modern, secular state. Yet just as the world looks to it as a possible model for Arab societies in turmoil, Turkey’s democratic promise is being squandered under the weight of the country’s history and the political machinations of its present leaders.

Signs of repression are increasingly abundant. On Thursday police launched a wave of raids, detaining 10 journalists and authors – including an award-winning reporter who had investigated official negligence in the 2007 assassination of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Last month three journalists from a website critical of the government, OdaTV, which specialises in exposing prosecutorial and police misdeeds, were also jailed.”

You can reach the full article here.

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28 Yorum “A sledgehammer blow to Turkish democracy @ Financial Times”

  1. merttalay Says:

    Dani Rodrik has always been a voice for democracy in Turkey.

    He is so sensitive about democracy in Turkey that when it was found out that the military established fake websites to disseminate malicious propaganda about the elected government of Turkey, he rushed to international media and used his clout to condemn this.

    He is so sensitive about democracy in Turkey that when the weekly magazine “Nokta” was raided by the police and military (and closed) right after disclosing the “coup memoirs” of a general, he rushed to international media and used his clout to condemn this.

    He is so sensitive about democracy in Turkey that during the 28 February coup in Turkey, he rushed to international media and used his clout to condemn this.

    He is so sensitive about democracy in Turkey that during the dirty war the military waged against the Kurds in the 1990s, he rushed to international media and used his clout to condemn this.

    WAIT!! None of this has happened!! So what is different now?

    Oh well, now it is the military who has been put to trial. And one of the leading suspects is his father-in-law: A general who on June 10th, 1997 declared that “We will change the government by force, if necessary”.

    Link: (turkish only) http://www.haberpan.com/haber/bu-hukumeti-silahla-degistiririz-u3D

    Now it’s clear.

    Cevapla

    • Kemal Says:

      And Merttalay is so sensitive to democracy, given all the convincing evidence demonstrating the fabrication (most likely conducted by the police force that so-called “serves and protect”) in a trial, he raised his voice and said “No! This is not right”. WAIT!! None of this has happened…

      Who are you to judge others commitment to democracy. At least back then I raised my voice and protested what they were doing, but now I am raising my voice as well to the all wrong doings. I don’t know what Dani was doing earlier. But I know that with this blog he is siding with those who are opting for democracy. I aslo know that merttalay is not!

      Cevapla

      • merttalay Says:

        Kemal,

        Yes, in this blog several times I have said that the prosecutors have to explain the inconsistencies in the evidence.

        Either you are not aware of this or you are simply lying.

        Cevapla

        • ccgursel Says:

          But we never heard you protesting the arrestments based on obviously forged dijital documents. Did you? Or have we missed it?

          Cevapla

        • Kemal Says:

          To be honest, I am not aware of this. Whose fault is it I am not sure…

          But those inconsistencies are made public thanks to Dani’s blog. Apparently he made a good job and showed the discrepancies in the case.

          I read your comments in May 2010 in Dani’s presonal blog. And you were questioning the points he raised back then. You were arguing that they are not inconsistency at all. After 6-7 months even you, yourself think that there are inconsistencies in the evidence that ought to be explained.

          So why are you angry with him? What makes you state the above words regarding to his FT article?

          Cevapla

          • merttalay Says:

            Kemal,

            I am not angry with anyone. The points back in May 2010 were very minor compared to what’s been discovered later. And I have always emphasized that it is the prosecutors’ responsibility to explain the inconsistencies.

            I just can’t stand to the “marketing” of bloggers’ efforts as a “struggle for democracy”. I think it’s pure hypocrisy. The only purpose of these efforts is to discredit the Balyoz trial. That’s is, nothing less, nothing more. The bloggers do not have a SINGLE record for pointing to the abuses of democracy by any actor in Turkey to date. And yet now that it is their father/father-in-law who (they think) is being offended by some injustice, they -miraculously- became staunch defenders of democracy. Come on, no one should buy this. I am just pointing to this inconsistency.

            Cevapla

            • Can Acar Says:

              merttalay,

              The efforts in this blog is not “a struggle for democracy”.

              This is a struggle for justice.

              If there is anything that is being marketed as “a struggle for democracy”, it is everything that the ruling AKP government does. What do you think about this hypocrisy?

              Cevapla

    • Slobodan Hacirahmanovic Magamedov Says:

      Mr. Talay, with all respect, I do think that you’re a ‘joke’.

      Yours truthfully,
      S.H.Magamedov.

      Cevapla

    • Jim_Beam_Black Says:

      Alçalmada yeni bir ölçü daha gördük, meğer ordumuz 90’larda kürtlerle “çirkin bir savaşa” girmiş. Bu kadar haince yazılar yazabilmek için nereden talimat alıyor bu insanlar çok merak ediyorum. İstediğiniz kadar uğraşın PKK gibi dünyanın gördüğü belki de el-kaide’den sonraki en vahşi terör örgütünü kürt vatandaşlarımızla ilişkilendiremezsiniz. PKKyı ülkedeki kürt vatandaşlarımızı temsil ediyormuş gibi göstermekten daha büyük bir hainlik düşünemiyorum.

      Bu yazılar gerçekten ibretlik vesikalar olarak saklanmalı, dış güçlerin desteklediği bir cemaatin kendi faşist iktidarını perçinlemek için nasıl adi bir propangada uyguladığını gelecek kuşaklar görüp ibret almalı.

      Cevapla

      • merttalay Says:

        Jim Beam,

        PKK’nin kurtler icin ne temsil ettigini anlamak icin Ocalan’in dogumgununde guneydogu’ya gidin bir isterseniz. Ya da pkk’nin eylemlerine basladigi gun gidin, bakin bakalim insanlar neler yapiyor.

        Konu vahsilik ise diyarbakir cezaevinde iskenceden olenler, diski yedirilen, koyleri yakilan/yikilan, surgun edilen, kemikleri karakol bahcelerinde toplu mezarlardan cikan, cocuklarinin uzerinden onlarca mermi cikan insanlar size bir sey ifade etmiyor olsa gerek?

        Cevapla

        • Jim_Beam_Black Says:

          Diyarbakır cezaevi benim için çok şey ifade ediyor, özellikle 80 darbesine destek vererek ayrılıkçı politikalar uygulatan güçlerin bu sefer cemaati kullanarak bölgeyi şekillendirdiklerini düşününce. O zamanlar işkencelerele yaratılan kaos ortamı sonucu ortaya çıkan terör örgütünün bugün arkasına geçip “hadi haklarınızı savunun” diyorlar ama sizin sığ ve dogmatik kafalarınız darbeleri sadece askerlerin yaptığını ezberlediği için bu denkleme emperyalizmi hiç dahil edemiyor. O yüzden teröristler Habur’da davul zurnalarla karşılanırken bütün mualif sesler hapse tıkıldığı zaman sanıyorsunuz ki 80’lerin pisliği temizleniyor. Halbuki bugün destek verdiğiniz o güçler o pisliğin yarattığı bir parça ve ben artık bunu bilmediğinize inanmıyorum, sadece bilmezden ve görmezden gelerek desteklediğinizi çok iyi biliyorum.

          Kürtleri sadece güneydoğudan ibaretmiş gibi görmenizi geçtim, bir -üzerine basarak söylüyorum- TERÖR örgütünü sanki talepleri dile getiren dernekmiş gibi konuşmak ve o bölgedeki insanlar üzerinde terörün nasıl bir baskı yarattığını görmemek nasıl bir aymazlık ve hainlik ürünüdür gerçekten anlayamıyorum. Demek ki bu muhteşem akıllar işkenceye karşı terörü, muhaliflere karşı da sahte delilleri ve yandaş yargıç atamalarıyla hapis cezasını mübah görmekte.

          Çok ibretlik yazılar bunlar gerçekten, çok ibretlik…

          Cevapla

  2. Galileo Galilei Says:

    Mert Talay and those that subscribe to his school of thought are not sensitive to democracy, or freedom of the press, or freedom of thought and expression. They are sensitive against any fact or opinion that discredits the claims of the police and prosecution, as absurd as the claim and as clear as the evidence against it may be, in the sledgehammer case. They are sensitive to criticisms against the claims of prosecutors and national police in the numerous other fabricated cases against those that oppose or merely criticize the AKP. They don’t like these political pyramid schemes to be exposed. The scheme suits them just fine.

    To them the 65+ journalists in lengthy detention are guilty until proven innocent in a court of law that has failed to prove itself as fair and impartial in the face of indisputable facts. The same is true for academics, former and active duty officers that have been charged and imprisoned without a trial. The reality is that these detentions silence many credible voices that criticize the AKP or the Gulen movement through their writings, research, or interviews; and this works for the AKP and the Gulen movement.

    The “spin doctor” role Mert and his fellow commentators try to play on this site or on other sites that work to expose the truth is merely part of a greater militant effort. The big picture is that AKP and the Gulen movement are moving Turkey to a single party state, where AKP will become its own version of the Baath party in Syria and formerly in Iraq. Their rule will be absolute until the people have had enough.

    We all have a choice only between either being with them or against them, whether you are a journalist, academic, military officer, foreign diplomat, international journalist, or simply a free thinker.

    Cevapla

    • merttalay Says:

      “We all have a choice only between either being with them or against them”

      Galileo, if your audience is people from Western Democracies, don’t waste your time. They will simply laugh at your thought-process. Everything is black and white, right:)

      Cevapla

      • Galileo Galilei Says:

        Not quite Mert, and that is the point which you have obviously missed. (only is the key word in that phrase) The black or white choice is laid in front of us by AKP and the Gulen movement. If you are not with them or subservient to them, their perception is that you are against them.

        Let’s let people from western democracies or anywhere else for that matter make up their own minds if you don’t mind.

        Would you care to comment on the rest of what I had to say about you?

        Cevapla

        • merttalay Says:

          Sure,

          1. I have repeatedly stated that the prosecutors have to explain the inconsistencies. See my previous posts here.

          2. I did not have any comments about the national police, here or elsewhere.

          3. I have never identified any suspect in any trial “as guilty”.

          4. By the way, who has been imprisoned without a trial?

          Sorry Galileo, but unless you cannot provide evidence against my points 1-3 above, I demand you apologize for your claims beginning “Merttalay and others…” Otherwise you are just a liar.

          Cevapla

          • Galileo Galilei Says:

            You have tried to discredit Dani Rodrik based on what he has not said or published, and implied that he has no sensitivities on democracy, rather than commenting on what he has said. This in itself is distortion and spin.

            1. To say that the prosecutors have to explain inconsistencies and then to go and bash Dani Rodrik with a personal attack is inconsistent on your part.
            2. Dani Rodrik and Pınar Dogan have proven and published, on this blog, fabrication of false evidence by the police, and as you say in your point number two (2) you have made no mention of this whatsoever. Did you miss that information or did you conveniently ignore it?
            3. You have not identified any suspect in any of these trials as innocent, which is what they are until proven guilty.
            4. Balbay for one has been in prison, for three and a half years without a conclusive trial, and now in solitary confinement. Similarly this does not seem to bother you at all.

            As I have answered your points 1 through 4, I hope I don’t need to apologize. Would you like to apologize from Dani for the unnecessary personal attack you directed at him?

            Cevapla

            • merttalay Says:

              Galileo, sorry but you are starting to be funny.

              You say: “3. You have not identified any suspect in any of these trials as innocent, which is what they are until proven guilty.”

              This is like: First, you tell me that I told you “You are stupid!”. I reply: “No, I did not, check what I have said”. And you reply: “Well, you didn’t tell me that I am smart either, so you must be thinking that I am stupid. Here you go!”

              This is really funny. Of course all suspects are innocent until the trials end. Therefore I refer to them as “suspects”.

              Then in number 4 you twist your argument by saying “conclusive trial”. Where is the word “conclusive” in your first comment? You say exactly: “imprisoned without a trial”. You know this is a lie, don’t you? Don’t resort to cheap tactics, please.

              And finally, how did I attack personally? Do you have any idea what “a personal attack” is? Is there any distortion/lie in my first comment? If yes, what is it, I am ready to apologize if you find one.

              Cevapla

              • Galileo Galilei Says:

                Mert,
                Apology accepted for saying that I am starting to be funny. I do not intend to be funny and the issue that is at hand is not funny at all.

                When Dani Rodrik writes a piece in the FT, you post a condescending comment (the first comment to this piece) which has nothing to do with what he has written, but what he has not publicly said over the past twenty years, making arbitrary statements about the past (dirty war the military waged on the Kurds – as opposed to the clean war the PKK waged on the people ?!) as if they were facts.

                Then you drop a line that the chief suspect is his father in law, which Dani discloses in every piece he writes anyway. Why not add a line on his Jewish heritage as well??? Your comment is a personal attack on Dani, not a criticism of the views in his piece. If you are unable to keep up with what he is saying why comment at all?

                As it comes to being imprisoned without a trial, or conclusive trial, they are both correct. Technically, Balbay and others have not been imprisoned without a trial, they are in “detention” for over three and a half years in jail. Not at the police station, but in a maximum security prison, now in solitary confinement. Suspects, innocent until proven guilty, in a maximum security prison, for three and a half years, and now in solitary confinement. And new ones added to the list every day. The police have admitted to fabricating evidence against the “suspects”, and they are still in prison. How do you justify this treatment? Referring to them as “suspects” is enough to clear your conscience?

                What more does it take for a person of at least average intelligence to understand the absurdity of Ergenekon, Balyoz, and so on?

                Cevapla

                • Mehmet Says:

                  Nothing. It takes nothing to see the truth. But judging from his first post here,Mert Talay doesn’t care about the truth. He wants to move forward with this injustice done to turkish citizens. And he will make blanket statements,use non-sequitur arguments to do so.

                  “This” is what we must coexist with in a democratic society. One almost yearns for the tea party or even the birthers.

                  Cevapla

                • merttalay Says:

                  1. Yes, it is important what a person has said as well as has NOT said in the past, especially if he claims that his goals are “moral”, “just”, “democratic”, etc. So of course a person’s past behavior tells us something about his current motives. In this case, Rodrik’s past behavior strongly suggests that he is NOT interested in democracy in Turkey but the acquittal of his father-in-law. So what is wrong with pointing to this WITH evidence (i.e. his lack of any kind of activism)?

                  2.What is the relation between his Jewish heritage and the trial? His father-in-law, on the other hand, is the sole reason for his interest (this is told by him). Again, why are you disturbed when I mention this?

                  3.Balbay and others have been accused by a crime that is punishable by a life-term (and capital punishment, a few years ago). Can you give me just ONE example from ANY country in the world where a suspect being under trial for a life-term sentence is free? I am really curious.

                  Cevapla

                  • Can Acar Says:

                    Hizbullah?

                    Cevapla

                    • merttalay Says:

                      Well, I do not have to say anything about these cheap tactics, sorry.

                      Just this: Yes Can, they have been released during a trial that lasted for 10 years. If the same happens to Balbay et al., I will demand their release, too.

                    • Can Acar Says:

                      The huge difference is, they were actually tried and were found guilty with the murder of 37. They were appealing the trial, that is why they were ‘technically’ still under arrest and not serving their life sentences. Yet, you just told us that you would prefer murderers to writers. Good for you.

                    • merttalay Says:

                      Well, things are getting interesting.

                      I thought that any verdict is not valid until the appeal process is over. So how can you label any suspect as “guilty” until the end of the appeal process? I guess you do not have any reservations about double-standards.

                      Again, Balbay is not being charged because he is a “writer”. He is being charged to be a member (specifically, the responsible for media-leg) of an armed organization that aimed to topple the government by force.

                      Could you just not admit this? Is it just too difficult for you to read the prosecutor’s charge? Or are you trying to disseminate misinformation?

                    • Can Acar Says:

                      They were tried in a court of law, and a decision has been made. It has been pointed out that AİHM (European Court of Human Rights) does not consider the time spent in appeals as a part of the time spent under custody. The fact that they disappeared as soon as they were released does not help their case.

                      This is very different from the Ergenekon case where there is no solid evidence, and these people are still waiting for trial. This is where custody becomes the punishment.

                      A journalist and writer is supposed to have contacts with all sorts of people, including known and suspected terrorists. Ask Hasan Cemal or Mehmet Ali Birand for instance, and others who have been interviewing PKK, and Abdullah Öcalan. Would not you agree that their personal notes about these meetings, and recordings of private talks with these people, when pulled out of context, can be used to “prove” that they are members of the terrorist organization?

                      Again, I am not defending and/or blaming any specific person. The primary rule of modern law is that people are innocent until proven guilty, and the time under custody should be minimized.

                      I do not know why you keep having problems with applying these rules in the context of Ergenekon and Balyoz cases.

                    • merttalay Says:

                      “The primary rule of modern law is that people are innocent until proven guilty, and the time under custody should be minimized.”

                      I agree. I also do not have any problems with applying these principles in the cases of Ergenekon and Balyoz. I just do not want any “special” treatment for these cases. The relevant questions are:

                      1. In the Turkish legal system, what is the average duration of a trial?(here I mean comparable trials, of course, not petty crimes)

                      2. In the Turkish legal system, what is the average time under custody for comparable charges/trials?

                      If there is a significant discrepancy between these numbers and Ergenekon/Balyoz cases, let’s disclose them. The Turkish legal system absolutely needs a reform but until that happens, I do not see why we should privilege these two cases.

                    • Can Acar Says:

                      Well, here is your problem:

                      “Prosecutors with special privileges” are conducting these investigations. Everyone agrees that these are the “most important” cases. The Prime Minister announced him to be the “prosecutor” of the Ergenekon case, in response, the leader of the Main Opposition Party announced himself to be the “advocate” for the case.

                      These cases are NOT average cases. They got turned into political cases that are designed to last for a *very* long time.

                      These cases are “special”, so they deserve “special treatment”. Get over it.

  3. emin Says:

    I think Mr. Rodrik’s FT piece was quite good. I would like to add one important point to his discussion, though. And that is, we should not forget that the ongoing bogus KCK trial is also almost entirely a product of Gulenists and their lousy newspaper Zaman, just like this new wave of journalist arrests, and the Sledgehemmer case. Let us not forget that hundreds of elected Kurdish politicians and activists are in prison right now for doing nothing more than exercising their fundamental human rights.

    Cevapla

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