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18 Feb Written by  Bülent Keneş

The period of coups d'état has come to an end in Turkey

Of course, we owe this success to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and the RecepTayyipErdoğan regime. They did this by whitewashing the junta structures within the army, whose coup attempts were proven with concrete evidence. They clenched their success by acquitting all members of the "Ergenekon terrorist organization" -- a clandestine organization nested within the state trying to overthrow or manipulate the democratically elected government -- which was responsible for numerous unresolved murders and violent chaotic events. Moreover, they further reinforced this acquittal when they paid an apology to every "deep state" member, coup perpetrator and junta members by saying, "There was a conspiracy against the army."

Of course, this wasn't enough. As a gift to those "coup perpetrators," they sacrificed innocent people. Without providing any evidence, they fabricated the nonsense called the "parallel state" and accused certain public officials of working for this "parallel state" and "conspiring" against the army and attempting to "overthrow" the government, and in this way, they excelled in unlawfulness and oppression. By doing so, they brought an end to the period of coups in Turkey.

As is known, in an effort to cover up the massive graft and bribery scandal that went public on Dec. 17, 2013, the AKP government and the Erdoğan regime opted for acquitting, and cooperating with, all coup perpetrators, junta members and deep state networks, although it had fought against them in the past. "How then did they finish off the coups d'état?" you may well ask. I will try to explain it below.

The AKP government and the Erdoğan regime not only rushed to whitewash the military coup attempts, subversive juntas and deep state networks that had been tried and sentenced based on concrete evidence to look for their cooperation in its efforts to stow away the graft scandal, but also modified the practical meaning and content of the coup of "coup d'état." With a desperate need for cooperation with the coup perpetrators, junta members and Ergenekon supporters in order to ward off pressures regarding the graft scandal, the AKP government hastily vindicated them and, at the same time, came up with numerous new forms of coups d'état.

For the graft-tainted AKP government and Erdoğan regime, the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) -- a suspected coup plot believed to have been devised in 2003 with the aim of unseating the AKP government through violent acts -- Sarıkız (Blond Girl), Eldiven (Gloves), Suga, etc. were no longer unlawful and antidemocratic junta activities, military action plans or coups d'état. "Coup d'état" came to be defined as the efforts to uncover corrupt practices of the government or Erdoğan's family. This modification was followed by others. In the light of the new "coup d'état" definition, the judicial investigation against a Iran-backed espionage network, the investigation into espionage activities within the army, the investigations and operations against radical Islamist terrorist organizations and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) started to be treated as coups d'état against the AKP government. But this wasn't enough. For the AKP and Erdoğan regime, the coup perpetrators and coups of the past were replaced with business people who are close to the Hizmet, or Gülen, movement and the banks, companies, media outlets, schools, prep schools, humanitarian aid organization and hospitals run by these business people.

Thus, each day, we were fed a new "coup d'état" story. A novel coup d'état story was used to produce a lot of fuss and clamor. This new type of coup d'état didn't impart any soldiers, militants, weapons and efforts to amend the constitutional order or unlawfulness, but thanks to it, preposterous claims and utterly nonsensical accusations were hurled against innocent people and institutions that were not involved in any real offense. Mass detentions done in police raids conducted at midnight were followed by fictitious trials and arrests at "project" courts set up for this purpose. Coup perpetrators, junta members and deep state networks were acquired and given credit and prestige and numerous terrorist organizations, mainly including the PKK and al-Qaeda, were virtually afforded with immunity until very recently, while innocent teachers, businessmen, charitable people, journalists, police officers, prosecutors and judges were charged with attempting to overthrow the government.

Despite the fact that the investigation into the graft scandal of Dec. 17 and 25, 2013, had been conducted in full compliance with laws and regulations, revealing hundreds of pieces of evidence of crime by the AKP's ministers and Erdoğan's relatives, the prosecutors, judges and police chiefs who conducted the operation, as well as the journalists who reported the scandal, were accused of attempting to overthrow the government. Those who exposed the web of relations of controversial Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab, who breached the country national security by making top government and state officials get involved in a dirty bribery scheme, were declared as "coup perpetrators," while Zarrab, who was documented to have distributed millions of dollars of bribes to certain Cabinet members, was honored by Erdoğan as a "charitable businessman."

The ministers, sons of several ministers and Erdoğan's relatives, who were shown to have received huge bribes from Zarrab, were acquitted through sleight of hand. Of course, this acquittal wasn't free of charge. To do this, democracy and the rule of law had to be quickly abandoned. Thus, the independent and impartial judiciary was destroyed and the police department was reshuffled. In other words, those who exposed graft to daylight were accused of a "coup d'état," while the real coup was staged by the AKP and the Erdoğan regime against the rule of law, the judiciary and the state. Moreover, a new type of "coup d'état" -- in which prosecutors, judges and police chiefs attempt to overthrow the government by revealing massive graft -- entered into the literature on coups d'état. Please do not ask me the reasonable question, "How is a coup d'état staged by exposing to daylight graft, corruption, bribery and theft?" There is no reasonable answer to this question.

Moreover, this wasn't the worst. As the evidence about theft, corruption and bribery soared, the AKP government and Erdoğan regime came up with other types of "coups d'état" in their minds. For instance, the investigation against a terrorist and espionage organization that was working for Iran, with which the AKP government and Erdoğan regime had established non-transparent relations in the past, was labeled as a coup d'état against the government. The prosecutors, judges and police chiefs who took part in the investigation against the Tawhid-Salam terrorist organization, which apparently had gained access to the top positions of the AKP government and the state's sensitive units in the context of their espionage activities, were removed from office or arrested. The organization's Iranian members fled the country swiftly, while all public officials who were involved in the investigation were accused of a coup d'état despite the concrete evidence.

Wait, wait! Do not get excited now! You haven't read the worst of these "coup d'état" claims. You can hardly imagine all types of coups d'état in the vocabulary the Erdoğan regime created in its search for cooperation with real coup perpetrators and junta members to cover up its corrupt practices. There is the farcical scandal of genetically modified (GM) rice, which is forbidden to be imported and sold in Turkey. Mehmet Baransu, who had been treated as a hero of democracy by the AKP for his news reports about coups d'état but who was later accused of "conspiring against the army" as part of their cooperation with the subversive juntas, was a hero in this scandal as well.

Do not get me wrong: He wasn't the one who imported thousands of tons of GM rice. Baransu was accused of attempting to overthrow the government by exposing this scandal to daylight. Although the scandal about importing GM rice had previously been reported by other newspapers, Baransu delved deeper into the scandal and found links to the AKP government's and Erdoğan regime's influential members. A lawsuit was brought against Baransu along with some police officers and prosecutors, instead of the perpetrators of the GM rice scandal, including the sons of some ministers who are close to Erdoğan. Baransu was accused of "being a member of an armed terrorist organization and attempting to destroy or render dysfunctional the Turkish republic," i.e., of a coup d'état. Baransu was put on trial for a "GM coup d'état," although what he did was mere journalism.

I can tell you many other stories about these new generation "coups d'état." In an environment in which nursery students are perceived as threats, elderly charitable women and journalists who try to do their job properly are accused of coup d'état, the coup d'état claims will become meaningless. Even a true news report about the coup preparations of military juntas in Turkey, a country whose past is rife with true coups d'état, will not be taken seriously. What I am trying to get at is that the era of coups d'état has ended in Turkey, until a real, military coup d'état is staged. And this was achieved by the AKP government and Erdoğan regime that readily accuse any dissident figure of attempting to overthrow the government and launch lawsuits against innocent people with coup charges.

Culled from http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/bulent-kenes/the-end-of-the-era-of-coups-in-turkey_412473.html 

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