A way to hide the truth: The Hizmet Movement
All of the corruption and graft was revealed by the process of December 17-25, 2013. The only way out for the AK Party was to create the impression that it was a conspiracy.
They took cover behind the excuses of the military officers who stood trial for the Ergenekon and Balyoz cases; they claimed that “everything was due to the scheming of the Hizmet Community.” Did they establish any connection between the judges, prosecutors, police officers and the Community? No… All of it was just an assumption. Saying that it's a “plot” is slinging mud at honest and decent people. There may be corruption, but there is no plot.
The practice is one that can be seen in countries without any democracy to speak of; the ruling powers create domestic enemies. In this case, they went down the route cleared by the Ergenekon and Balyoz defendants: they jumped on the bandwagon of those who were saying that “the Community created all our troubles.”
But here is what they used to say:
Parliamentary minutes of March 24, 2011… Bekir Bozdağ: “Fethullah Gülen is a treasure, brought up in this country; you may like him or not, but he is precious; he is a wise man, he makes efforts to raise generations loyal to our national and spiritual values. And he is open; his activities are public… Denouncing someone with no conviction for being a ‘gang’ is a grand injustice. It is unacceptable to engage in efforts to have people – people who are tried, investigated and prosecuted for organized crimes, for setting up gangs, for plotting to undermine democracy – elected as deputies on one hand, and on the other hand to accuse innocent people of being gang members.” [sound of AK Party deputies applauding]
This is Bekir Bozdağ’s reply to the claims of a “plot against the Army by a gang”; he rejected an association between the courts who were trying the military officers and the Hizmet Community. Yet, this was exactly the tactic they employed to get rid of the graft files. This is how the witch hunt against “domestic enemies” began. Law was suspended; slander was legitimized.
As for the present day… The Bakırköy Second High Criminal Court (not a night court) arrested the two judges who ruled for recusation and release. The same scenario was used to justify the arrests: the judges of the 29th and 32nd Criminal Court of First Instance were claimed to be “Community” members! Fethullah Gülen supposedly gave the order in his prayer where he said, “May Allah save the detainees!” Watch out; the claim that the “order came from Pennsylvania” was voiced by both the President and the Prime Minister the day after the releases. The Prime Minister even said, “We have the voice records of the instruction.” A week has passed; where are those records?
Yesterday, the Sabah Daily took another step in furthering the conspiracy theory: “Baling them out a birthday present for Fethullah Gülen.”
The newspaper claimed, “the 75 suspects were going to be released on April 27, which is Fethullah Gülen's 75th birthday. The plan was foiled, it came to naught.”
And some people actually believe these claims. Isn’t that incredible???
Again, there is a operation to change the public's perceptions, like the ones we saw in the December 17-25 graft probe and the MİT trucks. They managed to hide the corruption under the claims of a “Community plot.” Instead of the graft, we discussed the Community. Or: The MİT trucks were carrying weapons. Instead of talking about the destination of those weapons, we mainly talked about the Community and its role in the scandal.
There was nothing wrong with the legal proceedings that led to the decision to free the prisoners. Yet, in an unprecedented twist, the two judges were instead sent to prison for “membership in a terrorist organization.” The independence of the judicial branch was clearly violated.
There is word on the street that more is to come; the prosecutors of the December 17-25 graft probe and the case regarding the MİT trucks, now it's their turn. Their names, Zekeriya Öz, Muammer Akkaş, Celal Kara and Aziz Takçı have come up. We should be talking about the Criminal Magistrates of Peace, about how judicial independence is being ruined and how the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors has become the government’s lapdog. But no… again, we are talking about claims that the two arrested judges are members of the Hizmet Community.
Friends, do you still not see? Democracy is being threatened; the regime is in danger. This is not a war between the Community and the government. This is a struggle between authoritarianism and liberty.
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