How is it none of our business?

Prime Minister Davutoğlu’s words, “It is nobody’s business what the trucks were carrying” constitute a scandalous disclosure of the current character of the State. Yet it is our business. What the trucks were carrying is the business of each and every citizen living in this country. The present and future outcome of this move by the State concerns first and foremost us, the citizens of this country.

As you know, the issue of the stopped MİT [National Intelligence Service] trucks has turned into a case of “spying” with President Erdoğan staking his claim in the matter. In the current situation, the Cumhuriyet newspaper, which published photographs of the trucks, and its editor-in-chief, Can Dündar, have been made into a target by the party in power. This is clearly a dangerous course of events. And it is not the newspaper, but clearly the government that must be held accountable in this case.

From the very beginning of the affair, the Government deemed it appropriate to present the stop-and-search of these trucks [by the gendarmerie, upon the order of a prosecutor] within the scope of a concept of “treason”. Wasn’t it, after all –according to the Government- security forces and prosecutors close to the Hizmet Movement of Gülen who had stopped to trucks? And wasn’t there, after all, a formidable war raging between the Government and Hizmet? Therefore, the case could be explained with the concept of treason.

However, the Government also probably knew that this was not a matter that could be explained as an act of treason. Therefore, they made inconsistent statements from the very start. “They were carrying medical aid,” they said at first, “It is a State matter,” they offered, “Aid was being transported to those in need in Syria,” they then added, “The cargo was for Turkmens,” they then said, “How can one department of the state set a trap for another,” they argued, etc. Not only that, they initiated legal proceedings for all the bureaucrats that carried out the stop-and-search, and gave the order for it; many of them now face trouble in their professional careers.

Yet all this falls way short of explaining the matter. In the current situation, whether pro-AKP, or anti-AKP, the entire public adopts a position according to which side took which step. On the Hizmet side, which unearthed this scandal, there is a group that says, ‘it is better to stand clear of this’, and they are not pro-AKP. They are probably weary that this operation would benefit the Hizmet movement. According to the AKP and its media, the stopping of the trucks constituted spying, and an act of treason, exactly as Erdoğan and the clique at the top say. And of course, there is a broad 3rd front, which is neither pro-Hizmet nor pro-AKP, which will not let the matter go.

Frankly, the last thing to be done in this case is to adopt a position according to who carried out which action. The issue is about the State intervening, in an exceedingly problematic manner in terms of international law, in a war taking place in a neighbouring country; and the circumstances under which this intervention was made.

The first thing I would say, as a citizen, is that the way in which this intervention was implemented is not even remotely related to the practices of a democratic State. Above all, we have to be aware of this: if we are to provide arms aid to a war taking place on the other side of our border – a war that has now having an impact on the internal balances of our country (this, too, is to a large extent due to the Government’s own actions: since Turkey has become involved in this state of affairs, the Alevis and Kurds in the country, and especially those settled along the border, are living in great tension and apprehension), and in which no side is clean – then this is a decision that must be calculated very well, and if the Government is to take, or has taken such a step, it must be accountable to its citizens. 

Under the current circumstances, the Government is unable to explain the act it has carried out. The following questions must be answered, for example: Who were these weapons given to, and on what grounds? Who is responsible of this delivery of weapons? By whose order and decision was the delivery carried out? How many times, and at what quantities did such weapon deliveries take place? To which developments did these deliveries lead to in the region?

Yes, we have understood, you don’t have to say it 100 times, governments do carry out such covert operations, every State, including those in the West, and the USA, have embarked upon such covert operations. Yet with one significant difference: when such covert operations come to light, governments have been held accountable, and suffered the consequences. And that’s how it should be. Threatening newspapers and journalists is not. 

In the most recent state of events, what is as dangerous, and in fact, more dangerous than the highly suspicious statement, “We were sending the weapons to the Turkmens” are the words of Prime Minister Davutoğlu, who said, “It is nobody’s business what the trucks were carrying”.

These words constitute a scandalous disclosure of the current character of the State. Yet it is our business. What the trucks were carrying is the business of each and every citizen living in this country. The present and future outcome of this move by the State concerns first and foremost us, the citizens of this country.

Another issue here is President Erdoğan’s statement in response to the publication of the news report in question: “I have ordered my lawyer to immediately file a lawsuit against all this” I mean, you get mad when we call it a “one-man-regime”, but could this statement be explained in any other way? Is this country, or this State, Erdoğan’s private property? For what reason, and to which lawyer has Erdoğan given authorization to file a lawsuit? Is this how accountability procedures regarding the Government will be processed from now on?

This much is clear: Let alone a regime of presidency, [which Erdoğan wishes to introduce] the government, even in its current state, is far removed from inspection and accountability, and appears to be running blind along a line which renders the MİT [National Intelligence Service] the unchallengeable executor of clandestine operations.

How long will this continue? That is our problem now.


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Yetvart Danzikyan