Nuray Mert in Cumhuriyet notes that former deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç in an interview has given vent to his frustration with the fact that the AKP has been taken over by latecomers to the cause. How can it be that Arınç and others have not come out and said “We cannot continue like this” when the same people could break away from their leader Necmettin Erbakan at the end of the 1990s? Why was it easier to abandon Erbakan, who was the victim of a severe and unjust coup (the military intervention in 1997) than it has been to break off from an AKP that has degenerated but is still in power? In this light, Arınç’s statements have no serious meaning. What he is saying is basically “newcomers have taken over the party, nobody listens to us anymore.” Can we thus also conclude that there is nothing principled behind Arınç’s outburst or Gül’s famous “concerns?” Undoubtedly, there is. Both men see the problems with AKP’s current position. But this does not mean that they lack responsibility for AKP’s trajectory. Everything cannot be blamed on Erdoğan.
Orhan Bursalı in Cumhuriyet argues that the HDP, despite appearances, is not a leftist party, but a Kurdish nationalist party. Just like the AKP, the HDP is playing the religious card heavily in the fanatically Islamic Kurdish areas. As a social democrat party, the CHP, for instance, is not using religion to collect votes. The heavy Islamist emphasis of the HDP, which has built up a myth that presents itself as a “leftist party,” can only be explained with Kurdish nationalism. A policy that focuses on Kurdishness will also aim at “bringing together all the different colors of the Kurdish nation.” The HDP’s calls for radical democracy sound nice to the ear. They are asking for democracy, and a radical one at that! But when you look at the contents of their radical democracy all you see is identity politics. What they are calling for us is liberty for the identities! There is no citizenship, no nation-state, only an absurdity, a “federation of identities.” The display may look nice, but when you search what is inside, separatism is in the forefront.
Hasan Cemal on the t24 news site writes that the government is fully responsible for the Bloody Saturday in Ankara. HDP co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş is the target of hellfire because he holds the state responsible for the Bloody Saturday. Stop there – as if the state in Turkey is innocent. Have you forgotten about all the provocations that were undertaken in order to pave the way for coups? Have you forgotten the massacres in Kahramanmaraş and Çorum in the 1970s? The evidence of how this state has violated the law in the name of its supposed superior interests are fresh in memory. There is not a single conspiracy that the “deep state” – whose roots go back a century – has not staged in this country in order to prevent democracy and the rule of law from being established. And I should also add this: the regime of Erdoğan, which for a while seemed to be signaling that it was fighting against the “deep state,” has since it became the state itself, resorted to using he ominous instruments of the “deep state.” About that, there is no doubt in my mind.
Kadri Gürsel on the Diken news site notes that, interestingly, historically, assaults against the left, the Kurds, dissidents and democrats in Turkey are not stopped, and when they have been allowed to take place, they are never explained. That is not a coincidence. If an assassination in Turkey that could have been prevented still has taken place, you can rest assured that light will never be shed on it. The proprietor of the system of darkness in Turkey may change, but its signature mark that never changes is this. And, we recognize the origin of this signature that is left behind every unresolved assassination. The abbreviation may change. It was different in the seventies; in the 2015 it has become ISIS. The signature is always the same, though. That signature is written all over the bodies that were blown to death in Ankara. The purpose is to have society retreat within its shell, to make it fear for its future and to depoliticize it.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.