The world is still oblivious to the threat posed by the Erdogan regime
It hurts to see how Turkey has been enslaved by a mafia regime under Erdogan’s tutelage. In my previous articles, I analyzed this phenomenon which touts the brand ‘The New Turkey’ and explained at length why I thought it was a looming threat beyond its own confines. Erdogan’s New Turkey is a totalitarian state where the separation of powers has already been removed and all governance and personnel are subdued to his authoritarian rule.
On behalf of the 83-million strong country, Erdogan calls the shots singlehandedly thanks to his so-called new system rising on the pedestals of a pliant parliament and boondoggling opposition.
Announced as the system that would propel Turkey to her centenary vision of becoming one of the world’s top 10 economies and the leading ‘democracy’ of her region, the system has from the very beginning been bugged with inherent and deliberate design faults that yielded outcomes contrary to what was advertised: It has intensified injustice, arbitrarily execution of power, poverty, insecurity and fear at a large-scale in and out of the country.
Since 2013, Turkish political train has been on a bloodcurdling rollercoaster ride taken on a razor’s edge. Since the time he was caught on the act of graft and corruption during the police raids conducted on December 17-25, 2013, Erdogan has tightened his grip on the helm in a panic so as not to lose the control and steer away from his trail towards doom. In order to stay afloat, he needed a scapegoat to persuade the public and steal their confidence and so he demonized the Gulen Movement with its participants and institutions by launching assaults against the Movement with his party’s former arch nemesis ultranationalist Ergenekon. This was how he turned the tables and formed new allies with ‘the deep state’ to save his political career.
As he began executing his plan to transform Turkey to a one-man regime, Turkey began losing all of her acquisitions in terms of the democratization of the country and veered off course towards a whirlpool. Erdogan never blinked his eyes while commissioning the July 15 failed coup attempt that cost 250 lives and thousands wounded. As a consequence of that bloody night and that so-called coup attempt, lives of millions of people were directly and indirectly affected in and out of Turkey. A large scale witch-hunt against the opposition and especially the participants of the Gulen Movement turned lives of millions into hell.
Imprisonments without trial, tortures, abuses, abductions, executions, and oppressive measures have epitomized the stifling climate of the New Turkey.
Not surprisingly, Erdogan’s new Turkey turned into a potential security risk in the region and elsewhere. Currently, everyone got to see more clearly after Sedat Peker, a mafia boss who once was one of the staunchest allies of the Erdogan regime but departed ways with it almost a year ago, began confessing the criminal activities of the Erdogan regime. Quickly getting his confessional and confrontational videos millions-strong views on the YouTube and other social media outlets, Peker expertly shines the light on what really happens in Turkey and how the Erdogan regime has long turned into a crime syndicate in many ways including but limited to human, drug, money and weapon trafficking in the region and the worldwide.
Such criminal activities conducted through exploiting the Turkish government mechanisms were extensively discussed for years without much solid evidence to confirm them. It took a disgruntled boon companion of the Erdogan regime start confessing those wrongdoings the time that very regime harassed his family during his long absence from the mob scene.
One of his most resounding revelations has been the Turkish National Intelligence Organization-supervised delivery of weapons to the Al-Nusra, a Salafist jihadist organization that fights against the Syrian government forces in the decade-long Syrian Civil War to be used against the US-ally Syrian Kurds.
Sedat Peker’s confessions are by no means trite as they may expedite a visible change in the global public opinion towards the Turkish official discourse vis-à-vis the regional realpolitik. While one after another official in the Erdogan regime raise their voices to refute the claims and reiterate the lie that the weapons had been delivered to the Syrian Turkmens, everyone including the attorneys, gendarmes, and the journalist who broke the news had been first blamed with treason and then slapped with hefty jail sentences after summary trials. Today, we have witnessed the actual perpetrator of that treason.
However, it is once again the participants of the Gulen Movement who pay the price to stand against the criminal activities of the Erdogan regime. While Sedat Peker, one of the incumbent regime’s former allies, spills the beans on the YouTube against the regime officials, the regime seems to be visibly hesitant to take swift action against the mob boss. It must be that they too look forward to watching newer revelations in the hopes that he would not go any further.
Sedat Peker seems to have sworn to take no prisoners: After threshing the incumbent Minister for Interior Suleyman Soylu, former Minister for Interior Mehmet Agar and his son Tolga Agar in a series of revelations that include serious charges of rape, misappropriation, fraud, manipulation, extortion and similar other criminal offenses, Sedat Peker addressed to the incumbent President of the Republic of Turkey during his eighth video on May 30 as his “elder brother whom he has known since 1999 while he (Erdogan) was an unknown” and added, “I will be straightforward with him next week” as if he had not sufficiently blitzed the political ballroom and set many fires by his past seven YouTube videos.
How does the Erdogan regime respond to Sedet Peker’s claims? Have the National Intelligence Organization conducted a cross-border operation and bundled Peker from Dubai – or wherever he is now – to Turkey? No, of course not. Since they are indispensable for Erdogan to manipulate the public opinion at home, the Turkish national intelligence operatives abducted participants of the Gulen Movement in newer operations and brought them to Turkey as if they were criminals.
This week, two Gulen-inspired educators from Kenya and Kyrgyzstan were forcefully abducted. Selahaddin Gulen, who was abducted from Kenya, is the nephew of Fethullah Gulen and is an elementary school teacher. His abduction is a stark example for showing the level of enmity felt by the Erdogan regime against Fethullah Gulen and his relatives. The regime officials have arrested almost everyone bearing the surname Gulen in Turkey and now they look forward to additional methods of abducting all others surnamed as Gulen and bringing them to Turkey for unwarranted punishment.
Political sociologists may need to find another terminology to define the current traits exhibited by the incumbent regime especially by means of the judicial system in Turkey, because the term ‘banana republic’ does not fully cover the definition.In functioning justice systems, the presumption of innocent is central as no one can be blamed and put to trial due to the wrongdoings of their close or distant relatives. Yet, the opposite happens in the ‘new’ Turkey.
Prominent news agencies broke the news as Nephew of Fethullah Gulen Seized and Brought Back to Turkey to their subscribers. Soon after this incident, another heartrending news arrived from the Kyrgyzstan when Orhan Inandir, a veteran educationist, was abducted byan ‘operation’ conducted by the MIT, National Intelligence Organization of Turkey.
As of June 2, 2021, he is most likely held in Turkish Embassy compound in Bishkek. Having gathered in front of the Turkish Embassy building and camped in and around the Manas International Airport, people of Kyrgyzstan continue demanding from the Turkish Embassy officials to release Mr. Inandir and the Turkish Ambassador in Bishkek to make a public statement to those keeping vigil.
The President of Kyrgyzstan ordered the security officials across country to ensure Mr. Inandir’s safe release and return to his family by taking all measures. This is a vivid example for witnessing how downhill the Turkish domestic and foreign policies have tumbled so far. As for me, I am unable to differ this incident from the one that resulted in the cold-blooded murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident, journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, within the confines of the Consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. Erdogan had used that incident to his advantage to bully the Saudi royal family and to gain a score in the eye of the Western democracies that he was as if the topmost defender of human rights in and out of his country. Meanwhile, the intelligence operatives and the Turkish foreign missions under his tutelage commit the same crimes by conducting the abductions of Turkish citizens from different countries worldwide.
Revisiting the details revealed by Sedat Peker in his videos and social media posts in response to questions and counterattacks from the government circles hinting how Erdogan himself may be responding to those claims, I may not be wrong if I conclude Erdogan poses a rapidly-snowballing threat to the region, the West and the world. He supervises multiple and global trafficking operations by exploiting the clout of his presidential position of a prominent country and also operates intelligence operatives against innocent Turkish citizens and dissident worldwide to abduct or neutralize them.
When Saudi Arabian officials were caught red handed while performing a similar operation on one man, Khashoggi, each democratic country lend a hand to sanction the autocracy of the Saudi regime. However, this has still not been the case for the Erdogan regime, at least apparently. That’s why he has been so comfortable commissioning the abductions from several countries to bring dissidents back to Turkey. According to the Advocates of Silenced Turkey, the Erdogan regime has so far abducted 113 people from 33 countries including Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kosovo, Azerbaijan, Gabon, Kazakhstan and many more.
Unfortunately, during the last couple of years, Turkey has become a country where criminals rule and innocent people are kept behind bars. It hurts to see not those who commit the crimes but those who report them are arrested in today’s Turkey. True to the propagation of coercive techniques on the media and in the society, Turkey is a country where mafia leaders roam free but teachers and intellectual are forcefully displaced and imprisoned.
Erdogan’s New Turkey favors the uneducated and pliant sycophants over the educated and the progressive. This being the case, this totalitarian regime that brands itself as New Turkey poses greater security and social problems to its region and the world. Straddling a key geopolitical position at the crossroads of continents and in a volatile region, Turkey deserves closer attention and must not be yielded to any unwarranted consequences of the incumbent regime’s making.