Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Not 'deep' but 'decomposing' state

Tuesday, February 6, 2007
By Mehmet Ali Birand

The real danger comes from the hit men that one cannot see on the streets. They are geared up in various locations in Anatolia. They are given some money and a gun and sent off to their targets. Their portraits never change.

The “deep state” discussions were revived after recent events. Everyone blames different segments. Incorrect evaluations of the subject run amok.

What is the truth?

Maybe none of us will be able to make sure what and where the truth is. However, looking at the developments through the years, we are able to draw a picture of it.

Turkish bureaucracy is divided into two parts.

A large portion of it is “clean.” It is made up of law-abiding individuals who stay within the limits allowed by the political authority.

Yet there is another portion that takes it upon itself to act “in the name of the country.” They see themselves as being apart from others. They do not abide by the laws. They have an image of Turkey in their minds and they oppose everyone and every idea that does not fit this image. If necessary they hire people from outside. They do not get their hands dirty. They always use others.

There is a struggle between these two groups.

The first group “cleans out” the second group when they go too far.

There have been such cleansings at all our military coups. The biggest of them took place after the Sept. 12, 1980 military coup.

On the other hand, during the phase that started on Feb. 28, 1997, the concept of deep state has started to change. Resistance points and activities have changed.

Four issues made it onto the state agenda: The Kurds will break the country apart. We should prevent this. The only way to prevent it is by acting fiercely. The Islamists will spoil Atatürk's principles. This must be prevented. Full-membership of the European Union should be halted. Turkish Cyprus should not be let go in order to enter the EU. Armenia has designs on Turkish land. This must be opposed.

Those involved in the deep state are involved in all fields – including the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) government, the opposition, EU membership, Cyprus and the Kurdish issue. However the latest developments have even exceeded the limits of the deep state. It started making more sense to talk about a “decomposing” state instead of a “deep” state.

Total chaos has broken loose.

Who is after which business?

The concept of deep state was first formulated about GLADIO, organized by NATO against the threat of communism in the cold war period. According to NATO, in case of a communist invasion, pre-organized civilians would grab pre-stocked arms and defend the country. This idea became so popular among some that they applied the same kind of organization in various other places.

No organization called deep state was ever founded. No one was ever appointed to a post. However there was collaboration between various groups sharing the same logic and way of thinking that gathered around the ideal of “defending the country.”

A portion of retired army members, police, prosecutors, and judges…

A portion of the media…

A portion of NGOs and academics…

In addition to these, there are those that are actively involved in bureaucracy. They do not receive orders. However such an environment is created that police and the gendarmerie do not see any drawbacks to having a picture taken with Ogün Samast. It is in this environment that the idea of deep state can grow and spread.

The portrait of hit men does not change:

The hit men of this deep state concept are always the same. The most utilized ones are some political parties' youth branches. The ultra-nationalists were always at the forefront until the current leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli, took up his post. Youth branches of other parties that share the same world view are also active.

On the other hand some NGOs have become more predominant.

These are mostly seen in demonstrations and on the streets. They manifest themselves in front of court houses and conferences or exhibitions that are against their ideologies. They are usually destructive and harass their opponents. They are loud but they do not commit murder.

The real danger comes from the hit men that one cannot see on the streets. They are geared up in various locations in Anatolia. They are given some money and a gun and sent off to their targets.

Their portraits never change.

They are usually children of divided families. They are poor. They could not get an education. They spend most of their days in coffee houses or in Internet cafes. They always have an “older brother.” They listen to them. They read the same newspapers, follow the same columnists and watch the same television shows. They are made to believe that they will be heroes and that unless they commit the murder the country will be devastated.

However, it should not be forgotten that the “clean state” will one day take action and clean out the other part.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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