In Turkey, the latest leaked voice recording of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu and Deputy Chief of General Staff General Yaşar Güler, discussing possible military operations in Syria is the strongest proof of how rotten the public institutions have become.
As much as pointing to a failure to safeguard highly sensitive national security information and inefficiency of governance, its incriminating content also raises serious questions about the legitimacy of the Turkish state.
The government calls the leak “an act of espionage” and gives signs that it will use it to widen its crackdown on its opponents. The first step was to shut down another social media outlet, the YouTube
Whilst I have always approached the aims of the shadowy force behind these leaks with extreme caution and skepticism, I cannot deny that their disclosure has uncovered a great deal of government wrongdoing.
In the absence of a convincing denial or any evidence to the contrary, the Justice and Development Party has been shown to breach accepted standards of moral and legal behavior in government. Its obstruction of free media and increasingly heavy censorship strengthens suspicions of a cover-up.
With the latest revelations of the top security officials discussing possible scenarios of manipulating conflict in Syria, a darker reality looms.
We have already seen the consequences of Erdogan government’s predatory behavior towards the judiciary and the Parliament but the leaked conversation at the foreign ministry shows something else. Even behind the closed doors, there is no longer any other person or institution to inhibit the government’s questionable actions. A top level bureaucrat of the once-respectable Foreign Ministry, the deputy chief of the staff of the military and the head of the organization responsible for the national security do not offer alternative arguments. There are absolutely no checks and balances in Turkey today to prevent the abuse of power by the government. The whole state apparatus seems to be re-shaped in order to facilitate short-term personal and political gains of the rulers inside and their ideological and religious missions outside the country.
A government that has trumped the public’s right to know does not deserve the benefit of the doubt. Their claim for a right to secrecy is no longer over the country’s national security but instead to conceal their own wrongdoing.
It has now become obvious that the interests of the reclaimed state are no longer corresponding with the interests of the people of Turkey.
This post is also available in: Turkish